Meteorite has highest water content of any from Mars, scientists say
These three pieces are from the same meteorite. Scientists say they are rare specimens from the crust of Mars.
January 3rd, 2013
02:20 PM ET

Meteorite has highest water content of any from Mars, scientists say

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

A team of scientists has established a whole new class of meteorites that seems to have come from Mars' crust, based on a rare sample from 2.1 billion years ago.

The newly analyzed meteorite has more water than any other Martian meteorite that we know of, by a magnitude of more than 10, said Carl Agee, lead study author and director of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico. Agee and colleagues published their analysis of the meteorite in the journal Science Express.

"There are thousands and thousands of meteorites, and so far this is the only one like it," Agee said.

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Filed under: In Space • Mars
Meteor shower lit up the sky
CNN iReporter Abe Blair, a professional photographer, www.blindmanphotos.com shot pictures of the Perseid meteor shower over Crater Lake, Oregon for six to seven hours in August 2012.
January 3rd, 2013
01:39 PM ET

Meteor shower lit up the sky

By CNN Staff

Skywatchers set their alarm clocks for the early morning hours Thursday when the annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaked.

Meteor watchers could have expected to see 60 to 200 meteors an hour streak across the sky, according to NASA, but if you found that visibility was low, blame it on the moon: NASA warned that moonlight could make seeing the Quadrantids harder.

Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, said by e-mail that the shooting stars would be visible after about 11 p.m. in each time zone in the United States, with the best viewing time from 3 a.m. until dawn. Now that the shower has peaked, skywatchers with clear, dark skies may be able to see a few more meteors around 11 p.m. EST.

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Filed under: In Space • iReport • On Earth
Bee species named after 'Big Bang Theory' catchphrase
January 3rd, 2013
12:14 PM ET

Bee species named after 'Big Bang Theory' catchphrase

If you watch "The Big Bang Theory," you probably laugh every time Sheldon Cooper says the B-word: "Bazinga!"

Now, in one of those amusing science-imitates-art moments, "bazinga" has been officially dubbed a species of a bee.

The writers of the hit comedy probably never imagined that the persnickety physicist Cooper's favorite word would be immortalized in actual science.

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Post-holiday space news roundup
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded a tune in space.
January 3rd, 2013
10:58 AM ET

Post-holiday space news roundup

We've been catching up on space news after the holidays. Here's a roundup of some of the best stories.

Sun explodes two massive solar flares to welcome 2013

It turns out the Earth and Sun have something in common: They both celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks.

Our closest star welcomed the new year with remarkable fireworks during a four-hour flare eruption. A video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory displayed "a bright plume of super-magnetic plasma that exploded from the sun’s surface on New Year’s Eve," Space.com reported.

The observatory is designed to monitor and record solar flares and other activities that involve the sun and the weather. The sun has an 11-year weather cycle, and astronomers expect the sun’s activity to reach its highest peak in 2013.

Mars rover Curiosity spends holidays at 'Grandma’s House'

NASA's Curiosity rover, with its mast-mounted cameras and laser, spent the holiday season studying Martian terrain at "Grandma's House," a nickname given to a region inside Yellowknife Bay, which is a half-meter-deep basin at the Gale Crater landing site.

Scientists explored the new area of the Red Planet containing terrain that was not revealed in previous observations on Mars. In order to get a clearer image of the bay's interior, NASA researchers used the rover to record a 360-degree panoramic view, reports Space.com.

Curiosity is focused on choosing a suitable rock it can drill to produce a powdery rock sample, which can be gathered for a drilling test in early 2013.

Astronaut records 1st original song on space station

Canadian veteran astronaut Chris Hadfield, aboard the International Space Station, recorded his first original holiday music a couple of days before Christmas.

The 53-year-old avid guitar player performed Christmas carols with some of his crewmates, including NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko while living in orbit. Hadfield, the first Canadian to do a space walk, posted the new song titled "Jewel in the Night" online, marking a milestone in space.

Hadfield is a flight engineer on the Expedition 34 crew and will command the in-orbit laboratory on Expedition 35 in early 2013, which will make him the first Canadian space station commander.

NASA unveils eBooks on Hubble, James Webb Space Telescopes

NASA released two new eBooks on the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope during the holidays to help readers explore images and learn more about the science and technology used in developing the two space observatories.

The eBooks contain a compilation of discoveries by the two telescopes.

The Webb Space Telescope is three times larger than Hubble and can detect new stars and galaxies in infrared wavelengths in distant space.

The Hubble Space Telescope will be replaced by the Webb Space Telescope. It has provided scientists with high quality detailed images since 1990.

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