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Watch NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and two cosmonauts launch into space tonight

Four years after her first flight to the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will return to space today (Oct. 14). 

Today at 1:45 am EDT (0545 GMT), Expedition 64 astronaut Rubins will fly to the space station aboard Russia’s Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft, launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan along with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. Soon after her arrival at the station, Rubins will welcome a SpaceX crew aboard and celebrate space station history.

You can watch Rubins and her crewmates launch live here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV. Launch coverage will begin at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT).

Related: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will vote from space

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins (left) and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov (center) and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov (right) of Roscosmos pose for a photo while in quarantine on Oct. 13, 2020 ahead of their Oct. 14, 2020 flight to the International Space Station.   (Image credit: NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

“I’m starting to get excited,” Rubins told Space.com ahead of the upcoming flight. “We just finished our final exams before spaceflight, and it’s a little bit hard to think about anything except for the exams when you’re getting ready for them.”

But, she added, “now that we’re through those, I’m really looking forward to launch and to getting back up into space.”

Rubins’ launch could mark the last time that a NASA astronaut flies to space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, as crewed commercial launch capabilities from the United States are growing rapidly. This past May, for example, SpaceX launched its crewed Demo-2 mission, which sent two NASA astronauts to the space station aboard the company’s Crew Dragon vehicle. SpaceX’s first fully operational crewed mission, Crew-1, will launch four astronauts this fall, and Rubins will be on the space station to welcome those spaceflyers aboard. 

“I think I think it’s incredibly exciting,” Rubins said. “I’m really looking forward to welcoming the first operational commercial crew vehicle to station, not just because it represents such a milestone in commercial crew, but I have some really good friends in that vehicle. So I can’t wait to see them come across the hatch.” 

“I think we’re gonna always have this incredible partnership; we have international partners all over the world,” she added. “The [NASA] Commercial Crew Program just allows us to have more presence on the space station, but it doesn’t mean an end to the partnership. So we’re constantly going to be working with our partners all around the world. That’s one of the strengths of the space station.”

In addition to possibly being the last NASA astronaut to ride a Soyuz to space, Rubins will also be a part of space station history as, during her stay, the orbiting lab will celebrate its 20th anniversary of having a continuous human presence. Rubins will also vote from space, as could the NASA astronauts launching with Crew-1. (Crew-1 will lift off no sooner than “early to mid-November,” according to NASA officials.) 

Science

How to watch: Georgia high school football star Amarius Mims set to make college decision Wednesday on CBS Sports HQ

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Amarius Mims, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive tackle from Bleckley County (Cochran, Ga.), will announce his college decision at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesday on CBS Sports HQ. The nation’s No. 6 overall high school football recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite, is picking between four Southeastern Conference schools along with Florida State.

The 247Sports experts expect Mims to stay home and chose the University of Georgia, though SEC powers Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn remain in the mix. He’s rated the No. 2 offensive tackle in the nation, behind Tommy Brockermeyer of All Saints Episcopal (Fort Worth, Texas) and ahead of JC Latham from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). …


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What Is Mars Opposition? How, When And Where To Watch Red Planet Shine Bright

KEY POINTS

  • Mars will be in opposition Oct. 13
  • A planet is in opposition when it aligns with the Earth and the Sun
  • Viewers can watch the event through Virtual Telescope Project’s Mars opposition viewing

Viewers can observe the Mars opposition Oct. 13 where the planet can be seen in the night sky.

Now that we’ve seen Mars hit its closest approach to Earth on Oct. 6, we can now expect to see it beaming in the night sky this Tuesday, when it will align with Earth and the Sun, giving viewers from Earth the closest view they can get for the next 15 years. The next time we’ll see Mars this close will be in 2035, according to an article by Space.com.

Mars and Earth, as well as all the other planets in the solar system, orbit the Sun at different distances and speeds. But every two years or so, Mars, the Earth and the Sun all form a straight line during the course of their orbits, with Earth in the middle. This is when a planet is considered to be in opposition. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere will have an amazing view of the Red planet during its opposition, as it will be positioned farther up in the sky during this time.

“Indeed, Mars won’t be comparably close and well-positioned for northern observers again until it reaches opposition in 2052, making this year’s opposition all the more noteworthy,” said Gary Seronik, consulting editor for Sky & Telescope magazine.

For observers who are cooped up at home or cannot enjoy the privilege of looking up at the night sky, the Virtual Telescope Project will be streaming a Mars opposition viewing at 1 p.m. PT on Oct. 13.

