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Now Playing: Musical Space-Weather From the Moon

NASA January 09, 2014 The latest tool for checking space weather is an internet radio station fed by data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. The radio station essentially operates in real time, receiving measurements of how much radiation the spacecraft is experiencing and converting those into a constant stream of music. The radiation levels determine which instrument is ... Read More »

New Year’s Day Asteroid Update: Reentry Over Atlantic Ocean

NASA JPL UPDATE January 03, 2014 Several sources confirm that the first discovered asteroid in 2014, designated 2014 AA, entered Earth’s atmosphere late Jan. 1 (Jan. 2 Universal time) over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The Catalina Sky Survey operating near Tucson, Ariz. discovered this very small asteroid — 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) in size — early on ... Read More »

Prime Asteroid Hunting Spacecraft is Ready for New Mission

NASA JPL December 19, 2013 NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), a spacecraft that made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets, has returned its first set of test images in preparation for a renewed mission. NEOWISE discovered more than 34,000 asteroids and characterized 158,000 throughout the solar system during its prime mission in 2010 ... Read More »

Chinese Rover Lands on the Moon

Coconut Science Lab December 14, 2013 On Saturday, December 14, 2013, Chinese state television reported that Chang’e-3, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a lunar rover, successfully landed on the moon. With this success, China has become only the third country to have ever soft-landed on the moon, along with the United States and the former Soviet Union. China’s lunar rover, known ... Read More »

Water Vapor is Erupting From Europa’s South Pole

ESA Hubble December 12, 2013 The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered water vapour erupting from the frigid surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa, in one or more localised plumes near its south pole. Europa is already thought to harbour a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust, making the moon one of the main targets in the search for habitable worlds ... Read More »

Clay Minerals Found on Europa Hint at Comet Impact

NASA JPL December 11, 2013 A new analysis of data from NASA’s Galileo mission has revealed clay-type minerals at the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa that appear to have been delivered by a spectacular collision with an asteroid or comet. This is the first time such minerals have been detected on Europa’s surface. The types of space rocks that ... Read More »

MRO Reveals New Dark Markings on Mars – Possibly Water

NASA December 10, 2013 NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed to scientists slender dark markings — possibly due to salty water – that advance seasonally down slopes surprisingly close to the Martian equator. “The equatorial surface region of Mars has been regarded as dry, free of liquid or frozen water, but we may need to rethink that,” said Alfred McEwen ... Read More »

Juno Spacecraft Makes First Earth-Moon Flyby Video

NASA JPL December 10, 2013 When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. One of Juno’s sensors, a special kind of ... Read More »

Curiosity Determines the Age of a Martian Rock

NASA December 09, 2013 NASA’s Curiosity rover is providing vital insight about Mars’ past and current environments that will aid plans for future robotic and human missions. In a little more than a year on the Red Planet, the mobile Mars Science Laboratory has determined the age of a Martian rock, found evidence the planet could have sustained microbial life, ... Read More »

New Images of Dwarf Planet’s Eris and Sedna

In celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the discovery of dwarf planet Sedna, astronomer Gianluca Masi at the Virtual Telescope Project has released a new image of Sedna (image below), as well as a new image of dwarf planet Eris (image above). Sedna was discovered on November 14, 2003. Eris is currently the largest dwarf planet known and is ... Read More »

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