The latest images from New Horizons are showing Pluto and Charon to have unique faces, distinct from any other icy worlds in the solar system. New Horizons images have dramatically reduced uncertainty in Pluto's diameter. Stern reported Pluto's radius to be 1185 +/- 10 kilometers, so its diameter is 2370 +/- 20 km. Implications of
Up till now, 2015 has been a year of historic, ever bigger revelations regarding some of the Solar System’s “lesser bodies”, with ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft returning breath-taking close-up images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and NASA’s Dawn mission providing stunning views of dwarf planet Ceres in the vast expanses of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
While no one yet knows what's needed to build a habitable planet, it's clear that the interplay between the sun and Earth is crucial for making our planet livable -- a balance between a sun that provides energy and a planet that can protect itself from the harshest solar emissions. Our sun steadily emits light,
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, and NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will arrive at this dwarf planet on March 6, 2015. Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper belt, and NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will arrive at this dwarf planet on July 15, 2015. These two events will make 2015 an exciting
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returned its first new images of Pluto on Wednesday, as the probe closes in on the dwarf planet. Although still just a dot along with its largest moon, Charon, the images come on the 109th birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the distant icy world in 1930. “My dad would be
Having accomplished another month of ion thrusting, and now more than two years after embarking on its journey away from protoplanet Vesta, Dawn is beginning its approach phase to dwarf planet Ceres. Early in December, Dawn obtained its first resolved photo of Ceres, spanning nine pixels. Its next pictures will be taken on Jan. 13.
On 28 November 2014, the flight control team at ESOC reported lack of contact with Venus Express at the first opportunity for communication with a ground station after execution of the 6th of the pericentre-raising manoeuvres. It is possible that the remaining propellant onboard VEX was exhausted during the manoeuvre. Repeated attempts to re-establish contact
Operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., confirmed at 9:53 p.m. (EST) that New Horizons, operating on pre-programmed computer commands, had switched from hibernation to “active” mode. Moving at light speed, the radio signal from New Horizons – currently more than 2.9 billion miles from Earth, and just over 162
Humans have long dreamed of traveling to Mars, hopscotching across the solar system and fanning out into the cosmos beyond. Several nations and private organizations are developing plans for crewed Mars missions in the coming decades. But a new study shows that increasing levels of cosmic radiation spurred by weak solar activity could make such
NASA’s Messenger probe, which is orbiting the planet Mercury, 107 million kilometers away, was in a position to watch the full moon go dark during the Oct. 8 total lunar eclipse. Mercury and Messenger are currently on the other side of the sun, off to the side from Earth's perspective. That was a perfect spot