A new study focused on the interior of Saturn's icy moon Mimas suggests its cratered surface hides one of two intriguing possibilities: Either the moon's frozen core is shaped something like a football, or the satellite contains a liquid water ocean.
Researchers used numerous images of Mimas taken by NASA's Cassini mission to determine how much the moon wobbles as it orbits Saturn. They then evaluated several possible models for how its interior might be arranged, finding two possibilities th [...]
This looks like a near miss but the greenish coma and tail of Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) are really 2,000 light-years or so away from the stars of open cluster Messier 6. They do appear close together though, along the same line-of-sight in this gorgeous October 9th skyscape toward the constellation Scorpius.
Still, on Sunday, October 19th this comet really will be involved in a near miss, passing within only 139,500 kilometers of planet Mars. That's about 10 times closer than any known [...]
NASA's newest sun-watcher, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, launched in 2013 with a specific goal: track how energy and heat coursed through a little understood region of the sun called the interface region. Sandwiched between the solar surface and its outer atmosphere, the corona, the interface region is where the cooler temperatures of the sun's surface transition to the hotter temperatures above. Moreover, all the energy to power the sun's output -- including eruptions such as solar [...]
In the wake of Wednesday’s second Expedition 41 spacewalk by two NASA astronauts, the International Space Station’s crew spent Thursday returning the Quest airlock to its normal configuration, conducting research and preparing for a third excursion into the vacuum of space next week.
Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore started the day with a few hours of off-duty time to rest and recharge following their 6-hour, 34-minute spacewalk Wednesday. During that spacewalk, the two ast [...]
Static electricity is known to play an important role on Earth's airless, dusty moon, but evidence of static charge building up on other objects in the solar system has been elusive until now. A new analysis of data from NASA's Cassini mission has revealed that, during a 2005 flyby of Saturn's moon Hyperion, the spacecraft was briefly bathed in a beam of electrons coming from the moon's electrostatically charged surface.
The finding represents the first confirmed detection of a charged surfac [...]
Peering through a giant cosmic magnifying glass, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a tiny, faint galaxy -- one of the farthest galaxies ever seen. The diminutive object is estimated to be more than 13 billion light-years away.
This galaxy offers a peek back to the very early formative years of the universe and may just be the tip of the iceberg.
“This galaxy is an example of what is suspected to be an abundant, underlying population of extremely small, faint objects that exi [...]
Inexplicable signal from the unseen universe provides tantalising clue about one of astronomy's greatest secrets – Dark Matter.
Cutting-edge paper by Professor George Fraser – who tragically died in March this year – and colleagues at the University of Leicester provides first potential indication of direct detection of Dark Matter – something that has been a mystery in physics for over 30 years.
As first author Professor George Fraser, who sadly died in March of this year, wrote [...]
Among the most interesting landforms on Mars are features referred to as 'chaotic terrain'. Dozens or even hundreds of isolated mountains up to 2000 metres high are scattered in these extensive regions. Seen from orbit, they form a bizarre, chaotic pattern.
Such terrains are found over a large area to both the west and east of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System. Hydraotes Chaos is a typical example of this type of landscape. This large basin, approximately the size of t [...]
A pair of fully functioning Galileo navigation satellites was recently delivered to its operators, as preparations get underway for the next round of launches.
On 27–28 September, the two satellites launched on 22 August were handed over from ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany, to the Galileo Control Centre, Oberpfaffenhofen, which will care for them pending a final decision on their use.
The satellites are in excellent health and working normally.
A lau [...]
A mosaic from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft shows “Site J,” the primary landing site on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko for the mission’s Philae lander. Rosetta is the first mission to attempt a soft landing on a comet.
The mosaic comprises two images taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Sept. 14, 2014, from a distance of about 19 miles (30 kilometers). The image scale is 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) per pixel. The red ellipse is centered on the landing site [...]
ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C26, successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), in the early morning hours of today (October 16, 2014) at 0132 hours IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This is the twenty seventh consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The 'XL' configuration of PSLV was used for this mission. Previously, the same configuration of the vehicle was successfully used six times.
This Rosetta spacecraft selfie was snapped on October 7th. At the time the spacecraft was about 472 million kilometers from planet Earth, but only 16 kilometers from the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Looming beyond the spacecraft near the top of the frame, dust and gas stream away from the comet's curious double-lobed nucleus and bright sunlight glints off one of Rosetta's 14 meter long solar arrays.
In fact, two exposures, one short and one long, were combined to record the dr [...]