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2004

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  • A Gathering of Planets: Part II

    April 21, 2004

    Four planets, six moons, Earthshine, lunar mountains, the phases of Venus, a planet-sized hurricane and Saturn's rings: you can see them all this week.

  • A Magical Morning

    Oct. 19, 2004

    Would you like to see a piece of Halley's Comet streak past a planet that looks like an exploding star? This week you can, on Thursday, Oct. 21st, when the Orionid meteor shower peaks.

  • Microscopic Astronauts

    Feb. 23, 2004

    It's unavoidable: Humans can't go to space without taking trillions of microbes with them. An experiment onboard the ISS aims to find out how bugs behave in orbit.

  • UFO Planet

    May 3, 2004

    The planet Venus, so bright it is often mistaken for an alien spaceship, reaches maximum brilliance this week. Through a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars, Venus looks like a beautiful crescent.

  • A Chilling Possibility

    March 5, 2004

    By disturbing a massive ocean current, melting Arctic sea ice might trigger colder weather in Europe and North America.

  • Parachuting to Titan

    Dec. 30, 2004

    Get ready for two of the strangest hours in the history of space exploration. That's how long it will take the Huygens probe to parachute to the surface of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan.

  • Mars Mice

    Jan. 20, 2004

    In 2006 a group of mice-Astronautswill orbit Earth inside a spinning spacecraft. Their mission: to learn what its like to live on Mars.

  • A Pocket of Near-Perfection

    April 26, 2004

    Right now, one of the most precise Physicsexperiments ever attempted is orbiting Earth: Gravity Probe B. Its builders have created "a pocket of near-perfection" inside the spacecraft where spinning gyroscopes can sense the twisting of spacetime around Earth.

  • Can People Go to Mars?

    Feb. 17, 2004

    Space radiation between Earth and Mars poses a hazard to astronauts. How dangerous is it out there? NASA scientists are working to find out.

  • Horseflies and Meteors

    Aug. 9, 2004

    Like bugs streaking colorfully down the side window of a moving car, Earthgrazing Perseid Meteorscould put on a pleasing show after sunset on August 11th.