Observers can expect to see Mars as a bright orange dot at the night of Oct. 13, according to article at cnet.com. With Mars in opposition on Oct. 13, NASA has described it as the night when viewers could “effectively” see a full Mars. The next time this will occur is two years from now.

Mars hit its closest approach to Earth Oct. 6 at just 62 million kilometers. It was positioned in a region of the sky with no bright stars overshining it, making it easy to spot. To observers who missed it, they can still look forward to a rare Halloween blue moon on Oct. 31.

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Sorry, SpaceX. Watch This Week As NASA Pays $90 Million To Launch U.S. Astronaut On A Russian Rocket

U.S. astronauts now fly to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil, right?

So why is a NASA astronaut about to blast-off to the ISS from Russia at a cost of over $90 million?

Despite the success of “Launch America” back on May 30, 2020 when NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley journeyed to and from the ISS in SpaceX hardware during the historic SpaceX Crew Demo-2 mission, NASA astronaut Kate Rubin will this week leave Earth from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

As I reported back in June, it’s the final part of an existing contract between NASA and the Russian space agency to send a US astronaut to the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

When is the next rocket launch to the ISS?

Rubin is due to lift-off on Wednesday, October 14, at 1:45 a.m. EDT (10:45 a.m. Kazakhstan time) together with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos. Their two-orbit, three-hour journey will begin their six-month mission on the ISS.

Where to watch the rocket launch to the ISS

You can tune-in to the launch online by visiting NASA TV on the space agency’s website or NASA TV on YouTube:

Why is NASA paying Russia $90 million to launch an astronaut when it now has SpaceX?

NASA has been signing contracts with Russia to buy seats on Soyuz spacecraft since 2011 when the Shuttle was grounded. This is its last currently contracted seat, NASA confirmed to me last week. In fact, a contract modification in May 2020 procured one seat at a cost of $90,252,905.69. The cost covers training and preparation for launch, flight operations, landing and crew rescue services.

So does this mean NASA had a Plan B while SpaceX was testing its Crew Dragon spacecraft last summer? “NASA continues to have high confidence in our U.S. commercial crew partners for regular crew rotation,” said NASA in an emailed statement to me.

However, there’s a refreshing lack of nationalism in what is, after all, an entirely global endeavor. “As the U.S. commercial crew capability becomes operational, astronauts and cosmonauts should resume flying together on our respective spacecraft, consistent with past practice,” reads the statement from NASA.

Will Russian cosmonauts fly on NASA SpaceX missions?

Almost certainly—because it’s safer. “A problem with a spacecraft in orbit may require the full crew of that spacecraft to return to Earth,” reads the NASA statement. “Flying mixed crews is mutually beneficial as it would increase the probability that both astronauts and cosmonauts will be on the space station to perform critical operations.”

NASA and Roscosmos are now discussing plans to ensure at least one U.S. and Russian crew member are aboard the ISS at any one time.

So while the days of paying $90 million-per-seat are over for NASA, we can expect to see Russian cosmonauts on SpaceX missions

Scientists Watch a Black Hole Eat a Star

  • Astronomers have witnessed a tidal disruption event, where a star whose material was shredded by a nearby supermassive black hole releases an bright flash of light.
  • The TDE is helping scientists understand more about the gruesome spaghettification process.
  • The flare occurred just 215 million light-years away from Earth, closer than any other previously observed tidal disruption event.

    Astronomers have spotted a rare and radiant pulse of light—the last gasp of a dying star that has been sucked toward the center of a supermassive black hole and shredded into sinuous strings of stardust. This process is delightfully called spaghettification, but make no mistake: it’s gruesome.

    🌌 You love our badass universe. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

    “When a black hole devours a star, it can launch a powerful blast of material outwards that obstructs our view,” Samantha Oates, an astronomer at the University of Birmingham, said in a statement. “This happens because the energy released as the black hole eats up stellar material propels the star’s debris outwards.”

    This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    The researchers used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope and New Technology Telescope in Chile, the Las Cumbres Observatory global telescope network, and the Neil Gehrel’s Swift Satellite to monitor the flare, which they dubbed AT2019qiz. They tracked AT2019qiz for six months, making observations in optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and radio, as it brightened and then eventually faded. The scientists published their findings in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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    At just 215 million light-years from Earth, AT2019qiz is the closest such flare ever observed. The scientists believe the star at the center of the cataclysmic event was at one point roughly the same mass as our sun. It lost about half its mass once the supermassive black hole, which is around a million times more massive than the star, began slurping it up.

