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10 Things for the Week of November 3 - 9
Columnist: The Authors

10 Things for the Week of November 3 - 9
2 November 2013

Carl Sagan once said: "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." Without imagination we would never have traversed to worlds beyond our own, such as the planet Mercury.

Here are some thoughts to tickle your imagination: Can you re-live an hour once it is past? Can darkness be illuminated? Sometimes it is possible -- keep reading to find out how, plus celebrate three birthdays, a launch anniversary and much more.


1:00 a.m. local-time will last for two hours this Sunday. Sunday is the start of Daylight Saving Time, so be sure to set you clocks back one hour the night of November 2nd and gain an extra hour of sleep, or stay up and re-live one hour, twice.


The morning of November 3rd will be a little darker than usual for some people. The moon will block the sun in a partial eclipse, as well as a total eclipse in some areas.

Partial solar eclipse will occur at sunrise for viewers on the East Coast. Such places as Spain, Algeria and Israel will see the eclipse occur during the afternoon. Total eclipse will occur for viewers in equatorial Africa (also during the afternoon). Warning: Never view a solar eclipse with the naked eye.

"Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!" -- NASA Eclipse Site


Sunday, November 3rd is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Mariner 10. Mariner 10 was the first spacecraft (and only one before MESSENGER) to study the innermost planet (Mercury).


Do you remember the nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll? Here is an excerpt:

"'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.'"

There is an asteroid named for the Jabberwocky (Asteroid 7470 Jabberwock ) and it is making its closest approach to the Earth (1.452 AU) this week -- on Sunday, November 3rd to be exact.

The poem, "Jabberwocky" is a part of Carroll's "Alice" book "Through the Looking-Glass." (Interestingly, the opening scene happens to take place on November 4th.)


X-rays optics use mirrors, and when used on spacecraft, we are able to view wondrous scenes of space far beyond the reaches of our home. Friday, November 8th is the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays. It was German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen who discovered x-rays accidentally 118 years ago.


This Monday, November 4th is the peak of the annual Taurids meteor shower, which are know for their fireballs. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with magnitudes brighter than -3.

Comet Enke is the source for this meteor stream. Eight years ago on November 7th (2005) a Taurid meteor was seen crashing into the moon.


Fred Whipple, who discovered six comets, would have been 107 on Thursday, November 7th. It was Whipple who theorized the dirty-snowball concept for comets.


Thursday, November 7th is also the 146th anniversary of the birth of Marie Curie (1867). Curie was the first women to win a Noble Prize.


November 9th is the anniversary of Carl Sagan's birth. He would have been 79. Carl was often described as "the scientist who made the Universe clearer to the ordinary person."

To celebrate Carl Sagan's birth, Broward College is hosting the 5th annual Carl Sagan Day.

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This weekly look at upcoming events and stories is brought to you by the NASA solar system exploration communications team. Join the conversation: @NASASolarSystem
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Last Updated: 4 Nov 2013