Philae's First Science Results Highlight an Unexpected Cometary World

From ESA: “Zooming in to a portion of the fractured cliff face imaged by CIVA camera 4 reveals brightness variations in the comet’s surface properties down to centimetre and millimetre scales. The dominant constituents are very dark conglomerates, likely made of organics. The brighter spots could represent mineral grains, perhaps even pointing to ice-rich […]

ESA's Historic Rosetta Mission Extended Through September 2016

Rosetta and Philae at comet 67P. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Rosetta mission, which saw the spacecraft successfully orbit a comet and set a lander down upon its surface in a series of historic firsts, has been extended. Just days after it was revealed Philae, Rosetta’s lander, […]

Philae Is Alive! ESA Comet Lander Feared Dead, Phones Home After 7 Months of Silence

ESA Philae lander approaches comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014 as imaged from Rosetta orbiter after deployment and during seven-hour-long approach for first ever touchdown on a comet’s surface. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA – Composition by Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer

The European Space Agency (ESA) made history last fall with the long-awaited […]

Highest-Resolution Views Yet Reveal Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots, Seemingly Comprised of Multiple ‘Icy Spots’

This image of Ceres was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on May 4, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers), in its RC3 mapping orbit. The brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to be composed of many smaller spots. The image resolution is 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers) […]

Rosetta and Philae Capture First Detailed Magnetic Measurements of a Comet Nucleus

Comet 67P/C-G’s activity! This stunning montage of 18 images from Rosetta’s navcam camera shows off the comet’s activity from many different angles. It covers the time period between 31 January (top left) and 25 March (bottom right), 2015, when the spacecraft was at distances of about 30 to 100 km from the comet. The […]

Dawn Divulges Diverse Terrain in First Color Map of Ceres and North Pole View

This map-projected view of Ceres was created from images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft during its initial approach to the dwarf planet, prior to being captured into orbit in March 2015. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Scientists spearheading the Dawn mission to dwarf planet Ceres have published the first color map of the mysterious world since the […]

Comet Debris Causes Significant Navigation Issues During Rosetta’s Latest Close Flyby

This stunning scene was created from two NAVCAM frames acquired at 19.9 km from the comet centre on 28 March. The scale is about 1.7 m/pixel and the image measures 3.1 x 1.7 km. The image has been adjusted for intensity and contrast, and the vignetting has been fixed. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA […]

Rosetta Makes First Detection of Cometary Molecular Nitrogen, Seeks Signals From Philae Lander

Rosetta has made the first detection of molecular nitrogen at a comet. The results provide clues about the temperature environment in which Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko formed. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; comet: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Rosetta, humankind’s first spacecraft to orbit a comet, has now made the first detection of molecular nitrogen (N2) at […]

NASA’s Dawn, Historic First Mission to Dwarf Planet Ceres, Achieves Orbit

Newest image of Ceres from Dawn Ceres is seen from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on March 1, just a few days before the mission achieved orbit around the previously unexplored dwarf planet. The image was taken at a distance of about 30,000 miles (about 48,000 kilometers). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft became humanity’s first […]

Landing Region Chosen for InSight at T-Minus One Year to Red Planet Launch

In the weeks after NASA’s InSight mission reaches Mars in September 2016, the lander’s arm will lift two science instruments off the deck and place them onto the ground. This image shows testing of InSight’s robotic arm at JPL about two years before it will perform these tasks on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At T-minus […]