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Moon Sailing

The 2011 Japan Tsunami Was Caused By Largest Fault Slip Ever Recorded

Clay lubricated the fault zone in the Japan trench, producing the devastating tsunami, researchers say.<p><b>The largest fault slip ever recorded produced the devastating 2011 Japan tsunami, according to three studies published today.</b><p>Two years ago, the sea off the coast of Japan reared up and swept away …

Ghost of Comet ISON Fading Fast

Changing Planet<p><b>After initially appearing to revive after whipping around the sun on Thursday, Comet ISON has kept on providing space buffs with a real roller coaster ride.</b> (Related: <b></b>Comet ISON Barnstorms Sun)<p>But while hopes were raised that the comet might have been only been battered and bruised by …

July 2013

Witch Head, Elephant Trunk, and Eye Of God

Witches, elephants, and gleaming eyes. Oh my! A bewitching brew comes this way in the week's best space pictures.

Death by Lightning a Danger in Developing Countries

Scientists and educators are confronting superstitions and poor infrastructure.<p><b>Developing countries have long lists of problems—illiteracy, disease, hunger, corruption. There's one more problem that has gotten less attention, until recently: lightning strikes, which cause a disproportionately high</b> …

Super Typhoon Haiyan Headed Toward Philippines

Super typhoon Haiyan looms as this year's strongest ocean storm.<p><b>A super typhoon expected to slam into the Philippines on Friday appears on track to become the strongest such storm to develop this year, meteorologists warn.</b><p>With wind speeds exceeding 190 miles an hour (305 kilometers an hour), super …

Jellyfish Wave, Moons Dance, and Sun Winks

The Jellyfish Nebula "swims" in space, the dust settles on a Martian volcano, and a "greyhound" races through the cosmos in this week's best space pictures.

Moon Mining Rush Ahead?

A commercial space company wants the U.S. government to give it lunar mining rights.<p><b>The Man Who Sold the Moon? A private space company's chief, Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace Inc., called for the Federal Aviation Administration to allow property rights for lunar mining, at a Tuesday NASA</b> …

Skywatchers Enjoy Comet Bonanza

Changing Planet<p><b>Backyard astronomers in the Northern Hemisphere get an eyeful this week, when four comets will be visible with binoculars or small telescopes in the early morning sky.</b><p>First up, the most famous of the bunch is Comet ISON, which is currently speeding towards its close encounter with …

Manned Mission to Largest Known Asteroid Designed

Sending people to Ceres is no harder than sending them to Mars, study says.<p><b>Rocket scientists who have plotted a course for a human mission to the largest known asteroid, Ceres, say that such a voyage may not be much more challenging than sending people to Mars, according to a new study.</b><p>Research …

Distant Stars, Saturn's Bars, and a Trip to Mars

A supernova's ghost, Saturn's unearthly rings, and the next Mars mission's send-off round out the week's best space pictures.

6 Sky Events This Week: Dawn Planets, Lunar Encounters, and Celestial Hunter

<b>As we head toward the final days of November, skywatchers spy pretty planetary and lunar pairings and a mythical hunter, while anxiously waiting to learn of the fate of comet ISON as it rounds the sun.</b><p><b>Moon and Regulus.</b> In the hours before sunrise on Tuesday, November 26, look for the last quarter …

Comet ISON Cliffhanger

Changing Planet<p>Comet ISON, imaged by longtime amateur astrophotograper Damian Peach in the U.K. He used a 4-inch f/5 telescope for 12 minutes of combined exposures on November 15th. Credit: Damian Peach / SkyandTelescope.com<p><b>Astronomers keeping a close eye on the highly-anticipated Comet ISON, are</b> …