    As the stellar material is pulled from the star, it begins to wrap around the black hole, surrounding it in a curtain of dust. In some cases, the swirling debris can reach speeds of up to 10,000 kilometers per second. When the material is finally devoured by the black hole, it generates a powerful flare observable to Earth’s powerful telescopes.

    The new event could provide scientists with an especially critical view of this incredibly destructive process.

    “This unique ‘peek behind the curtain’ provided the first opportunity to pinpoint the origin of the obscuring material and follow in real time how it engulfs the black hole,” Kate Alexander, a NASA Einstein Fellow at Northwestern University, said in the statement.

    Tidal disruption events like AT2019qiz are extremely rare. Scientists have only observed around 100

    Black hole kills star by ‘spaghettification’ as telescopes watch

    Telescopes have captured the rare light flash from a dying star as it was ripped apart by a supermassive black hole

    This rarely seen “tidal disruption event” — which creates spaghettification in stars as they stretch and stretch – is the closest such known event to happen, at only 215 million light-years from Earth. (For comparison, the nearest star system to Earth – Alpha Centauri — is roughly 4 light-years away, and the Milky Way is roughly 200,000 light years in diameter.) One light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). 

    “The idea of a black hole ‘sucking in’ a nearby star sounds like science fiction. But this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event,” the new study’s lead author Matt Nicholl, a lecturer and Royal Astronomical Society research fellow at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, said in a European Southern Observatory statement. Researchers caught the event in action using numerous telescopes, including ESO’s Very Large Telescope and New Technology Telescope.

    Related: The strangest black holes in the universe

    An artist’s illustration of a star’s death by “spaghettification” as it is ripped to shreds by a supermassive black hole. Scientists using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope has spotted such an event. (Image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser)

    “When an unlucky star wanders too close to a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy, the extreme gravitational pull of the black hole shreds the star into thin streams of material,” co-author Thomas Wevers said in the same statement. Wevers is an ESO Fellow in Santiago, Chile and was at the Institute of Astronomy at the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge when he did the work. 

    It has been difficult to see these events in the past because the black hole eating up the star has a tendency to shoot out material from the dying star, such as dust, that obscures the view, ESO officials said.  Luckily, the newly studied event was studied shortly after the star ripped to shreds.

    Related: Black Holes: There’s no escape (infographic)

    Researchers studied the event, known as AT 2019qiz, over six months as the flare became bright and then faded away. Observations took place in ultraviolet, optical, X-ray and radio wavelengths. Looking at the event in this comprehensive way showed how the material leaves the star and the flare  the star sends as its dying gasp, researchers said.

    The team also estimated the size of the doomed star at about the same mass as our own sun. It didn’t have a chance against the black hole, which has a mass of more than 1 million times that of the sun.

    AT 2019qiz also acts as a bellwether for learning about how matter behaves in the extreme environment around supermassive black holes, the team said. A study based on the research was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow

    Pitt-Boston College live stream (10/10): How to watch college football online, TV, time

    Pittsburgh is certainly familiar with Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec. It will get a close up look when the two face off Saturday, Oct. 10. The game will be live streamed on fuboTV.

    Jurkovec has thrown for more than 300 yards in two of his first three games at BC, completing 37 passes against North Carolina on Saturday. That’s second in school history only to the 40 passes completed by Matt Ryan against Wake Forest in 2006.

    To keep it up, Jurkovec will go against a Pitt (3-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) team that flopped last week in its bid for the program’s second 4-0 start in 20 years. The nation’s top-ranked defense let North Carolina State go the length of the field twice in the fourth quarter for the upset, the game-winning touchdown pass coming with 23 seconds to go.

    BC (2-1, 1-1) is also coming off its first loss. The Eagles had a chance to tie the game against then-No. 12 North Carolina after Jurkovec drove them for a touchdown with 45 seconds left. But his 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted by Trey Morrison and returned for a score.

    A week earlier, BC fell behind Texas State — a three-touchdown underdog — by 14 points before scoring 17 straight points to win.

    The game kicks off at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) and will be live streamed on fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial. The ACC Network will televise the game.

    Preview

    OLD FRIENDS: Hafley spent some time in Pittsburgh as an assistant coach on Dave Wannstedt’s staff from 2006-10, working with current BC offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti the last two of those seasons.

    Hafley said he could talk for hours about his memories from Pittsburgh and noted that it’s where he met his wife, Gina.

    “Let’s keep that on top,” he said.

    As for football memories, he said it was probably beating No. 2 West Virginia 13-7 in the 2007 season finale. He also listed coaches he worked with on the Pitt staff, including current assistant head coach Charlie Partridge.

