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Skookum Jim, whose discovery led to the gold rush in Klondike, acquired an asteroid of the same name – Dev Hardware

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The legendary Yukoner received a posthumous tribute that is out of this world.

Skookum Jim, also known as Jim Mason, discovered gold at Bonanza Creek in 1897, leading to the Klondike gold rush. When he died in 1916, he put his fortune into a trust fund to help improve the lives of the indigenous people of the Yukon.

Last week, on the recommendation of the Yukon Astronomical Society, an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter was named after him.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Zina McClain, Skookum Jim Mason’s older niece who didn’t know her ancestor’s name had been introduced.

“Anything that preserves the name Skookum Jim Mason in Yukon’s public history is important to the rest of his nephews, nephews, and family.”

Skookum Jim Friendship Center in Whitehorse. (Philip Morin/CBC)

Skookum Jim Mason was a Tagish of the Duck La Wede clan. The trust he created in his will still exists today, according to the Whitehorse Friendship Center that bears his name. The interest generated from the fund is used to recognize indigenous peoples who have helped their community.

Maria Benoit, Ha Cha Do Hin, or President of Carcross/Tagish First Nation and former CEO of the Skookum Jim Friendship Center, was very happy to hear the news. Her great-grandfather was Skookum’s nephew Jim Mason.

“Coming from a first nation,” she said, “it’s a history in the making.”

Skookum asteroid Jim

Skookum Jim is a major asteroid in the belt. It orbits with other asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

“It takes just over five years to complete a complete orbit around the sun,” explained Christa van Larhoeven, president of the Yukon Astronomical Society. “Its orbit is not perfectly circular. It is not what we call eccentric. It is not very non-circular, but only slightly. It is tilted relative to the Earth’s orbit by about 15 degrees.”

As far as van Larhoeven is known, it is the second asteroid whose name is associated with the Yukon.

“The only other asteroid I can find with a Yukon connection is Klondike,” she said, adding that it was named after two brothers who came to the Klondike gold rush, made a fortune and donated money to a university in Finland that built a library.

Van Larhoeven said in astonishment about fate that it was the university where the Skookum Jim asteroid was first discovered.

However, if you’re hoping to see the asteroid Skookum Jim, van Larhoeven said you’ll need a telescope.

“Something a little big,” she said, “large enough that it wouldn’t be easy to take it out in your backyard.”

McLean said she hopes that one day science will be able to determine the components of an asteroid.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if it was loaded with gold?” She laughed.

naming process

The naming began with an email from the Royal Canadian Astronomical Society to the Yukon Astronomical Society that said they had an opportunity to submit some names to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which is responsible for naming objects in space.

The way the email was phrased, van Larhoeven said, seemed as if the IAU wanted to honor someone who had served society well.

“We really felt that if we were going to honor Yukoner, we wanted to honor Skookum Jim,” she said.

“We really felt that his presence in Yukon’s history loomed large enough that if we were to get an asteroid named Yukoner, it really should be him.”

9:30research! high in the sky! It’s Skookum Jim’s asteroid

There is now an asteroid officially named Yukoner Skookum Jim. Krista van Larhoeven of the Yukon Astronomical Society explains how this happened. 9:30

The proposal was put forward in 2018.

The Yukon Astronomical Society was notified of this honor last week, on April 11.

“I am quite surprised that the International Astronomical Union took our proposal,” said van Larhoeven.

“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”

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Blood moon, big city: Skywatcher captures total lunar eclipse over New York (photos) – Space.com

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The eclipsed moon burns red high above the bright lights of New York City in gorgeous photos captured by amateur astronomer Alexander Krivenyshev.

Krivenyshev, the president of WorldTimeZone.com, snapped images of the total lunar eclipse on Sunday night (May 15) from Guttenberg, New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from the Big Apple. 

He persevered through cloudy conditions, Krivenyshev told Space.com via email, to get shots of the blood-red moon shining like a beacon in a light-polluted sky.

Related: Amazing photos of the Super Flower Blood Moon of 2022

A closeup of the eclipsed moon on May 15, 2022, as photographed by Alexander Krivenyshev. (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com)

The eclipse began at 9:32 p.m EDT on Sunday (0132 GMT on May 16) when the moon nosed into the light part of Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra, and ended five hours later. The total eclipse phase, in which the moon was completely darkened by Earth’s heavier umbral shadow, lasted 85 minutes, the longest of any lunar eclipse in 33 years.

