A lot of space related news has happened in the last month. Here are some of the highlights of what's happening out there...way out there.
Huge news from NASA. The MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) launched in late November and is expected to arrive on the Martian surface in August of 2012. This one ton robot will rove the planet looking for soil samples that show if Mars was or was not ever capable of holding life. This will be a huge step forward in researching the types of conditions in the universe that could or could not hold life! For more info on the MSL please go to http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/
In other news, the Voyager 1 satellite has left the solar system!!! That's right, this officially is the very first human made object to leave the solar system. This probe is about 10 BILLION miles away from Earth right now and is, amazingly, still communicating with us. Voyager 1 was launched in 1977...pretty far out!
Lastly, big big big news from 600 light years away. Kepler 22b has been confirmed as an "Earth-like" planet. This newly discovered planet is 600 light years away, about 2.5 times larger than Earth, and orbits a star very similar to our own sun. Scientists think that the average temprature on Kepler 22b is about 70 degrees, how lovely. More on this discovery can be found right here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler-22b
Happy Holidays and we'll catch up with more Stellar Headlines next month!