May 10, 2007
Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes have recorded the brightest supernova ever seen. The explosion came from a star about 150 times more massive than the Sun located in a distant galaxy. What researchers have learned from the blast suggests that a similar explosion could happen soon here in our own Milky Way.
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ASTEROID FLYBY: This week, a famous asteroid is flying past Earth: 1862 Apollo. Discovered in 1932, Apollo was the first asteroid recognized to cross Earth’s orbit. Its discovery, and the subsequent discovery of many others like Apollo, helped scientists understand that the threat of asteroid impacts didn’t end with the dinosaurs; it’s a modern problem, too. There’s no danger of a collision this time. Apollo will be about 10.7 million kilometers away at closest approach on May 8th. Southern hemisphere astronomers with big backyard telescopes may be able to photograph the 1.7 km-wide asteroid and its tiny 75 meter-wide moon gliding through the constellations Microscopium and Grus.
Visit for SpaceWeather.com for ephemerides and updates
NASA’s Cassini Mission at Saturn released an astonishing series of images which were taken by various Cassini imaging systems in April.
View NASA’s Planetary Photojournal
Part of the devastation caused by the tornado which struck Greensburg, KS on 4 May was the destruction of the “Bigwell Meteor Museum” which housed the world’s largest pallasite meteor and an outstanding collection of meteorites. We understand that a benefit may be undertaken at a future date to rebuild the museum.
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