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Dawn Spacecraft Begins Approach to Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA JPL December 29, 2014 NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has entered an approach phase in which it will continue to close in on Ceres, a Texas-sized dwarf planet never before visited by a spacecraft. Dawn launched in 2007 and is scheduled to enter Ceres orbit in March 2015. Dawn recently emerged from solar conjunction, in which the spacecraft is on the ... Read More »

Methane and Organic Chemicals Found on Mars

NASA December 16, 2014 NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. “This temporary increase in methane — sharply up and then back down — tells us there must be some relatively localized source,” ... Read More »

Philae Lander Shuts Down After Completing Mission

ESA November 15, 2014 Rosetta’s lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. After being out of communication visibility with the lander since 09:58 GMT / 10:58 CET on Friday, Rosetta regained contact with Philae at 22:19 GMT /23:19 CET last night. The signal was initially intermittent, but quickly stabilised and remained very good ... Read More »

Learning to “Live Off the Land” in the Frontier of Space

NASA October 31, 2014 Safely sending human explorers to and from Mars will be the challenge of a generation. We don’t yet know what clues astronauts will uncover in the Martian soil or atmosphere that reveal new knowledge about our solar system, but one thing is certain, Mars contains critical resources that can sustain human presence. Harvesting those resources will ... Read More »

Martian Spacecraft Capture Comet Siding Spring’s Passage

CoconutScienceLab.com October 19, 2014     Read More »

New Weather Map of Exoplanet is Most Detailed Ever

ESA/Hubble October 9, 2014 A team of scientists using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have made the most detailed map ever of the temperature of an exoplanet’s atmosphere, and traced the amount of water it contains. The planet targeted for both of the investigations was the hot-Jupiter exoplanet WASP-43b. WASP-43b is a planet the size of Jupiter but with double ... Read More »

Origin of Moon’s Great “Ocean of Storms” Found

NASA JPL October 1, 2014 Using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), mission scientists have solved a lunar mystery almost as old as the moon itself. Early theories suggested the craggy outline of a region of the moon’s surface known as Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms, was caused by an asteroid impact. If this theory ... Read More »

Toxic Cloud on Titan is Laced With Cyanide

ESA October 1, 2014 The international Cassini mission has revealed that a giant, toxic cloud is hovering over the south pole of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, after the atmosphere has cooled in a dramatic fashion. Scientists analysing data from the mission found that this giant polar vortex contains frozen particles of the toxic compound hydrogen cyanide. “The discovery suggests that ... Read More »

Candidate Landing Sites for Philae Lander Chosen

NASA JPL August 25, 2014 The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has chosen five candidate landing sites on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for its Philae lander. Philae’s descent to the comet’s nucleus, scheduled for this November, will be the first such landing ever attempted. Rosetta is an international mission spearheaded by the European Space Agency with support and instruments provided by NASA. ... Read More »

Cassini Sees Clouds Form Over Titan Lake

NASA JPL August 12, 2014 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft recently captured images of clouds moving across the northern hydrocarbon seas of Saturn’s moon Titan. This renewed weather activity, considered overdue by researchers, could finally signal the onset of summer storms that atmospheric models have long predicted.   CONTINUE Image credit: NASA JPL-CalTech Space Science Institute Read More »

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