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The Fleet has 12 exhibitions permanently on display.
By David Harker, Associate Research Scientist, UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS)
The primary mission of Rosetta's visit to comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko is to further our understanding of the origin and evolution of our solar system. Comets can be thought of as time capsules since they formed within 100,000 years of the formation of the solar nebula, which is thought to be tens of millions of years older than the formation of the solar system 4.7 billion years ago.
On March 2, 2004, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Rosetta Mission. The goal for this mission was for the Rosetta spacecraft to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko, which was 280 million miles away from Earth. To put this into perspective, the Earth is about 93 million miles away from the Sun. So at the point of rendezvous, comet 67P was three times the distance away from the Earth as the Earth is from the Sun.
Watch the video here!
Orion's launch was scrubbed on Thursday, but Friday morning, Dec. 5, saw a successful launch, ushering in a new era of space exploration. Click the link above to see the launch footage.
Dr. Lisa Will is the Fleet’s Resident Astronomer. She is also an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the Department of Physical Sciences at San Diego City College. Dr. Will hosts our popular monthly live planetarium show, The Sky Tonight. She sat down to talk with Nathan Young about the upcoming show; the current film, Hidden Universe; and upcoming astronomical events.
With the launch of our new exhibit, Destination Station, we've been lucky to have astronauts available to chat with us here at the Fleet! Mike Hopkins was selected in July 2009 as one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. On September 25, 2013, Hopkins launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. During his stay aboard the space station, Hopkins conducted a pair of U.S. spacewalks to change out a degraded pump module for a total of 12 hours and 58 minutes. Hopkins returned to Earth on March 10, 2014, after 166 days in space.
News From Dr. Lisa Will, the Fleet's Resident Astronomer
Tonight's topic for The Sky Tonight live planetarium show is The Earth From Above. Join us for a view of the Earth from space. Shows are at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The Sky Tonight features a new topic on the first Wednesday of each month.
Can't make it tonight or want to see more? You might already know about the wonderful Astronomy Picture of the Day website (if not, it's listed below), but if you want to see the Earth from space, here are a few other resources you might enjoy:
Eclipse Viewing Information by Dr. Lisa Will, the Fleet's resident Astronomer
Night owl alert! We San Diegans should have a spectacular view of tonight's lunar eclipse if the clouds/marine layer stay away. The full moon will start passing into the darkest part of the Earth's shadow around 11 p.m. tonight. The total eclipse will begin around midnight and last until 1:30 a.m. The moon will fall completely out of the Earth's shadow around 3 a.m.
By Dr. Lisa Will, Fleet Astronomer
Comet ISON is getting brighter in the sky, and it should hopefully become visible to the naked eye soon. If you want to know where to locate it in the sky or learn more about Comet ISON, some useful resources are listed below.
Plus, the Fleet is hosting a Coffee & Comets event on Tuesday, November 26, early in the morning (because the comet can be viewed before sunrise). Visit our Events page for more information.