Ceres Shows Mystifying Faces and Perplexing White Spots to NASA’s Dawn

Two mystifying faces of Ceres These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A fresh set of images of dwarf planet […]

Sharpest Views of Mysterious 'Planet' Ceres Now Better Than Hubble, Tantalize Scientists

Comparison of Ceres images taken from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Jan. 25, 2015, and the Hubble Space Telescope up to January 2004. What is the nature of the ‘White Spot’ visible in both images? What new features are being revealed by Dawn? Dawn Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA. HST Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research […]

Dawn’s Greatest Glimpse Yet of Ceres Hints at Startling Revelations Soon to Come

GIF animation of Ceres images taken by Dawn spacecraft on Jan. 13, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

We’ve wondered about Ceres‘ nature and true identity for over two centuries, ever since it was discovered on New Year’s Day, 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi of Italy. It’s been alternately classified as a planet, asteroid, and more recently […]

Final Assembly Begins for NASA’s Next Mars Lander: InSight

Technicians in a Lockheed Martin clean room prepare NASA’s InSight Mars lander for propulsion proof and leak testing on Oct. 31, 2014. Following the test, the lander was moved to another clean room where it will undergo the assembly phase of ATLO during the next six months. Credit: Lockheed Martin

NASA’s next Mars […]

Philae Detects Organic Molecules at Comet Landing Site

OSIRIS spots Philae drifting across the comet. These incredible images show the breathtaking journey of Rosetta’s Philae lander as it approached and then rebounded from its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Europe’s intrepid and plucky Philae spacecraft has detected organic molecules on the […]

Philae Lands Three Times, Transmits Full Science Data Package, Then Sleeps ... For Now

Rosetta’s lander Philae has returned the first panoramic image from the surface of a comet. The view as it has been captured by the CIVA-P imaging system, shows a 360º view around the point of final touchdown. The three feet of Philae’s landing gear can be seen in some of the frames. Superimposed […]

ESA’s Rosetta to Deploy Philae Nov. 12 for Historic First Attempt at Comet Landing

The Philae primary landing site in context with the rest of comet 67P. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The team leading the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission has chosen Nov. 12 as the date to deploy the piggybacked Philae lander for mankind’s history-making first attempt to touchdown on the surface […]

Landing Site Selected for First-Ever Attempt to Land on a Comet

Landing site J, marked by the white + sign, on the head of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

A landing site has now been chosen for the Rosetta spacecraft’s lander, Philae, on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, it was announced this morning. After several candidate landing sites had been considered, site J […]