Eclipse 2017 from Space by NASA

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse passed over North America. People throughout the continent captured incredible images of this celestial phenomenon. NASA and their partner agencies had a unique vantage point on the eclipse from space and this is a combination of photos captured from their satellites.
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That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

On July 20th, 1969 Apollo 11 lands on the Moon on the Sea of Tranquillity and transmits the message, “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed." Six and a half hours later, astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the Moon, followed by Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. As Armstrong steps onto the lunar surface he proclaims, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Across the globe, nearly 700 million television viewers witness the event as it happens.
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Lunar eclipse in Colorado

Photos of the lunar eclipse captured by photographers in Colorado

Captivating photos of the lunar eclipse this week by photographers from Colorado.  A lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon, is when Earth's shadow blocks the sun's light, which otherwise reflects off the moon.

Top photo by Evan Semón

Lunar eclipse in Colorado
Photo by Chad M. Julius of AF Photos

Lunar eclipse in Boulder, Colorado
Photo taken in Boulder towards Lefthand Canyon by Michael Kucsmas

Lunar eclipse in Colorado
Photo by Erik Stensland of Fine Art Photography

Lunar eclipse in Denver, Colorado
Photo taken in Evergreen by Ron Pearson, a Denver Astronomical Society member
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Earth's second moon

Earth's Second Moon, 3753 Cruithne

Everyone knows and loves the moon.  What you may not know is that it's not Earth's only natural satellite.  In 1997, another body was discovered, 3753 Cruithne, also called a quasi-orbital satellite of Earth.  This means that Cruithne doesn't orbit Earth in a nice ellipse the same way our moon does.  Instead, Cruithne scuttles around the inner solar system in what's called a horseshoe orbit.

The video illustrates what a horseshoe orbit looks like, specifically for Cruithne orbiting around Earth.  This is something not widely known, but this type of orbit is actually pretty common in our solar system.  Cruithne's orbit is so wide, that its sometimes goes into the neighborhood of Venus and Mars.  It orbits the sun about once a year, but it takes nearly 800 years to complete this messy ring shape around Earth's orbit.

Even though Cruithne could technically be considered Earth's second moon, there isn't too much information about what it's like on surface.  It's only approximately five kilometers across, the surface gravity is very weak.  Walking briskly is probably enough to send you strolling out into outer space.

Even though Cruithne is small, if it were to strike Earth, it would be an extinction-level event, similar to what is believed to have happened at the end of the Cretaceous period.  However, it's not going to hit us any time soon.  It's orbit is tilted out of the plane of the solar system, and astrophysicists have provided simulations confirming that it will not come anywhere near us anytime soon.
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Solar Eclipse

Stunning photos of this morning's solar eclipse

A total solar eclipse occurred this morning, captured in the Faroe Islands, and Svalbard.  A partial eclipse was visible from Scotland to northern Africa.  A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun.  The moon obscures our parent start and becomes a dark silhouette edged with light.  Because the moon blocks the sun's rays, it casts a shadow of darkness over a small part of Earth beneath it.  Lunar eclipses are different in that Earth comes between the sun and the moon.

Here are some images captured from people around the world of the eclipse.

Plymouth, England

Image by Owen Humphrey / PA Wire / Associated Press

St Austell, Cornwall, England

Image by Ben Birchall / PA Wire / Associated Press

Northumberland, England

Image by Owen Humphrey / PA Wire / Associated Press

Munich, Germany

Image by Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images

Madeira Islands

Image by Ross Kinnaird / Getty Image

Barcelona, Spain

Image by Emilio Morenatti / Associated Press

Oldham, England

Image by Rex Features via AP Images / Associated Press

Yorkshire, England

Image by Rex Features via AP Images / Associated Press

Svalbard, Norway
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Lunar eclipse chart

Minor Lunar Eclipse expected this Friday night

The moon will pass through Earth's faint outer shadow, known as the penumbra, this Friday evening, with the time of the deepest eclipse occurring at 7:50pm ET.  People in the Mountain and Pacific time zones may not see the eclipse since this will occur in the later afternoon hours before the moon rises.

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth's core (umbral) shadow falls across the moon, casting it in shadow.  During a partial eclipse, the umbra covers only a part of the moon, while a penumbral eclipse involves only Earth's fainter outer shadow, causing a much less dramatic dimming effect.  The effect of a penumbra eclipse is subtle compared to a total lunar eclipse, but it's still worth the watch!

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