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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - May 20, 2012

Superflares on Stars, Smokey the Bear in Space and a Rare Solar Eclipse

Hiroyuki Maehara (Kwasan and Hida Observatories, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University)

From complete coverage of the solar eclipse to smokey the bear on a rocket, it's been a busy week in space.

FIRST STOP: Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20: Complete Coverage

Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20: Complete Coverage

Hinode/XRT

A solar eclipse will obscure part of the sun this weekend, as the moon passes between Earth and our nearest star. [Full Story]

NEXT: 4,700 Potentially Dangerous Asteroids Lurk Near Earth, NASA Says

4,700 Potentially Dangerous Asteroids Lurk Near Earth, NASA Says

NASA/JPL-Caltech

A new NASA survey has pinned down the number of asteroids that could pose a collision threat to Earth in what scientists say is the best estimate yet of the potentially dangerous space rocks. [Full Story]

NEXT: Spacecraft Repair Droids Could Give Satellites Longer Lives

Spacecraft Repair Droids Could Give Satellites Longer Lives

ViviSat

ATK and ViviSat are forging ahead with their planned MEV spacecraft, which is being designed to help extend the lives of aging satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The project has received positive feedback from interested commercial and government customers, company officials said. [Full Story]

NEXT: Terraforming the Solar System: Q&A With Author Kim Stanley Robinson

Terraforming the Solar System: Q&A With Author Kim Stanley Robinson

NASA

In author Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel '2312,' humans have escaped the bounds of Earth to colonize the solar system's planets, moons and asteroids. [Full Story]

NEXT: New Astronaut Crew Launches Toward Space Station

New Astronaut Crew Launches Toward Space Station

NASA TV

Three astronauts launched toward the International Space Station tonight, to round out the orbiting lab's Expedition 31 crew. [Full Story]

NEXT: Smokey & Fire: Astronaut Launches Into Space with Forest Service's Smokey Bear

Smokey & Fire: Astronaut Launches Into Space with Forest Service's Smokey Bear

NASA TV/collectSPACE.com

When a former American school teacher, a veteran Russian space station commander, and a rookie Russian cosmonaut launched toward the International Space Station Monday, their fiery blastoff was not without a touch of irony: The trio rode a pillar of flame into orbit while carrying a toy mascot known for promoting fire safety. [Full Story]

NEXT: Best Telescopes for Beginners | Telescope Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Telescopes for Beginners | Telescope Reviews & Buying Guide

SPACE.com

Thanks to digitally driven manufacturing and low-cost onboard microelectronics, it’s now quite practical to own a telescope of very high quality and amazing capability. [Full Story]

NEXT: Colossal Superflares Erupt from Sun-Like Stars

Colossal Superflares Erupt from Sun-Like Stars

Hiroyuki Maehara (Kwasan and Hida Observatories, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University)

A new study takes a close look at staggering superflares from sun-like stars. Superflares are large releases of (probably magnetic) energy that can be up to 10,000 times more energetic than those seen on our sun, though there is no record of a superflare from our star. [Full Story]

NEXT: Moon Rocks Reveal Evidence of Ancient Asteroid Barrage

Moon Rocks Reveal Evidence of Ancient Asteroid Barrage

Dan Durda/FIAAA

The celestial bodies that slammed into the moon in huge numbers more than 4 billion years ago were mostly asteroids, a new study of moon rocks suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT: SpaceX Launch Abort Traced to Faulty Rocket Valve

SpaceX Launch Abort Traced to Faulty Rocket Valve

NASA

A potential rocket engine problem may be to blame for the unexpected abort of a private SpaceX rocket launch before dawn on Saturday (May 19), officials said. [Full Story]

NEXT: Colossal Superflares Erupt from Sun-Like Stars

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