May 14th, 2010

To infinity and BEYOND!

Nebula Awards live online; Space Shuttle Atlantis launches in two hours

This just in:

The Nebula Awards Weekend will be streaming live over the internet here. This year's Hugo Awards also did this, and it was cool to watch the news as it happened.

Speaking of events at the The Nebula Awards Weekend, in about two hours, the Space Shuttle Atlantis will fly its last mission.

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Wish I could have been there. The Shuttle has defined the Space Age - at least the manned part of it - for an entire generation, but there are only a few Shuttle launches left. *sniff*


Astro-Porn of the Day: Jupiter's Southern Equatorial Belt has vanished

Holy disappearing belts, Batman! It turns out that one of Jupiter's major features — its South Equatorial Belt (south is at the top in the photos below) — is gone. Why? Astronomers have no idea, but theorize that intense storm activity is hiding it. They also have no idea how long the belt will remain invisible.

Click the image to see the story.

What a disappointment for astronomers: This is a particularly beautiful feature to observe in a telescope. On the other hand, seeing the newly nekkid world is a rare treat. Because this isn't the first time this has happened, scientists expect the South Equatorial Belt to return one day. Still, in the immortal words of Keanau Reeves, "Whoah."