Forget naughty or nice–with December now in full force, news outlets across the country are busy compiling their lists of what were the most popular/spectacular/important stories of 2010.
We here at NG are no exception, and we’ve even compiled everything into a handy-dandy “best of” hub page for easy perusing.
Not to be outdone, here’s the rundown for the top Breaking Orbit posts of the year, ranked in descending order by sheer numerical popularity:
In October, the Halloween spirit had us reminiscing about the plucky little bat that famously hitched a ride aboard the space shuttle Discovery last year.
High-resolution pictures from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter released in April turned up a Russian moon bot that had long been thought lost to the sands [regolith?] of time: Lunokhod 1.
Provisionally named ununbium after being created for the first time in 1996, element 112 was officially dubbed copernicium in February, after famed astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
Mission managers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena announced in May that the Voyager 2 probe, the second most distant human-made object in space, had started sending back science data in a format no one on Earth could decode.
In August NASA announced that September 18 would be the first ever International Observe the Moon Night, a global event meant to get people excited about lunar science and exploration.
The AuroraMAX web portal went live in September, streaming live online video of the northern lights from an observatory on the outskirts of Yellowknife, Canada.
The discovery of a planet announced in July had some folks all a-titter, because the world was found circling the star 24 Sextanis, leading to a rather unusual name.
In March we reviewed the bang-up script for a National Geographic Channel show called “Cosmic Collisions,” the first in a new TV series about the universe.
In May, the Mars rover Opportunity surpassed the endurance record held by the Viking 1 lander for longest time spent working on the red planet: 6 years, 116 days.
Using archived pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of scientists found a new way to spot trans-Neptunian objects, of which Pluto is a member, and they promptly added 14 more TNOs to the catalog.