7/27/11

No-Hitter Pitched Today

Ervin Santana pitches no-hitter for Los Angeles Angels.  This is the first no-hitter for the Angels since 1984 and the third no-hitter in the major leagues this year.

Way to go Ervin Santana!!!

(Photo Credit David Maxwell/EPA, accessed as si.cnn.com July 27, 2011)

7/20/11

4th Moon of Pluto Discovered

For more information, click here.

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite — temporarily designated P4 — was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet.
The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 746 miles (1,200 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km).
"I find it remarkable that Hubble's cameras enabled us to see such a tiny object so clearly from a distance of more than 3 billion miles (5 billion km)," said Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who led this observing program with Hubble.
The finding is a result of ongoing work to support NASA's New Horizons mission, scheduled to fly through the Pluto system in 2015. The mission is designed to provide new insights about worlds at the edge of our solar system. Hubble's mapping of Pluto's surface and discovery of its satellites have been invaluable to planning for New Horizons' close encounter.

7/10/11

STS-135: Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver



On July 10, 2011, space shuttle Atlantis performed the nine-minute Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver, or “backflip.” With Commander Chris Ferguson at the helm, Atlantis rotated 360 degrees backward to enable space station crew members to take high resolution digital pictures of the shuttle’s heat shield. Three cameras outfitted with 1,000 mm, 800 mm and 400 mm lenses captured photos that will provide Mission Control experts with the best possible imagery to validate the integrity of Atlantis’ heat shield.

7/8/11

The Beginning of the End

This morning, a little over two minutes late, STS-135 launched on the Shuttle's last mission.  Here's a picture of the launch.