Sunday, August 5, 2012

Reasons to stay up late/get up early

Early tomorrow morning, at 1:31 Eastern, a NASA rover called Curiosity will attempt to land on Mars.  It is much larger than Spirit and Opportunity, being twice as long, five times as massive, and carrying 10 times more scientific equipment.  It also cost $2.5 billion, so let's hope it's successful.

Next week, the annual Perseid meteor shower will peak, delivering around 60 meteors an hour.  These occur when our orbit takes us through the debris left behind by a comet.  The best time to view is before dawn, as that's when you're at the location on the Earth that is facing "forward" relative to our motion around the sun, so that's when your section of sky smashes into the most stuff.

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