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Mars Slammed by Big Meteor Impact

NASA JPL May 22, 2014 Researchers have discovered on the Red Planet the largest fresh meteor-impact crater ever firmly documented with before-and-after images. The images were captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The crater spans half the length of a football field and first appeared in March 2012. The impact that created it likely was preceded by an explosion in ... Read More »

Venus Express to Plunge Into Venusian Atmosphere

ESA May 16, 2014 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 Venus ... Read More »

Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede May Harbor Ice-Ocean Layers

NASA JPL May 01, 2014 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 ... Read More »

Twenty-Six Asteroids Exploded Over Earth From 2000-2013

April 23, 2014 Between 2000 and 2013, a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from 1-600 kilotons – all caused not by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts. These findings were recently released from the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, which operates ... Read More »

Ocean Detected on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

NASA JPL April 03, 2014 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn’s moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes. Researchers theorized the presence of an interior reservoir of water in 2005 when Cassini discovered water vapor and ice spewing from ... Read More »

Rosetta Spacecraft Sees Its Destination Comet

ESA March 27, 2014 ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation on 20 January. These two ‘first light’ images were taken on 20 and 21 March by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera and narrow-angle camera, as part of six weeks of activities dedicated to preparing the spacecraft’s science instruments for ... Read More »

Curiosity Enters Region of Martian Sandstone

NASA JPL March 24, 2014 Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and could be a study topic at the mission’s next science waypoint. On a journey with many months yet to go toward prime destinations on the lower slope of Mount Sharp, Curiosity is approaching a site ... Read More »

Did a European Spacecraft Spot a Rainbow on Venus?

ESA March 11, 2014 A rainbow-like feature known as a ‘glory’ has been seen by ESA’s Venus Express orbiter in the atmosphere of our nearest neighbour – the first time one has been fully imaged on another planet. Rainbows and glories occur when sunlight shines on cloud droplets – water particles in the case of Earth. While rainbows arch across ... Read More »

Lava Floods the Ancient Plains of Mars

ESA March 06, 2014 Two distinct volcanic eruptions have flooded this area of Daedalia Planum with lava, flowing around an elevated fragment of ancient terrain. The images were acquired by ESA’s Mars Express on 28 November 2013 towards the eastern boundary of the gigantic Tharsis Montes volcanic region, where the largest volcanoes on Mars are found. The lava flows seen ... Read More »

Large Explosion Seen on the Moon

Coconut Science Lab February 24, 2014 A large impact was observed on the moon at 8:07pm GMT, on September 11, 2013, from a small asteroid (boulder) impact. The object was traveling at approximately 37,900 mph (61,000 kph) at time of impact, and its weight was estimated at 880 lbs (400 kilograms). The energy of the impact was estimated to be ... Read More »

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