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Awesomeness Round-up – 1/3/11

Hello, and happy new year to all our readers/listeners!

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who entered our snowflake contest! We’ll announce the winners this week.

Registration is going to open soon for a NASA tweet-up that will give an insider look at its planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft and the agency’s Ames Research Center on Feb. 11 in Moffett Field in California.

The NASA Administrator sent this cute NASA logo holiday wreath with his holiday greeting this year – we thought it was kind of cute:

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year!

This cool image is courtesy of the STEREO spacecraft. Using images taken at almost the same time (December 19, 2010), this composite shows the different layers of the Sun, which also allows us to see different kinds of features. Each STEREO spacecraft images the Sun in four wavelengths of extreme UV light. Frames from each wavelength were colorized to differentiate them from each other.

Seeing Through the Layers of the Sun

Speaking of the Sun, we just a few minutes ago passed perihelion – at 2pm on 1/3/2011, we were at the closest point in our orbit around the Sun!

Check out LRO’s beautiful topographic map of the Moon’s southern hemisphere. The false colors indicate elevation: red areas are highest and blue lowest.

NASA's LRO Creating Unprecedented Topographic Map of Moon

Here’s a year in review of images courtesy of NASA Goddard:

NASA has another year in review – here is This Year at NASA, 2010:

James Webb Space Telescope project scientist Mark Clampin gave a talk on what Webb’s abilities will be regarding observation of exoplanets:

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