Spooky blue moon to illuminate sky on Halloween

The night sky will bring an added treat this Halloween as it features a spectacle that has not occurred in nearly two decades.

Halloween is shaping up much differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic with some communities electing to cancel trick-or-treating to reduce the risk of the virus spreading from one household to another. But in neighborhoods where young masqueraders will be going door-to-door collecting candy, they will have a bright full moon to help light the way.

This won’t be the typical full moon, either — it will be a blue moon.

The moon rises in the sky as seen through the Four Towers, or C.T.B.A. (Cuatro Torres Business Area) in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Contrary to its name, a blue moon does not appear blue in color. It is simply the nickname given to the second full moon in

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Eight nations sign NASA’s Artemis Accords that guide cooperative exploration of the moon

Eight countries have signed on as founding member nations to NASA’s Artemis Accords during the 71st International Astronautical Congress this week.



a couple of people that are standing in the dirt


© NASA


Those nations include Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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NASA released the Artemis Accords in May to establish a framework of principles for safely and responsibly planning for humanity’s return to the moon.

“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement.

“With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy.”

It’s been more than a year since NASA

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Blue Origin launches, lands NASA moon landing sensor experiment

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Blue Origin successfully launched a NASA moon landing experiment aboard the company’s reusable New Shepard rocket Tuesday morning in Texas.

Liftoff took place from the company’s launch facilities about 150 miles east of El Paso.

The capsule separated from the rocket minutes into the flight and spent about 3 minutes at the height of an arc just over the Kármán line, the altitude at which space begins.

The rocket booster, with NASA sensors mounted on the exterior, landed smoothly about 7 minutes, 30 seconds after launch. The capsule landed with the aid of parachutes a few minutes later, kicking up a cloud of dust and sand.

The NASA experiment is part of the agency’s Tipping Point program, which seeks to demonstrate technology that can be adopted by private industry.

The project includes a collection of sensors designed to help locate a safe site on the moon

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Eight nations, including U.S., sign accords for moon missions

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) — Eight nations have signed NASA’s new framework to govern lunar exploration missions, the agency’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced Tuesday.

By signing the agreement, the eight nations commit to peaceful activities on the moon and in travel to the moon.

Provisions in the Artemis Accords stipulate that nations, and private companies in those nations, will openly disclose plans for lunar missions, and mine resources on the moon in accordance with the international Outer Space Treaty that dates to 1967.

The accords also commit signing nations to render aid to other nations on the moon if necessary, to minimize space debris and to register all objects taken to the lunar surface.

In addition to the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and Britain signed the Artemis Accords.

“We are one human race and we are in this together. The Accords help us

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UK signs up to Nasa’s Moon exploration principles

Artwork: Moon lander
Artwork: Nasa aims to get astronauts back on the surface of the Moon in 2024

The UK has signed up to the principles that will guide the American-led return to the Moon this decade.

The US plans to put the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface in 2024, in a project called Artemis.

This would mirror the Apollo missions of the 1960s/70s but with the difference this time that astronauts would set up a permanent presence.

The so-called Artemis Accords are intended as a framework for best practice in space and on the Moon.

They cover areas such as the utilisation of resources, mining water-ice for drinking water and to make rocket fuel; common standards, open data, safe operations, and providing emergency assistance.

America, which devised the accords, has signed them, followed by the UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy, Luxembourg and UAE. More countries are certain

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Japan, UK, Australia, Italy, UAE among nations signing U.S. Artemis Accords on moon exploration

In an interview ahead of the announcement, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the accords are “intended to create norms of behavior that all countries can agree to so that we can keep peace and prosperity moving forward in space and avoid any kind of confusion or ambiguity that can result in conflict.”

He said the accords, first announced in May, would build on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which bans the use of nuclear weapons in space and prohibits nations from laying sovereign claim to the moon or other celestial bodies.

“There is nothing in the Artemis Accords that isn’t enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty,” Bridenstine said. “It’s a forcing function to get nations to comply with the Outer Space Treaty.”

The seven nations that signed are the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and Italy. It’s a somewhat eclectic mix, with countries like Japan,

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sets launch record as it tests NASA moon gear

Blue Origin set a new mark for recycling rockets Tuesday morning by sending the same New Shepard spacecraft to the edge of space for the seventh time.

The spaceflight company founded and funded by Amazon head Jeff Bezos completed its 13th New Shepard mission from its private launch facility in west Texas while also testing some key equipment for future NASA missions to the moon. 

The mission was originally set for late September from the Texas site, but was delayed multiple times due to weather and technical issues. It finally left Earth at 6:37 a.m. PT (8:37 a.m. Texas time) Tuesday and returned to land at the same facility in two pieces just about 10 minutes later. 

A New Shepard launches for the seventh time.


Blue Origin video capture by Eric Mack/CNET

A few minutes

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U.S. and other nations sign Artemis Accords for moon missions

Artemis moon mission
An artist’s conception shows surface operations on the moon. (NASA Illustration)

Seven nations have signed up with the United States to participate in NASA’s Artemis effort to put astronauts on the moon by as early as 2024.

The Artemis Accords commit the signatories — including Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, Italy, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates as well as the U.S. — to observe a set of principles ranging from the interoperability of space hardware to the protection of heritage sites and space property rights.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other international representatives announced the signing of the accords today in conjunction with this week’s International Astronautical Congress.

During a briefing with reporters, Bridenstine said the accords will serve as the “preamble of bilateral agreements between the United States and all of our international partners as we go sustainably to the moon with commercial and international partners.”

It’ll be up

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Head of Russian space program calls for more international cooperation in NASA’s Moon plans

The head of Russia’s space program said today that NASA’s plans to send people back to the Moon are “too US-centric” for Russia to participate. He has been critical of the program in the past and now says that Russia would only be open to participating if the Moon plans were more focused on international cooperation.

“The most important thing here would be to base this program on the principles of international cooperation that we’ve all used” to fly the ISS, Dmitry Rogozin, the director-general of Roscosmos, said through a translator during a virtual press conference at the International Astronautical Congress. He added: “If we could get back to considering making these principles as the foundation of the program, then Roscosmos could also consider its participation.”

Rogozin has made it clear that he is not a fan of NASA’s Moon program, an initiative called Artemis that aims to send the

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Mars At Its Brightest Since 2003 As Moon Visits Venus. What You Can See In The Night Sky This Week

Each week I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy and eclipses. 

What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: October 12-18, 2020

This week it’s all about Mars, which will look its biggest, brightest and best in post-sunset skies since 2018 and, technically speaking, since 2003.

However, it’s also a week where the Moon wanes towards its New phase, meaning dark skies at night, gorgeous crescents in the early pre-dawn mornings early in the week, and in early evenings from Sunday. 

MORE FROM FORBESWhat’s That Really Bright ‘Star’ In The Night Sky?

Tuesday, October 13, 2020: Mars at opposition

Tonight the red planet reaches opposition,

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