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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - March 10, 2012

Apes on Mars, Aurora Views and Stunnin Solar Flares

NASA/SDO

From apes on Mars to punchy solar flares, it's been a busy week in space. Vote now for the week's best space story.

FIRST STOP: Strange Lump of Dark Matter Shouldn't Exist, But Does

Strange Lump of Dark Matter Shouldn't Exist, But Does

NASA, ESA, CFHT, CXO, M.J. Jee (University of California, Davis), and A. Mahdavi (San Francisco State University)

A lonely clump of dark matter appears to have been left behind in space after a cluster of galaxies collided, in a surprising finding that runs counter to popular theory. [Full Story]

NEXT: Sun Erupts With Major Solar Flare

Twin NASA Moon Probes Begin Mapping Lunar Gravity

NASA/JPL

Two unmanned spacecraft began mapping the moon's gravity field Tuesday (March 6) as part of a NASA mission to probe the structure and evolution of Earth's nearest neighbor. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA Chief Defends Space Budget Needs to Congress

Comet May Have Collided With Earth 13,000 Years Ago

Israde et al. (2012)

-- Scientists have found new geologic evidence that an asteroid may have slammed into what is now Mexico around 12,900 years ago, killing off humans and large mammals. [Full Story]

NEXT: Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Survives 1 Year in Orbit

Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Survives 1 Year in Orbit

NASA/MSFC

The U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane has celebrated a silent anniversary, surpassing an entire year in Earth orbit on a mystery mission for American military. Meanwhile, a third X-37B space plane mission is being readied, and could even launch later this year, SPACE.com has learned. [Full Story]

NEXT: Skydiver Capsule Ready for Supersonic 'Space Jump'

Skydiver Capsule Ready for Supersonic 'Space Jump'

balazsgardi.com/Red Bull Content Pool

The capsule designed to take Felix Baumgartner to the stratosphere ahead of his record-attempt skydive is mission-ready, officials announced today. [Full Story]

NEXT: Sun Fires Off 2 Huge Solar Flares in One-Two Punch

Sun Fires Off 2 Huge Solar Flares in One-Two Punch

NASA/SDO

The sun unleashed a cosmic double whammy Tuesday (March 6), erupting with two major flares to cap a busy day of powerful solar storms. One of the flares is the most powerful solar eruption of the year so far - an X5.4 solar flare. [Full Story]

NEXT: Twin NASA Moon Probes Begin Mapping Lunar Gravity

Sun Erupts With Major Solar Flare

NASA

A major solar flare erupted from the sun late last night (March 4) sending an explosion of plasma and charged particles hurtling toward Earth. [Full Story]

NEXT: Comet May Have Collided With Earth 13,000 Years Ago

NASA Chief Defends Space Budget Needs to Congress

Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden went to the Hill Wednesday (March 7) to defend his recent 2013 budget request against critical Congress members. [Full Story]

NEXT: Huge Asteroid Impact Linked to Moon's Magnetic Hotspots

Huge Asteroid Impact Linked to Moon's Magnetic Hotspots

Science/AAAS

A giant asteroid collision with the moon that created the solar system's largest known impact crater may have spawned the surprisingly strong magnetic anomalies seen on the moon, a new study suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT: Earth-like Alien Planets May Hide in Dust Around Distant Stars

Earth-like Alien Planets May Hide in Dust Around Distant Stars

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stars with disks of debris around them might be good targets to search for Earth-like alien planets, researchers say. [Full Story]

NEXT: Mars Imagined: Sci-Fi's Enduring Attraction to the Red Planet

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