Posts in category

Solar System


Mining the sky

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Charley Kohlhase has been our ambassador to the planets

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Deep Space Network: Finding the signal for 50 years

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How to photograph the planets

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For the last couple of issues our object spotlights have been located within our solar system. It is quite easy to see them, Jupiter and the Moon in particular, but quite difficult to image them. The term for imaging the solar system is Planetary Imaging despite the fact that both the planets, the moon and …

Cassini: Amazing images and even more amazing science The Cassini orbiter has been in orbit around Saturn since June 2004. Launched aboard a Titan IVB rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on October 15, 1997, it was originally dubbed Cassini-Huygens as the Huygens probe was carried along with Cassini to the Saturnian system. The …

After eight years in orbit, ESA’s Venus Express has completed routine science observations and is preparing for a daring plunge into the planet’s hostile atmosphere. Venus Express was launched on a Soyuz–Fregat from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November 2005, and arrived at Venus on 11 April 2006. It has been orbiting …

The largest moon in our solar system, a companion to Jupiter named Ganymede, might have ice and oceans stacked up in several layers like a club sandwich, according to new NASA-funded research that models the moon’s makeup. Previously, the moon was thought to harbor a thick ocean sandwiched between just two layers of ice, one …

As NASA’s Cassini mission approaches its 10th anniversary at Saturn, its team members back here on Earth are already looking ahead to an upcoming phase. Starting in late 2016, the Cassini spacecraft will repeatedly climb high above Saturn’s north pole, flying just outside its narrow F ring. Cassini will probe the water-rich plume of the …

Of all the planets that orbit around our Sun there are two that are easily visible and are fascinating objects to view. These are, of course, Saturn and Jupiter. Of these Jupiter is prominent in our night skies at the moment. At magnitude -2.06 it is the third brightest thing in the sky after the …