Dust Eruption

  Oct 16, 2018 How can water vapor explode from a comet far from the Sun? The Rosetta Cometary Probe was launched March 2, 2004 on a rendezvous mission with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It was in hibernation for most of the trip, only powering up its instruments in January of 2014. …

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Ionized Moon

  Oct 11, 2018 Phobos could be electrically charged. Of the two Martian moons, Phobos is the largest, at 28 by 20 kilometers. Its most prominent feature is Stickney crater, a ten-kilometer-wide excavation that is almost as large as Phobos, itself. If the crater was caused by the impact of …

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Feeling the Heat

Oct 10, 2018 The Parker Solar Probe is beginning its seven year maneuvering phase. The Parker Solar Probe was launched on August 12, 2018. Its first gravity assisted slow-down took place on October 3, 2018. The probe will conduct several more gravity-assist maneuvers with Venus over the course of the …

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New Moons

    Oct 9, 2018 Recent information reveals new dwarf planet features. The Kuiper Belt theory was proposed by astronomers Kenneth Edgeworth and Gerard Kuiper in 1951. Sometimes known as “trans-Neptunian Objects”, scores of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO) from the size of small moons to the size of small planets …

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Deep in the Dark

Oct 8, 2018 The Universe keeps getting bigger. A recent press release announced that astronomers, combining data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, found a galaxy they believe is 13.3 billion light-years from Earth, making it the most distant object ever detected. According to the report, …

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Electrical Dynamism

Oct 5, 2018 More Cassini data analysis. Saturn’s magnetosphere is an electrical environment, causing dark-mode plasma discharges and lightning bolts that flash across the ring plane. As previously written, when Cassini entered orbit around the giant planet, mission specialists were shocked to discover lightning of immense power, up to a million times more powerful than anything …

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A Burst in the Night

  Oct 3, 2018 Many phenomena could be due to something astronomers do not expect. Some things are familiar, even though they are not easily explained. The aurorae at each of Earth’s poles are familiar to most people, although the way they form is not completely understood. Similarly, lightning bolts …

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