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New Horizons extended mission target selected

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The New Horizons mission has formally selected its next target after Pluto: a tiny, dim, frozen world currently named 2014 MU69. The spacecraft will perform a series of four rocket firings in October and November to angle its trajectory to pass close by 2014 MU69 in early January 2019. In so doing, New Horizons will

“Zebra Stripes” Spotted In Space Around Earth

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The structure may help scientists identify radiation-remediation strategies in space. Since the early 1970s, orbiting satellites have picked up on noise-like plasma waves very close to the Earth’s magnetic field equator. This “equatorial noise,” as it was then named, seemed to be an unruly mess of electric and magnetic fields oscillating at different frequencies in

Very first New Horizons Pluto encounter

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

Pluto Comes Into Focus In New Horizons Latest Images

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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.

Three days countdown for MMS Launch

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On March 12, 2015, NASA plans to launch the Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission. MMS consists of four identical spacecraft that will orbit around Earth through the dynamic magnetic system surrounding our planet to study a little-understood phenomenon called magnetic reconnection. The MMS mission is a Solar Terrestrial Probes mission comprising four identically instrumented

NASA missions may re-elevate Pluto and Ceres from dwarf planets to full-on planet status

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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