Celestial conjunction in Norway’s night skies
The Moon and Jupiter conjoined in the skies above Norway this week
November 11th, 2011
12:35 PM ET

Celestial conjunction in Norway’s night skies

Norwegian iReporter Hans-Dieter Fleger, 58, is an avid stargazer. He’s bookmarked the websites for NASA, the Space Weather Prediction Center and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. So, he knew what to look for the night of November 8, when the Moon and Jupiter were scheduled to form a conjunction.

A conjunction is a loose astronomical term used to describe a moment when two celestial bodies are near each other in the sky.

Since astronomy and photography happen to be two of Hans' greatest passions, he was well-armed to capture the rare event. Armed with his camera and a remote, he snapped this picture as the Moon and Jupiter (center-right in the picture above) were within 10 degrees of each other.

And after he took the picture, he discovered an added bonus in one of his shots: A meteorite's tail streaking above the moon as it entered the Earth's atmosphere!

If you enjoy photographing the stars, share your best stargazing moments with iReport.

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Filed under: In Space • iReport
November 11th, 2011
11:05 AM ET


Every Friday, @CNNLightYears will suggest interesting and exciting space and science Twitter accounts to follow.

For this Veterans Day edition, @CNNLightYears suggests you follow the crew of International Space Station Expedition 29. Half the crew is already on station, and the other half is scheduled to launch aboard Soyuz TMA-22 on Sunday. Three of the six crew members are on Twitter sharing their experiences.

Commander Michael E. Fossum, @Astro_Aggie, has been on the International Space Station since July 9. He reported for training at Johnson Space Center in August 1998 and has flown two flights before this mission, accumulating more than 636 hours in space, 42 hours of which were done during spacewalks. He is slated to be aboard the International Space Station for six months. (Fossum posted the above picture of the Gulf Coast.)

Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, @Astro_Satoshi, has been aboard the International Space Station since July 9, serving as flight engineer. He holds a doctorate in medicine and a doctor of philosophy degree in medical science from the University of Tokyo. After completing Soyuz TMA Flight Engineer-1 training in Star City, Russia, in 2004, he arrived at Johnson Space Center, where he finished his astronaut training in 2006. He served aboard the International Space Station during Expedition 20.

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, @AstroCoastie, is one of three men slated to launch aboard Soyuz TMA-22 on Sunday. He will serve as flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. He reported to Johnson Space Center in August 1996, and has since flown twice on the space shuttle, accumulating 23 days in space and more than seven hours of spacewalking experience.

You can also follow Twitter updates from @CNNLightYears.

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Filed under: FollowFriday
Who were the 99% of ancient Rome?
Kristina Killgrove, shown here in the catacombs under Paris, is fascinated by ancient Rome.
November 11th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Who were the 99% of ancient Rome?

Editor's note: Ed Yong is a freelance writer who blogs regularly at Discover Magazine's Not Exactly Rocket Science.

From Gibbon to "Gladiator," it might seem like we know a lot about Ancient Rome, but our view of this civilization is a skewed one. The Romans lived in one of the most stratified societies in history. Around 1.5% of the population controlled the government, military, economy and religion. Through the writings and possessions they left behind, these rich, upper-class men are also responsible for most of our information about Roman life.

The remaining people – commoners, slaves and others – are largely silent. They could not afford tombstones to record their names, and they were buried with little in the way of fancy pottery or jewellery. Their lives were documented by the elites, but they left few documents of their own.


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Filed under: On Earth


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