Top Ten Space Blog Posts of 2010

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.

Since you know you love all things space, I’ll call special attention to the Best Space Pictures of 2010″ and the “Best Cosmic Mindblowers of 2010.”

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:


10. Remembering Space Bat

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.


9. Long Lost Soviet Rover Found on the Moon

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.


8. Element 112 Gets a “Planetary” Namesake

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.


7. Voyager 2 Speaking in Code

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.


6. “International Observe the Moon Night” Next Month

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.


5. AuroraMAX: Live Video of Auroras, Direct From Canada

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.


4. “Sex c” New Planet Discovered

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.


3. Cosmic Collisions: Universe SMASH!

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.


2. Mars Rover Sets Endurance Record

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.


1. Pluto Gets 14 New Neighbors

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.