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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 »

Huge Planet Haul – 715 New Worlds Discovered

NASA February 26, 2014 NASA’s Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known ... Read More »

Curiosity Rover Crosses a Big Martian Sand Dune

February 11, 2014 The Curiosity Rover used its navigation camera to capture these images (see animation) of a traverse made on February 06, 2014, when the rover crossed a sand dune at the entrance to “Dingo Gap,” inside Gale Crater. On February 09, the rover traversed another 135 feet, making it all the way through the gap. image credits: NASA ... Read More »

New Signs of Fresh Water Flows on Mars

NASA JPL February 10, 2014 NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars have returned clues for understanding seasonal features that are the strongest indication of possible liquid water that may exist today on the Red Planet. The features are dark, finger-like markings that advance down some Martian slopes when temperatures rise. The new clues include corresponding seasonal changes in iron minerals on the ... Read More »

Earth and Moon – Seen From Mars at Night

NASA JPL February 06, 2014 The rover’s view of its original home planet even includes our moon, just below Earth. The images, taken about 80 minutes after sunset during the rover’s 529th Martian day (Jan. 31, 2014) are available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17936 for a broad scene of the evening sky, and at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17935 for a zoomed-in view of Earth and the ... Read More »

Olympic “Space Torch” Has Travelled Farther Than Any Other

NASA February 06, 2014 As the XXII Winter Olympic Games begin in Sochi, Russia, the athletes who compete must turn their eyes to the sky to see how far the torch that is lighting the Olympic flame has traveled. This torch, which has journeyed farther than any torch in Olympic relay history, arrives at Fisht Stadium in Sochi on the ... Read More »

Dramatic New Impact Crater Spotted on Mars

NASA JPL February 05, 2014 Space rocks hitting Mars excavate fresh craters at a pace of more than 200 per year, but few new Mars scars pack as much visual punch as one seen in a NASA image released today. The image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a crater about ... Read More »

Latest Kepler Discovery: A Planet That Wobbles

NASA JPL February 05, 2014 Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The planet, designated Kepler-413b, precesses, or wobbles, wildly on its spin axis, much like a child’s top. ... Read More »

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