    “Guys who influenced and changed my life, truthfully, because without them I wouldn’t be here right now,” Hafley said. “Some of the greatest people I met.”

    PICKETT’S CHARGE: Jurkovec isn’t the only quarterback in Saturday’s game who’s been lighting it up so far this season. Pitt QB Kenny Pickett leads the ACC with 1,123 passing yards and is coming off a career-best 411 yards against N.C. State.

    In fact, only Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (282.7 yards per game) has been more productive than Pickett (280.8) and Jurkovec (274.3).

    The game also features the conference’s two top pass-catchers: BC tight end Hunter Long (25 receptions, 90 yards per game) and Pitt receiver D.J. Turner (319 receiving yards).

    YELLOW FLAGS: One of Boston College’s problems against North Carolina was penalties. The Eagles committed 12 of them for 110 yards on Saturday, including five false starts.

    “They were drive killers,” Hafley said. “It’s third-and-1 and we’re going backwards?”

    The game

    South Carolina-Vanderbilt live stream (10/10): How to watch college football online, TV, time

    South Carolina and Vanderbilt, two teams looking for their first victory of the season, meet Saturday in Nashville. You can stream the game live via fuboTV.

    The Commodores and Gamecocks have much in common. They both are desperate with 0-2 records.

    There is a sense of urgency playing a 10-game, league-only schedule. The shorten season featuring only Southeastern Conference matchups raises the stakes of Saturday’s game in Nashville for both teams.

    “We need to win,” Vanderbilt coach Derek mason said. “Just like South Carolina does, we need to win. So the opportunity is great.”

    The game is set to kick off at 11 a.m. Central (noon ET) and will be live streamed by fuboTV, which is offering a 7-day free trial. SEC Network is televising the game.

    Vanderbilt and South Carolina have each played ranked teams in their first two games. And neither the Commodores nor the Gamecocks have been able to pull off an upset.

    Four of the remaining teams on South Carolina’s schedule currently are ranked, while Vanderbilt is only marginally easier with Florida, Tennessee and Georgia ranked — all inside the top 15 right now. Vanderbilt is coming off a 41-7 loss to then-No. 20 LSU after an opening loss at Texas A&M.

    South Carolina defensive lineman Kier Thomas said nobody likes losing, and the Gamecocks are working to turn everything around feeling like they did some good things against Tennessee and last week in a 38-24 loss to then-No. 3 Florida.

    The Gamecocks also have won 11 straight against Vanderbilt, including a 24-7 win in Columbia last year.

    “A lot of people on the outside looking in say we’re not very good, and I’m OK with that,” Thomas said. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve had to prove people wrong. We’re looking forward to turning things around.”

    South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said the Gamecocks have had some self-inflicted issues, like some drops on offense that cost them a chance to flip the field at Florida. The defense also has given up 10 big plays in two games.

    “Those are things we can’t overcome right now,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got to play cleaner football overall.”

    GETTING HEALTHY

    Mason is expecting some healthy players back Saturday. Cornerback Jaylen Mahoney should give Vanderbilt some depth on defense. But the biggest help will be on offense with a pair of receivers in Devin Boddie Jr. and James Bostic and running back Keyon Henry-Brooks to help freshman quarterback Ken Seals.

    “We’re actively working on … pushing like the envelope offensively because we need production in the pass game,” Mason said. “And that’s going to be important for us as we move forward.”

    NOT SO SHI

    South Carolina receiver Shi Smith has stood out so far this season with an SEC-leading 22 catches in losses to ranked teams in Tennessee and Florida. Muschamp said Smith, a 6-foot-4 senior, has shown the confidence and consistency that comes with knowing he’s a primary option in the new offense under first-year coordinator Mike Bobo.

    BALL

    Watch Pittsburgh vs Boston College Live: NCAAf Game,Football 2020 Free

    Watch Pittsburgh vs Boston College Live Online Football 2020 Free .Each Friday, the Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff will provide predictions and pre-game analysis before the Florida Gators take on their weekly opponefdgnt.

    :+::https://dlivetvnet.co/index/

    We have decided to tally prediction records as the season goes on. These are purely based on Gators’ win/loss predictions, and not factoring in the spread. With that, each of our contributors has gotten off to an undefeated start for the 2020 season.try

    This week, Florida heads to College Station, Texas this week for its first ranked matchup of the season. The No. 4 Gators will take on the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday at noon, on ESPN. Despite fbgfnn being the toughest opponent of the year thus far, and going on the road, our staff is once again confident that the Gators will exit with a victory.rty

    Zach Goodall (2-0):

    I think this game will be closer than some folks are letting on.

