All Good Things: Countdown Begins Toward Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Around Saturn

Artist’s concept of Cassini’s final orbits between the Saturn’s innermost rings and the planet’s cloud tops. This set of orbits will consist the last leg of Cassini’s mission, called “The Grand Finale,” which will culminate with a plunge on Saturn’s atmosphere in September 2017. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL

It has become something of […]

Goodnight, Sweet Philae: Bid to Reawaken Rosetta's Lander Near Impossible

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

It would have been a heroic coda to an already ambitious, historic mission, but alas, it was not meant to be. For the past few months, […]

Rosetta Mission and Philae Lander Celebrate One Year Since Historic Touchdown on a Comet

Artist’s concept of Philae on the surface of Comet 67P, with the Rosetta spacecraft orbiting overhead. Image Credit: CNES/DUCROS David/ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission continues to capture the world’s imagination one year following the historic touchdown(s) of its Philae lander. On Nov. 12, Philae surpassed its one-year […]

Rosetta Detects Molecular Oxygen at Comet 67P, Adding to Year of Firsts

From ESA: “This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 18 October 2015 from a distance of 433 km from the comet centre. The image has a resolution of 36.9 m/pixel and measures 37.8 km across.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam (Note: This image has been cropped.)

The European Space Agency’s […]

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

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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 […]

Rosetta Team Troubleshoots Philae as Comet's Activity 'Heats Up'

From ESA: ““This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 14 July 2015 from a distance of 161 km from the comet centre. The image has a resolution of 13.7 m/pixel and measures 14 km across.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) […]

New Spectacular Images of Pluto From New Horizons Reveal an Exotic, Dynamic World

A breathtaking, dramatic image of Pluto backlit by the distant Sun, taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft a few hours after its closest approach, on July 14, while at a distance of 2 million km away from the planet. Besides its unparalleled aesthetic quality, this image provided scientists with important information about the structure […]

Rosetta Update: Team Ramps Up for Perihelion, Communications With Philae, and Remembering Dr. Claudia Alexander

From ESA: ” This image focuses on Apis and Atum regions on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s large lobe in the foreground, with parts of the small lobe in the background. The image is a mosaic of two OSIRIS narrow-angle camera images. The images were acquired on 5 September 2014 when Rosetta was about 40 km from […]

Two Days Prior to Closest Approach New Horizons Images Pluto's Charon-Facing Hemisphere for the Last Time

Pluto’s Charon-facing hemisphere, as seen by the New Horizons spacecraft for the last time on july 11, from a distance of 4 million km away. The image clearly shows newly-resolved linear features above the equatorial region that intersect, suggestive of polygonal shapes. Image Credit/Caption: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

With just two days remaining before New Horizons zips […]