China and Japan Both Set to Launch Satellites for Geo-Science Applications
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Weekly Planet Watch – Evening Planets: Mercury (SW), Venus (SW), Mars (SSW), Uranus (S), Neptune (S); Morning Planets: Jupiter (SE).
21st Century Deep Space Craft Exploring Solar System Complete
| Dec 19 — United Nations Outer Space Treaty (OST) 50th Observation, Worldwide: OST framework to address legal questions for capabilities and activities in Space adopted by United Nations General Assembly on this day in 1966, opened for signature on January 27, 1967 and entered into force on October 10, 1967; evolving / unfolding regulations include commercial space activities, private space stations, habitats on Moon, asteroid mining, contamination of celestial bodies.
Dec 19 — CNES, Paris, France: France National Space Agency CNES marks 55th year of operations, established 1961.
Dec 19 — NASA Astrobiology Institute, Online / Mountain View CA: Webinar: Martian Environments, Facies, and Ages – Evidence for Rock-Hosted Waters.
Dec 19-20 — University of Minho, Portuguese Society of Relativity and Gravitation, Guimaraes, Portugal: 9th Black Hole Workshop.
Oct 15 – Sep 4, 2017 — Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA: Lunar Attraction Exhibit; featuring 60 Apollo memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, photographs, books, movies, jewelry that illustrate our profound connection to the Moon.
Dec 18-20 — University of California – San Diego, La Jolla CA: UCSD Interplanetary Scintillation (IPS)-Based Workshop.
Dec 20 — JAXA, Launch Epsilon / ERG Satellite, Uchinoura Space Center, Japan: Second-generation Epsilon rocket to launch Exploration of Energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) satellite to study Van Allen radiation belt; launch window 20:00-21:00.
Dec 20 — Arianespace, Launch Ariane 5 / Star One D1 & JCSAT 15, Kourou, French Guiana: Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA234, to launch Star One D1 and JCSAT 15 communications satellites.
Dec 20 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Sustainable Energy Now and in a Livable Future; Dan Kammen, Director of Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, 12:00.
Dec 20 — NASA Astrobiology Institute, Online / Mountain View CA: Webinar: Metabolisms and Niches for Terrestrial Rock-Hosted Life.
Dec 20-22 — INFN National Laboratory of Frascati, Frascati, Italy: Workshop: Selected Puzzles in Particle Physics.
Dec 20 — Moon: At last quarter, 15:56.
Dec 20 — Mercury: 1.9° SW of Pluto, 02:00.
Dec 20 — Aten Asteroid 2016 GK135: Near-Earth Flyby (0.093 AU).
Dec 21 — CNSA, Launch Long March 2D / TanSat, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China: Long March 2D rocket to launch TanSat spacecraft to map global distribution of carbon dioxide in Earth atmosphere and support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dec 21 — Armagh Planetarium, Armagh, United Kingdom: Planetarium showing: The Mystery of the Christmas Star; a modern scientific exploration of the cosmic sky 2000 years ago, produced by Evans & Sutherland Digital Theater, 14:00 and 19:30.
Dec 21 — Winter Solstice: The Sun, appearing to travel along the ecliptic, reaches the point where it is farthest South of the celestial equator; 00:44.
Dec 21 — Mars and Jupiter: At heliocentric opposition, 20:00.
Dec 21 — Ursid Meteor Shower Peak: Appearing to radiate from β star of Ursa Minor, Ursids are associated with comet 8P/Tuttle; peak offers medium speed (33 km/sec), mostly faint with a few fireballs, 9-10 per hour, visible in northern Hemisphere, 13:00.
Dec 21 — Aten Asteroid 2015 YQ1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.016 AU).
Dec 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2010 XN: Near-Earth Flyby (0.045 AU).
Dec 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2006 XD2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.048 AU).
Dec 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 XM18: Near-Earth Flyby (0.053 AU).
Dec 21 — Apollo Asteroid 418849 (2008 WM64): Near-Earth Flyby (0.072 AU).
Dec 22 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Start of revolution 254 around planet.
Dec 22 — International Launch Services, Launch Proton / EchoStar 21, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Proton rocket with a Breeze M upper stage to launch EchoStar 21 communications satellite, formerly known as TerreStar 2.
Dec 22 — James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA: James C. Wells Planetarium showing: The Mystery of the Christmas Star; produced by Evans & Sutherland Digital Theater, 14:00, free.
Dec 22 — Moon: 2.3° NNE of Jupiter, 08:00; 5.8° NNE of Spica, 14:00.
Dec 23 — Cassini OTM-468, Saturn Orbit: NASA craft scheduled to short engine burn / Orbital Trim Maneuver #468 to stay on course.
Dec 23 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Chris Stone (former Pentagon strategic space analyst at Air University in Alabama) about national security space.
Dec 23 — Aten Asteroid 2016 XD2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.043 AU).
Dec 24 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Mauna Kea HI, 2,800-meter level: Malalo o ka Po Lani; presentation covering cultural components that surround Mauna O Wakea, 18:00 followed by stargazing program, at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center; featuring Olivia Ling, Leilehua Yuen & Manu Josiah.
Dec 24 — Moon: At apogee (distance 405,386 km), 20:00.
Dec 25 — Mars Express, Mars Orbit: ESA spacecraft enters 14th year in Mars orbit today; will continue to study Mars atmosphere & climate, planet structure, mineralogy, geology, and to search for traces of water; launched June 2, 2003.
Dec 25 — Mercury: At perihelion (distance 0.3075 from Sun), 05:00.