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Space (or outer space) describes the vast empty regions between and around planets and stars. The study of these, and other, astronomical objects is called astronomy, one of the oldest sciences. It is often said that space exploration began with the launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. Then, in an almost unbelievable feat of human achievement, in 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to the Moon and set foot on the surface during the Apollo 11 mission. Recently, it has become clear that the possibility of space colonization may no longer be exclusively reserved for science-fiction stories, and many controversial issues surrounding space have come to light, including commercial spaceflight, space laws and space weapons.

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GRB 970228 as seen by Hubble

GRB 970228 was a gamma-ray burst (GRB) detected on February 28, 1997 at 02:58 UTC. A gamma-ray burst is a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation. Since 1993, physicists had predicted these bursts to be followed by a longer-lived afterglow at longer wavelengths, such as radio waves, x-rays, and even visible light. Until this event, GRBs had only been observed at gamma wavelengths. This was the first burst for which an afterglow was observed. The burst had multiple peaks in its light curve and lasted approximately 80 seconds. Peculiarities in the light curve of GRB 970228 suggested that a supernova may have occurred as well. The position of the burst coincided with a galaxy about 8.1 billion light-years from Earth, providing early evidence that GRBs occur well beyond the Milky Way.

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Uranus as from Voyager 2 in 1986
Credit: NASA/JPL/Voyager 2 mission

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun and the fourth most massive in the Solar System. In this photograph from 1986 the planet appears almost featureless, but recent terrestrial observations have found seasonal changes to be occurring.

Space news

Wikinews Space Portal
  • March 27: President Trump tells NASA to aim for Mars
  • January 18: Former NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan dies aged 82
  • October 3: Twelve-year journey of Rosetta ends; spacecraft crashes into comet
  • July 6: Final panel added to China's FAST radio telescope
  • July 6: NASA's Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter orbit
  • May 9: NASA releases first topographical map of Mercury
  • October 31: NASA releases complete image of Pluto's crescent
  • October 9: After Mars, NASA announces water ice on Pluto
  • October 1: NASA announces water on Mars
  • July 17: NASA's New Horizons space probe performs first close planetary flyby of Pluto
  • January 30: Scientists find ancient solar system in Milky Way galaxy
  • January 11: SpaceX launches fifth resupply rocket to International Space Station

Upcoming spaceflight launches

The next scheduled launch is of of the EchoStar's EchoStar 23 broadcast satellite on a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket. Launch from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 is scheduled for 16 March 2017.
The next scheduled manned launch is of Soyuz MS-04 on a Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying two Expedition 51 crew members to the International Space Station. Launch from Baikonur Site 1/5 is scheduled for 27 March 2017.
For a full launch schedule see 2017 in spaceflight

Astronomical events

2 March Neptune at conjunction
2 March, 20:45 Moon occults Ceres
3 March, 07:25 Moon at perigee
7 March, 00:30 Mercury at superior conjunction
12 March, 14:54 Full moon
18 March, 17:22 Moon at apogee
20 March, 10:29 Earth northward equinox
25 March, 01:54 Venus at inferior conjunction
26 March, 08:23 Moon occults Neptune
28 March, 02:57 New moon
30 March, 12:24 Moon at perigee

Space-related portals

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