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December 25 marks Christmas Day and December mini-moon day! The moon was at apogee, or the greatest distance from Earth (for the month).
This week also marks the anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission (Dec. 21- 27 1968) – the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit, reach the Earth’s Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. The three-astronaut crew – Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders – became the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, the first to directly see the far side of the Moon, and then the first to witness Earthrise.
Ceres , the largest asteroid of the solar system, is 30% water with outcrops of ice and occasional geysers. That’s so much water that researchers believe it’s possible for water ice to lie dormant just a meter beneath the surface for billions of years.

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