10 Things for the Week of May 19 - 25
17 May 2013
Your weekly look at upcoming events and stories from around our solar system:
1. REMEMBERING SALLY
NASA and Sally Ride Science are hosting an educational tribute to astronaut, educator and scientist Sally Ride at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on Monday (May 20). She died last year. She was 61.
2. PIONEERING VENUS
Thirty-five years ago Monday (May 20), Pioneer Venus 1 blasted off on a mission to Venus. The robotic orbiter was the first spacecraft to map Venus.
3. LUNABOTICS MINING BATTLE
College students square off at Kennedy Space Center next week in a competition to see who can build the best lunar mining robot. Tune in to see the next generation of explorers.
4. STELLAR TRIO
On Wednesday (May 22), catch the moon, Saturn and V-shaped constellation Virgo in the night sky.
5. RETURN TO TITAN
NASA's long-lived Cassini orbiter is zooming in for another close pass at Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan. The spacecraft will pass only 970 km (603 miles) above Titan's smoggy surface on Thursday (May 23)
6. SPACEFEST V
An impressive lineup of scientists and astronauts will join space enthusiasts in Tucson, Ariz., on Memorial Day weekend for the fifth annual Spacefest.
7. NO SHOW ECLIPSE
The second lunar eclipse of 2013 happens on Saturday (May 25), but don't look too hard. A tiny sliver of the moon's southern limb will pass into Earth's pale penumbral shadow. It will be all but impossible to see. Mark your calendars for October 18 for a more visible lunar eclipse.
8. MEMORIAL DAY PLANET PARTY
Here's something you can see. Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will gather in the evening sky. Look west at dusk on Saturday (May 25).
9. REMEMBERING PHOENIX
Saturday (May 25) also marks five years since NASA's Phoenix mission landed on Mars. The lander dug, scooped, baked, sniffed and tasted the Red Planet's soil. Phoenix confirmed and examined patches of the widespread deposits of underground water ice, identified a mineral called calcium carbonate that suggested occasional presence of thawed water and observed falling snow on Mars.
10. EXPLORATION STORIES
NASA's Deputy Chief Technologist Jim Adams reflects on the last 50 years of planetary exploration in the latest addition to our historical explorartion stories series.
Read More by Autumn Burdick