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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As if NASA’s Voyager mission didn’t have enough firsts in its 36-year journey, what with sending the first spacecraft to Uranus, Neptune and, most recently, interstellar space! Now, it has another first back here on Earth: on the December 3, 2013 episode of the Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert floated across the stage in a …

The media was full of talk of comets with the inaugural visit of Comet ISON C/2012 S1. It was pre-hyped as being “The Comet of the Century”, being visible in daylight etc, etc. The reality of the matter is that comets are strange beasts and are rarely predictable unless they have been round a few …

By analyzing the distinctive cracks lining the icy face of Europa, NASA scientists found evidence that this moon of Jupiter likely spun around a tilted axis at some point. Europa’s tilt could influence calculations of how much of the moon’s history is recorded in its frozen shell, how much heat is generated by tides in …

With the sun now shining down over the north pole of Saturn’s moon Titan, a little luck with the weather, and trajectories that put the spacecraft into optimal viewing positions, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained new pictures of the liquid methane and ethane seas and lakes that reside near Titan’s north pole. The images reveal …

It’s a view as good as gold. A loop high above Saturn by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft revealed this stately view of the golden-hued planet and its main rings. The observation and resulting image mosaic were planned as one of three images for Cassini’s 2013 Scientist for a Day essay contest. The contest challenges students to …

When arriving at Jupiter, the planet’s gravity pulls in Juno faster and faster until the spacecraft reaches a speed of over 250,000 kilometers per hour (150,000 miles per hour) with respect to Earth – making it one of the fastest human-made objects ever. When it arrives at Jupiter, it slams on the brakes, firing its main engine in …