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Collapsing Cliff Reveals Interior of Rosetta’s Comet

ESA March 21, 2017 Rosetta scientists have made the first compelling link between an outburst of dust and gas and the collapse of a prominent cliff, which also exposed the pristine, icy interior of the comet. Sudden and short-lived outbursts were observed frequently during Rosetta’s two-year mission at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Although their exact trigger has been much debated, the outbursts ... Read More »

NASA Approves Two Bold New Asteroid Missions

NASA JPL January 04, 2017 NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed ... Read More »

Where the Ice is on Ceres – New Findings

NASA JPL December 15, 2016 At first glance, Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt, may not look icy. Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft have revealed a dark, heavily cratered world whose brightest area is made of highly reflective salts — not ice. But newly published studies from Dawn scientists show two distinct lines of evidence for ice ... Read More »

Jupiter’s Unusual Polar Regions – Unlike Anything Seen Before

NASA September 2, 2016 NASA’s Juno spacecraft has sent back the first-ever images of Jupiter’s north pole, taken during the spacecraft’s first flyby of the planet with its instruments switched on. The images show storm systems and weather activity unlike anything previously seen on any of our solar system’s gas-giant planets. Juno successfully executed the first of 36 orbital flybys ... Read More »

Comet Jets Are Coming From Large Sinkholes

ESA July 1, 2015 A number of the dust jets emerging from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits that were likely formed by a sudden collapse of the surface. These ‘sinkholes’ are providing a glimpse at the chaotic and diverse interior of the comet. Rosetta has been monitoring Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s activity for over a year, watching how ... Read More »

Planet Found With Four Parent Stars

March 4, 2015 NASA JPL — Astronomers have discovered the second known case of a planet residing in a quadruple star system. — The planet was known before, but was thought to have only three stars, not four. — The findings help researchers understand how multiple star systems can influence the development and fate of planets. Growing up as a ... Read More »

Rosetta’s Comet Reveals Its Secrets

ESA January 22, 2015 Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of surface features and with many processes contributing to its activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution. In a special edition of the journal Science, initial results are presented from seven of Rosetta’s 11 science instruments based on measurements made during the approach to ... Read More »

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 »

New Horizons Spacecraft Wakes Up for Pluto Encounter

NASA December 6, 2014 After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation today for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system. Operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., confirmed ... 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 »

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