Uncertain Journey: 30 Years Since Voyager 2's Encounter With Uranus (Part 1)

Visible only as a crescent, Uranus recedes from Voyager 2 in the days after Closest Approach. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, today and tomorrow, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first close-up glimpse of Uranus. Known for more than two centuries, and frequently the “butt” of many off-color jokes, this giant gaseous […]

Dawn Spacecraft Begins Extensive Study of Dwarf Planet Ceres from Lowest Orbit

Artist’s conception of Dawn orbiting Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Dawn spacecraft just recently entered its lowest and final orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, providing the closest look ever at the puzzling world. Dawn will, of course, be taking thousands more high-resolution photographs, but what else will it be doing during the remainder […]

NASA's Dawn Spirals to Final Science Orbit, Poised to Return Up-Close Images

From NASA/JPL: “This view, made using images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, is a color-coded topographic map of Occator crater on Ceres. Blue is the lowest elevation, and brown is the highest. The crater, which is home to the brightest spots on Ceres, is approximately 56 miles (90 kilometers wide).” Occator is home to […]

New Horizons Conducts Final Course Correction for New Year's Day Flyby of Next KBO in 2019 

New Horizons has completed the four course corrections needed to send it on its way to its next target in the Kuiper Belt, 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

After having completed a wildly successful flyby of Pluto and its moons, the New Horizons spacecraft was given a new target, much farther out in the […]

A Deeper Understanding: Dawn Reaches Third Science Orbit, Shows Closest View of Ceres Yet

From NASA/JPL: “The Lonely Mountain: NASA’s Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers). The mountain, located in the southern hemisphere, stands 4 miles (6 kilometers) high. Its perimeter is sharply defined, with almost no accumulated debris at the base of the brightly streaked slope.” […]

Dawn En Route to Third Science Orbit, New Maps Reveal Astonishing Peaks and Depths

Dawn is using its ion propulsion system to lower its orbit to within 1,000 miles of the dwarf planet Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.” — Rene Daumal

While astronaut Scott Kelly’s “Year in Space” mission helps researchers understand the effects of long-duration […]

'We're Working It, Folks': New Horizons Experiences Communications Loss, Ten Days Out From Pluto

After a 9.5-year voyage across the Solar System, New Horizons is just days away from humanity’s first close-up reconnaissance of the last of the traditionally accepted nine planets. Image Credit: NASA

Less than 10 days and a mere 7.2 million miles (11.6 million km) from its quarry—the dwarf world Pluto, its binary companion Charon, […]

Pluto Comes Into Focus in Latest Images as New Horizons Approaches Ever Closer

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took a series of images of Pluto in 8-12 May from a decreasing distance of 110 million to 75 million km away, which provide fascinating new views of the distant planet’s largely varied surface topography. Compared to images taken one month earlier, Pluto appears to get larger as the spacecraft […]

NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Awakens for the Final Time, Gets Ready for Pluto Encounter

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was awakened from its electronic hibernation earlier this week, in order to begin final preparations for the start of its historic long-range Pluto encounter operations in January 2015. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Everything has to come to an end eventually—as the saying goes—and that has […]