skytalk

Fall is half-way over, so make way for winter



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Get ready for the return of Eastern Standard Time this weekend, which is a little later than many people will remember, but the jury is still out on whether this change really saves us energy. Halloween is in a few days and is considered a Cross-Quarter day, since it falls half-way between the first day of Fall and the first day of Winter. Also, NASA Rover Curiosity continues to find interesting things in the dirt on Mars. At first look a shiny thing it had picked up was thought to be a benign piece of detritus, but scientists realized those bright objects are actually bright minerals. They are indigenous to Mars, but still remain unidentified. Remember that planet with multiple stars from last week? Now a single star system with five planets is being looked at. It’s particularly fascinating, because it is a five planet system orbiting a star that’s around the size of our sun, but in this case the planets orbiting the star are 12 times closer to their sun than our Earth’s orbit is to our sun. Not only is it much hotter on these planets, but the farthest planet orbits its star in as little as nine and a half days compared to our 365 days. This intensely fast pace is due to the proximity to the star. Speaking of stars don’t miss what’s in the night sky this week. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.

Photo by Flickr user Pat (Cletch) Williams



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