NASA’s looking for students all around the world to name an asteroid that they are targeting for collection of a sample. The plan is to send a vehicle out in 2016 to collect a sample and bring it back to Earth for study. To engage students in asteroid research they have opened this contest to students 18 or younger and one name can be submitted per student. The selection criteria will include how the student chose the name and what it has to do with this mission. To find out more visit planetary.org. If given the chance would astronauts go to Mars first or an asteroid? Some may argue Mars is more important, but if we went to an asteroid first as practice, we might be paving the way to Mars. Also, Fall is almost in the air and Aurora season is getting stronger as we get closer to the peak of the cycle. We are seeing more Aurora display and larger flairs and prominences. If you’re planning a trip North, this fall would be a good time to see this amazing display, but make sure to go far enough North. It’s also an excellent time of year to check out the night sky, because this is a great transition period between all four seasons. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.
Photo credit: NASA