Planets and space bodies - page 6

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Swarm of scientific microprobes to the clouds of Jupiter in 2030

A swarm of tiny probes each equipped with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere, according to a recently presented concept in International Journal of Space Scie

January 26, 2015

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New Horizons wakes up for historic Pluto encounter

New Horizons woke up from hibernation on December 6, 2014 after a 4.8 billion km voyage (3 billion miles) and almost nine years after launch. The spacecraft is now preparing for a six-month encounter with Pluto that begins in January 2015. This mission will complete

December 08, 2014

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Smallest exoplanet found to have water vapour

The smallest exoplanet (about the size of Neptune) HAT-P-11b have been discovered to have clear skies and steamy water vapors as observed by astronomers using data from three of NASA's space telescopes - Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler.John Grunsfeld, assistant administr

October 05, 2014

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Curiosity rover takes first sample of Mount Sharp

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has collected its first sample of the layered mountain whose scientific allure drew the mission to choose this part of Mars as a landing site.Late Wednesday, September 24, the rover's hammering drill chewed about 6.7 centimeters (2.6

September 27, 2014

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MAVEN returns its first Mars observations

Just after arrival, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), the first spacecraft sent to explore the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars, has started working on it's mission. Within 24 hours of being placed in the Red Planet's orbit, the spacec

September 26, 2014

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Martian geology continues to baffle scientists

The official geological history of the planet Mars is a confused and murky tale filled with contradictions and shifting narratives. Astonishing scientific data obtained in the last decade has only deepened the storyteller’s confusion. At the recent 8th Internation

September 02, 2014

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Colliding atmospheres - Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

It's a known fact that planets have atmospheres, but the same can't be said for comets. The atmosphere of a comet, called its "coma," is made of gas and dust that spew out of the sun-warmed nucleus and it's typically wider than Jupiter.La

August 13, 2014

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Observations suggest frequent massive eruptions on Jupiter’s moon Io

Observations made using Keck and Gemini observatories, Hawaii, revealed three massive volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io within a two-week period in August 2013, leading astronomers to speculate that these presumed rare "outbursts" migh

August 09, 2014

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Massive storm systems formed on planet Uranus

As hurricanes threaten the Aloha State, astronomers working at W. M. Keck Observatory on the island of Hawaii were surprised by the appearance of gigantic swirling storm systems on the distant planet Uranus.During the Voyager encounter with Uranus in 1986, only a scant

August 07, 2014

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Asteroid vesta shatters planet formation theory

In the previous Space News, we discussed astronomer's recent admission that they now need a whole new theory to explain about how planets form. Today yet another discovery has shattered conventional ideas about planet formation and the so-called early solar system.

July 29, 2014

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The most thorough map of the Martian surface to date

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released the most thorough map of the Martian surface to date. The data for the new map was collected by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and

July 16, 2014

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The atmospheric waves of Venus, key to understanding the superrotation of its atmosphere, deciphered

Venus’ atmosphere rotates up to sixty times faster than its surface, a phenomenon known as superrotation whose origin hast yet to be satisfactorily explained...Venus is a slowly rotating planet since it takes about two hundred and forty three terrestrial days to c

July 10, 2014

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Steve Smith: Mars - The Great Desert in 3D - EU2014

Martian areography tells a story of incredibly violent events. It appears from the many images sent to Earth that it once experienced powerful plasma discharges on a massive scale. Burned and blasted craters, piles of scorched dust covering almost an entire hemisphere,

July 06, 2014

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Symbols of an Alien Sky: The Lightning Scarred Planet, Mars

"After much deliberation, we made the decision to release this full documentary. Year by year the evidence for global electric scarring of Mars continues to grow. Bringing the facts to public attention will be amongst our highest priorities in coming months."I

June 29, 2014

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Mysterious 'Magic Island' appears on Saturn moon

Astronomers have discovered a bright, mysterious geologic object – where one never existed – on Cassini mission radar images of Ligeia Mare, the second-largest sea on Saturn's moon Titan. Scientifically speaking, this spot is considered a "transient

June 23, 2014

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Cracks in Pluto's moon could indicate it once had an underground ocean

If the icy surface of Pluto's giant moon Charon is cracked, analysis of the fractures could reveal if its interior was warm, perhaps warm enough to have maintained a subterranean ocean of liquid water, according to a new NASA-funded study.Pluto is an extremely dista

June 14, 2014

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Venus now the first planet after Earth to get daily space weather reports

European Space Agency (ESA) announced today they have started issuing regular space weather reports for a spacecraft orbiting planet Venus. This is the first time since the exploration of Solar System has begun that a planet, other than Earth, gets a dedi

June 06, 2014