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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 »

A Nova Next to Alpha Centauri

Coconut Science Lab December 11, 2013 Discovered on December 02, 2013, Nova Centauri 2013 is currently visible on a dark night, located in the constellation of Centaurus, not far from the bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri. The nova was discovered by John Seach from Australia and is the brightest nova to have occurred so far this millennium. The above ... 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 »

Landsat 8 Satellite Discovers Coldest Spot on Earth

NASA December 09, 2013 What is the coldest place on Earth? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night. Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date, developed ... 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 »

Curiosity Rover Fires Over 100,000 Laser Blasts

NASA JPL December 5, 2013 NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils. The 100,000th shot was one of a series of 300 to investigate 10 locations on a rock called “Ithaca” in late October, at ... Read More »

New View of Saturn’s Hexagon-Shaped Pole

NASA JPL Cassini December 4, 2013 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn’s north pole. This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. ... Read More »

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