New 'KEM' Proposal Would Extend New Horizons Post-Pluto Mission to 2021

If approved by NASA, the KEM proposal will allow New Horizons to continue its study of the outer fringes of the Solar System until 2021, including a flyby of 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The New Horizons mission has revolutionized our understanding of Pluto and its moons, after conducting the first-ever flyby last summer. […]

2015 in Review: A Year of Spectacular Planetary Missions and Discoveries

High-resolution view of Pluto from New Horizons, showing rugged mountains and vast icy plains. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

To say that 2015 has been a great year for planetary exploration would be an understatement, with fantastic new discoveries from around the Solar System. From our first ever close-up look at Pluto and its moons, to […]

Rosetta Scientists Answer Question of How 'Rubber Duck' Comet 67P Got Its Shape

Image from July 14, 2015, showing the double-lobed or “rubber duck” shape of Comet 67P and outgassing of water vapor, gas, and dust. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, or 67P, has been the focus of intense study by the Rosetta spacecraft since 2014. One of the key mysteries scientists […]

Rosetta Spacecraft Observes 'Dramatic and Rapid' Changes on Surface of Comet 67P

Sequence of images showing the surface changes in the Imhotep region. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Since August 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft has been orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, providing an unprecedented look at an active comet as it moves closer to the Sun in its orbit. As expected, the level of activity increased […]

A Perfect Day for Sunbathing: A Year After Its Arrival, Rosetta Observes Comet 67P at Perihelion

From ESA: “This series of images of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 12 August 2015, just a few hours before the comet reached the closest point to the Sun along its 6.5-year orbit, or perihelion.” The center image shows a significant outburst. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

[…]

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 […]

Rosetta Team Completely Rethinking Comet Close Encounter Strategy

This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image was taken from a distance of 77.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 22 March 2015. The image has a resolution of 6.6 m/pixel and measures 6 x 6 km. The image is cropped and processed to bring out the details of the comet’s activity. […]

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 […]

ESA's Rosetta Spacecraft Begins Search for Signs of Life From Philae

From ESA, “Welcome to a Comet”: “Philae’s view of the cliffs at Abydos. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Could it be possible that a lander the size of a washing machine, thought to be lost nearly four months ago following its passing into shadow, […]