Satellites and space missions

magnetosphere aug 7 2020

ESA highlights Cluster mission's 20 years of observing Earth's magnetosphere

ESA's Cluster mission, launched in June 2000, was designed to study the Earth's magnetosphere, which protects the planet from impacts by cosmic particles but also interacts with them, generating spectacular phenomena like auroras. As the mission enters its...

August 07, 2020

elongated cloud mars july 30 2020 2

Extremely elongated cloud returns over Arsia Mons volcano, Mars

The Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) attached to Mars Express captured a mysteriously long, thin cloud over the 20 km (12 miles) high Arsia Mons volcano on July 17 and 19, 2020. According to ESA, the cloud is a recurrent feature made up of water ice and is influenced...

July 31, 2020

ganymede july 24 2020 2

NASA's Juno takes never-before seen photos of Ganymede's north pole

NASA's Juno Jupiter probe has captured the first images of the north pole of Ganymede-- the largest moon in the solar system and the only moon with its own magnetic field. During a close flyby of Jupiter in December 2019, Juno mapped the north polar regions of...

July 26, 2020

comet interceptor concept july 23 2020 2

Comet Interceptor: ESA announces new space mission to intercept 'pristine' comets

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced its new mission -- Comet Interceptor -- is expected to launch in 2028. The mission aims to investigate a "pristine" comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar...

July 26, 2020

campfires new phenomena discovered on the sun f

New phenomena discovered on the Sun

A new Sun-observing mission led by ESA and NASA -- Solar Orbiter -- has returned its first images of the Sun, revealing previously unknown omnipresent miniature solar flares, dubbed 'campfires.' The campfires shown in the image below were captured by the...

July 16, 2020

nasa dart mission july 7 2020 2

NASA's DART mission may cause first ever man-made meteor shower

The impact of NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission-- which aims to nudge the orbit of its target for planetary defense purposes-- may produce the first meteor shower from human activities in space, according to research published in The...

July 08, 2020

hurricane june 27 2020

Eyes in the Sky: How satellites drastically improved hurricane forecasting

Satellite technology has drastically changed how we forecast hurricanes as it has allowed us to track the storm's location, movement, and intensity, from formation to dissipation. On September 8, 1900, a powerful hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, which resulted in...

July 04, 2020

x ray sky june 26 2020 3

eROSITA X-ray telescope captures deepest view of the entire sky

The eROSITA telescope, which launched in July 2019, has since been scanning the entire sky in X-ray wavelengths, gathering observations for all the deepest all-sky survey. It has now completed its first full sweep, with all the data compiled into a map that contains...

June 28, 2020

nasa icon june 25 2020 3

NASA's ICON mission releases first batch of data on Earth's ionosphere

NASA's ICON mission team has released its first batch of observations of the ins and outs of the Earth's ionosphere--the dynamic region high in the planet's atmosphere where terrestrial weather meets space weather. The satellite is designed to study...

June 28, 2020

SOHO 4000 june 15 2020 2

SOHO discovers its 4 000th comet

A citizen scientist from Europe discovered SOHO's 4 000th comet in the spacecraft's 25-year history. SOHO -- Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- jointly operated by NASA and ESA since 1995. The comet was discovered on June 15, 2020, and is currently...

June 17, 2020

solar orbiter passing through the tail of comet atlas

STEREO-A records Solar Orbiter crossing the ion tail of Comet ATLAS

ESA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft passed through the ion tail of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) on May 31 and June 1, 2020, and through its dust tail on June 6. This is the 7th space mission to fly through the tail of a comet, and the first one whose upcoming crossing was...

June 07, 2020

mars electric current may 20 2020 2

MAVEN maps electric currents around Mars, crucial clues to atmospheric loss

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has created a map of electric currents around Mars, five years after it entered into its orbit. These currents hold crucial clues in the atmospheric loss that made the red planet incapable of supporting life. "These currents play a...

May 31, 2020

atlas may 12 2020 2

ESA's Solar Orbiter to pass through the tail of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) in a rare encounter

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that its Solar Orbiter probe will have a rare encounter with the Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS), passing through the object's ion tail on May 31, 2020 into June 1. Solar Orbiter’s upcoming crossing is the first to be...

May 30, 2020

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ESA's SWARM investigates weakening of Earth's magnetic field, possible split up of South Atlantic Anomaly

Over the past 200 years, Earth's magnetic field has lost around 9% of its strength. Meanwhile, a large region of reduced magnetic intensity has developed between Africa and South America -- known as South Atlantic Anomaly. Over the past 5 years, however, a...

May 20, 2020

asteroid ryugu may 16 2020 2

Hayabusa-2 reveals more secrets about the dynamic history of asteroid Ryugu

Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2 has reported new observations of Ryugu, revealing more secrets about the object's remarkable history-- particularly signs of a close encounter with the Sun. Hayabusa-2 launched in December 2014 and reached Ryugu in 2018. In...

May 19, 2020

osiris rex may 6 2020 ft img

OSIRIS-REx succeeds in sampling rehearsal, taking a step closer to asteroid Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) has successfully descended down to just 75 m (246 feet) above the surface asteroid Bennu in a risky rehearsal to prepare the spacecraft before it collects...

May 07, 2020

russia to launch arktika m satellite may 5 2020

Russia set to launch its first satellite for monitoring Arctic

Russia's first satellite for monitoring the Arctic climate called Arktika-M is set to be launched by the end of 2020, as announced by the General Director of the Lavochkin aerospace company, Vladimir Kolmykov. The launch was initially scheduled in 2019 but was...

May 07, 2020