    For one, a win against No. 4 Florida would be a massive tone-setter for Jimbo Fisher in his third year at Texas A&M, after what’s been a disappointing first two years of his 10-year, $75 million, fully guaranteed contract. Against what’s been a struggling defense to put it lightly, the Aggies are capable of putting up points.

    Not as many as Florida, though. A&M’s defense has allowed nearly 10.5 yards per passing attempt as quarterbacks are completing 71.4% of their passes. Gators quarterback Kyle Trask and his expansive afgfnbrsenal of weapons have to be licking their chops. Pick your poison: Kyle Pitts and/or Kadarius Toney have themselves a big day, depending on how much attention is put on Pitts by the Aggies’ defense.

    Score: Florida 38, Texas A&M 33

    Demetrius Harvey (2-0):

    The Florida Gators will face a tough task this Saturday against the Texas A&M Aggies. A matchup that will ultimately be Florida’s toughest opponent thus far this season. The last time Florida faced off against Texas A&M was in 2017, a game in which came down to the wire. Ultimately, this game could come down to the wire too due to the explosiveness of the quarterbacks on both sides of the football, for different reasons.

    The Gators will have a tough time containing veteran quarterback Kellen Mond, but will ultimately live by the arm of their own quarterback in Kyle Trask.

    Score: Florida 42, Texas A&M 37

    Graham Marsh (2-0):

    I like a shootout here, Big-12 style. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond has had his struggles, but he still threw for three touchdowns against Alabama this week while the Gators’ safety room is a massive concern.

    Otherwise, Kyle Trask and Co. should have a huge day, huge enough to win a big game on the road. TAMU is young in gdfbthe secondary and won’t be able to keep up with Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, and Trevon Grimes all game long. I’m predicting a Big-12 style loss for the former Big-12 team.

    Score:

    Watch Pittsburgh vs Boston College Live: NCAA Football 2020

    Watch Pittsburgh vs Boston College Live Online Football 2020 Free .Each Friday, the Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff will provide predictions and pre-game analysis before the Florida Gators take on their weekly opponent.tu

    We have decided to tally prediction records as the season goes on. These are purely based on Gators’ win/loss predictions, and not factoring in the spread. With that, each of our contributors has gotten off to an undefeated start for the 2020 season.er

    This week, Florida heads to College Station, Texas this week for its first ranked matchup of the season. The No. 4 Gators will take on the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday at noon, on ESPN. Despite being the toughest opponent of the year thus far, and going on the road, our staff is once again confident that the Gators will exit with a victory.ryt

    Zach Goodall (2-0):

    I think this game will be closer than some folks are letting on.

    For one, a win against No. 4 Florida would be a massive tone-setter for Jimbo Fisher in his third year at Texas A&M, after what’s been a disappointing first two years of his 10-year, $75 million, fully guaranteed contract. Against what’s been a struggling defense to put it lightly, the Aggies are capable of putting up points.

    Not as many as Florida, though. A&M’s defense has allowed nearly 10.5 yards per passing attempt as quarterbacks are completing 71.4% of their passes. Gators quarterback Kyle Trask and his expansive arsenal of weapons have to be licking their chops. Pick your poison: Kyle Pitts and/or Kadarius Toney have themselves a big day, depending on how much attention is put on Pitts by the Aggies’ defense.

    Score: Florida 38, Texas A&M 33

    Demetrius Harvey (2-0):

    The Florida Gators will face a tough task this Saturday against the Texas A&M Aggies. A matchup that will ultimately be Florida’s toughest opponent thus far this season. The last time Florida faced off against Texas A&M was in 2017, a game in which came down to the wire. Ultimately, this game could come down to the wire too due to the explosiveness of the quarterbacks on both sides of the football, for different reasons.

    The Gators will have a tough time containing veteran quarterback Kellen Mond, but will ultimately live by the arm of their own quarterback in Kyle Trask.

    Score: Florida 42, Texas A&M 37

    Graham Marsh (2-0):

    I like a shootout here, Big-12 style. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond has had his struggles, but he still threw for three touchdowns against Alabama this week while the Gators’ safety room is a massive concern.

    Otherwise, Kyle Trask and Co. should have a huge day, huge enough to win a big game on the road. TAMU is young in the secondary and won’t be able to keep up with Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, and Trevon Grimes all game long. I’m predicting a Big-12 style loss for the former Big-12 team.

    Score: Florida 52,