AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch Luch-5V on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan scheduled for 28 Apr 14 4:25:00 GMT

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Cassini Image May Reveal Historic Birth of Icy Saturn Moon

From NASA/JPL: “The disturbance visible at the outer edge of Saturn’s A ring in this image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could be caused by an object replaying the birth process of icy moons.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini spacecraft, a flagship-class mission that is a cooperative project between NASA, the European Space [...]

The Sea of Enceladus: Cassini Confirms Underground Ocean on Saturn's Geyser Moon

Diagram of what the interior of Enceladus is now thought to look like, with the icy outer shell, liquid water ocean, and inner rocky core. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Coming just after the news of the ringed asteroid and new dwarf planet, some more exciting news from the outer Solar System was announced [...]

New Dwarf Planet Candidate Discovered at Solar System's Edge: Could a Hidden Planet Be Orbiting Farther Out?

The discovery images of 2012 VP113. Three images of the night sky, each taken about two hours apart, were combined into one. The first image was artificially colored red, the second green, and the third blue. 2012 VP113 moved between each image as seen by the red, green, and blue dots. The background stars [...]

Surprise Discovery: Rings Around an Asteroid!

Artist’s conception of the asteroid Chariklo with its ring system. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

When it comes to planetary rings, what do you think of? Saturn is the first obvious thing that comes to mind, with its famous majestic ring system surrounding the gas giant planet. The other gas and ice [...]

Putting an End to the Planet X Saga? Latest Search for Hypothetical Planet at Edge of Solar System Comes Up Empty

The notion of Planet X, a hypothetical massive planet orbiting the Sun beyond the known reaches of the Solar System, has held great appeal for the general public for many decades. The newest results from NASA’s WISE mission, however, indicate that no such planet exists. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

Deeply ingrained in popular [...]

Why NASA's Plans for an Early 2020s Mission to Europa Are Likely to Happen

Europa mission concepts under study by NASA. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

For years scientists and dreamers alike have looked toward Jupiter’s moon Europa with a keen interest, because decades of observations and research of the frozen world (thanks to spacecraft like Galileo and Voyager) have shown us that the Jovian satellite is easily one of [...]

European Space Agency Selects PLATO Observatory for Proposed 2024 Launch

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths. It will also investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling a precise characterisation of the host sun of each planet discovered, [...]

Of Exoplanets and Habitability: Exploring the Possibility of 'Superhabitable Worlds'

Artist’s impression of an exoplanet with a mass approximately 3.6 times that of Earth, discovered orbiting just inside of the habitable zone of the Sun-like star HD 85512. Are “Super-Earths” such as this the most promising candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life? Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

“For there is a single general space, a single [...]

Ghost of Comet ISON Rises Like an Icy Phoenix After Suicidal Kamikaze Visit With the Sun

ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the Sun. ISON was not visible during its closest approach to the Sun, so many scientists thought it had disintegrated, but images like this one from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory suggest that a small nucleus may be intact. Image/Caption Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO/GSFC

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All Eyes on Comet ISON as It Plummets Toward Thanksgiving Day Brush With the Sun

VIDEO: Comet ISON moves ever closer to the Sun in this movie from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, captured in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2013. A coronal mass ejection explodes off the Sun; it is unlikely to damage ISON even if they cross paths. Image Credit/Caption: ESA/NASA/SOHO

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