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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Learn about Earth’s nearest neighbors, the moon, near Earth asteroids, and more this week.


1. Cosmic, Man

The fifth International Cosmic Day will take place on Nov. 2. This event will bring students, teachers and scientists together to talk and learn about cosmic rays, energetic particles from deep space. Participants will learn more about cosmic rays, and can also carry out their own measurements and get in contact with groups all over the world to compare and discuss their results.

+ Join in


2. Meet Our Neighbors

The number of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) discovered now tops 15,000, with an average of 30 added each week. “While no known NEA currently poses a risk of impact with Earth over the next 100 years,” says NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson. “We’ve found mostly the larger asteroids…we have a lot more of the smaller, but still potentially hazardous ones, to find.”

+ Find out how we keep watch


3. Written in the Scars

The moon wasn’t always so lucky when it came to avoiding impacts. New results from our Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission are providing insights into the huge impacts that dominated the early history of Earth’s moon–and other solid worlds like Earth and Mars.

+ See more


4. Raw Beauty

Our Cassini spacecraft regularly returns spectacular images from Saturn. What you may not realize is that even before they’ve been processed by Cassini imaging specialists, these pictures are published online in raw, unprocessed form, almost the moment they come down to Earth.

+ See for yourself


5. Photobomb!

On Oct. 30, 2016, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, experienced a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun. The lunar transit lasted an hour, with the moon covering about 59 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the face of the sun. The moon’s shadow occasionally obstructs SDO’s otherwise constant view of the sun. The shadow’s edge is sharp and distinct, since the moon has no atmosphere that would distort sunlight.

Discover the full list of 10 things to know about our solar system this week HERE.

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