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#798042 - 12/27/12 07:15 AM Top Astronomy Stories 2012
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 4659
Loc: United Kingdom

What were the big astronomy stories of the year 2012? Here is my choice of the top ten plus a non-story. What do you think?

Top Astronomy Stories 2012
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#798577 - 01/01/13 07:29 AM Re: Top Astronomy Stories 2012 [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 4659
Loc: United Kingdom
Someone has suggested that the SpaceX taking cargo to the Space Station (and also returning materials to Earth) was one of the top stories of 2012.

I agree that it's a big story. The Space Shuttle is no more, and the USA has no replacement yet. So it has all been down to the Russian Soyuz to transport the astronauts and most of the supplies.

In 2011, for the first time, the Japanese Kounotori 2 H-2 Transfer Vehicle took supplies to the ISS, another useful development. But SpaceX is obviously working towards being able to carry people as well as cargo.

I didn't include SpaceX in my list because I didn't see it as an astronomy story. (Maybe we need a Space editor?)
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#798977 - 01/03/13 08:39 AM Re: Top Astronomy Stories 2012 [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 4659
Loc: United Kingdom
I've had another response to my question about what was big in astronomy in 2012. It was: the footage of aurorae from space. This wasn't one particular event, but it has made for some pretty images and fabulous videos. Judge for yourself:

Aurorae seen from the Space Station

I've only ever seen an aurora looking up. It must be strange looking down on them!
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#799486 - 01/07/13 08:23 AM Re: Top Astronomy Stories 2012 [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 4659
Loc: United Kingdom
Two people were quite definite that the discovery of the Higgs particle at CERN was a major story.

I had decided not to put that one in on the grounds that it was a particle physics discovery, not an astronomy one. But, in fact, particle physics and cosmology come together at the beginning of the universe. The Higgs field is what gives particles mass, so the fact that we even exist is related to this particle.

There was a forum discussion about this in July 2012, What is a Higgs boson? Explained with zombies - it includes a link to an explanation of the Higgs particle with zombies. Amusing and helpful.
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