Earth’s nearest neighbor temporarily turns a coppery red during total lunar eclipses. This “blood moon” effect is caused by Earth’s atmosphere, which bends some red light onto the lunar surface while scattering away shorter-wavelength light. (No sunlight is hitting the moon directly at this point, of course; Earth is blocking the sun from the moon’s perspective.)

Another series of shots of the total lunar eclipse over New York City, photographed by Alexander Krivenyshev on May 15, 2022.  (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com)

Related stories:

Last weekend’s sky show was best observed from the Americas and parts of Western Europe and West Africa. It was the first total lunar eclipse of the year, but it won’t be the last; another one will occur on Nov. 8. The Nov. 8 lunar eclipse will be best observed from Australia, eastern Asia and the western United States. 

If you’re hoping to photograph the moon, or want to prepare for the next total lunar eclipse, check out our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. Our guides on how to photograph a lunar eclipse, and how to photograph the moon with a camera, also have some helpful tips to plan out your lunar photo session.

Editor’s Note: If you snap an amazing lunar eclipse photo (or your own eclipse webcast) and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to spacephotos@space.com.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.  

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NASA's Mars InSight mission coming to an end as dust covers solar panels – CBC News

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A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise.

The Insight lander is losing power because of all the dust on its solar panels. NASA said Tuesday it will keep using the spacecraft’s seismometer to register marsquakes until the power peters out, likely in July. Then flight controllers will monitor InSight until the end of this year, before calling everything off.

“There really hasn’t been too much doom and gloom on the team. We’re really still focused on operating the spacecraft,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Bruce Banerdt, the principal scientist.

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes; the biggest one, a magnitude 5, occurred two weeks ago.

It will be NASA’s second Mars lander lost to dust: A global dust storm took out Opportunity in 2018. In InSight’s case, it’s been a gradual gathering of dust, especially over the past year.

WATCH | NASA scientists discuss InSight’s goals on Mars: [embedded content]

Rethinking solar power

NASA’s two other functioning spacecraft on the Martian surface — rovers Curiosity and Perseverance — are still going strong thanks to nuclear power.

The space agency may rethink solar power in the future for Mars, said planetary science director Lori Glaze, or at least experiment with new panel-clearing tech or aim for the less-stormy seasons.

InSight currently is generating one-tenth of the power from the sun that it did upon arrival.

Deputy project manager Kathya Zamora Garcia said the lander initially had enough power to run an electric oven for one hour and 40 minutes; now it’s down to 10 minutes max.

The InSight team anticipated this much dust buildup, but hoped a gust of wind or a dust devil might clean off the solar panels. That has yet to happen, despite several thousand whirlwinds coming close.

“None of them have quite hit us dead-on yet enough to blow the dust off the panels,” Banerdt told reporters.

Another science instrument, dubbed the mole, was supposed to burrow five metres underground to measure the internal temperature of Mars. But the German digger never got deeper than a half-metre because of the unexpected composition of the red dirt, and it finally was declared dead at the beginning of last year.

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See Astronaut's Sublime Shot of Total Lunar Eclipse Snapped From the ISS – CNET

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Earthlings on Earth weren’t the only ones who got to witness the lovely blushing of the “flower blood moon” total lunar eclipse on Sunday night and Monday morning. Residents of the International Space Station had a great view of the spectacular celestial event.

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti shared a beautiful series of photos of the eclipse as seen from orbit. “A partially eclipsed moon playing hide-and-seek with our solar panel,” Cristoforetti tweeted on Monday.

The photos show the eclipse in progress, with the moon peeking under the station’s solar panels. One stunning view also shows Earth below, clouds visible against an expanse of blue. The images highlight the subtle shading of the moon as our planet threw its shadow across it.

Cristoforetti shared another look with just the eclipsed moon peeking over the curve of Earth.

Cristoforetti is an accomplished space photographer, having snapped plenty of gorgeous images during her last stay on the ISS in 2014 and 2015. Her most recent stint started in late April as part of NASA’s Crew-4 mission launched by SpaceX. 

I watched the eclipse last night from New Mexico. As the shadow moved across the moon, the ISS flew over, a bright bead of light crossing against the starry sky. So as I was seeing the ISS, Cristoforetti was likely tracking the eclipse, too. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the ground or up in orbit, an eclipse is worth witnessing.

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