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Curiosity’s Route to Mount Sharp Takes Shape

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Cassini’s Big New View of Saturn

  NASA JPL November 12, 2013 On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. With the sun’s powerful and potentially damaging rays eclipsed by Saturn itself, Cassini’s onboard ... Read More »

Strange Asteroid Has Six Comet-Like Tails

ESA Hubble November 7, 2013 Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a unique and baffling object in the asteroid belt that looks like a rotating lawn sprinkler or badminton shuttlecock. While this object is on an asteroid-like orbit, it looks like a comet, and is sending out tails of dust into space. Normal asteroids appear as tiny ... Read More »

Sunlight is Ionizing Titan’s Atmosphere

NASA JPL November 06, 2013 A detailed analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has directly linked the density of the ionosphere – a region in the upper atmosphere that is dominated by electrically charged particles – at Saturn’s moon Titan to the 11-year boom-and-bust cycle of activity at our sun. The confirmation was possible because of Cassini’s long-term stay ... Read More »

Moon Mission Beams First Transmission By Laser

ESA November 1, 2013 ESA’s ground station on the island of Tenerife has received laser signals over a distance of 400 000 km from NASA’s latest Moon orbiter. The data were delivered many times faster than possible with traditional radio waves, marking a significant breakthrough in space communications. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, was launched on ... Read More »

Saturn in True Color From Above the Ring Plane

NASA JPL Cassini October 25, 2013 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 ... Read More »

Opportunity Rover on a Big Uphill Climb

NASA JPL October 23, 2013 PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover has begun climbing “Solander Point,” the northern tip of the tallest hill it has encountered in the mission’s nearly 10 Earth years on Mars. Guided by mineral mapping from orbit, the rover is exploring outcrops on the northwestern slopes of Solander Point, making its way up the hill ... Read More »

New Views of Titan’s Polar Lakes

NASA JPL October 23, 2013 PASADENA, Calif.– 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 ... Read More »

Three Superstorms in Three Weeks!

ESA October 22, 2013 ESA’s versatile water mission tracked Asia’s recent storms over land and sea. Over the past three weeks, tropical cyclone activity has intensified over the seas bordering southern and eastern Asia. Cyclone Phailin began forming on 4 October in the Gulf of Thailand, before moving northwest across the Bay of Bengal and making landfall in northern India. ... Read More »

Martian Crater May Be Ancient Supervolcano

NASA October 22, 2013 Scientists from NASA and the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., have identified what could be a supervolcano on Mars—the first discovery of its kind. The volcano in question, a vast circular basin on the face of the Red Planet, previously had been classified as an impact crater. Researchers now suggest the basin is actually what ... Read More »

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