Satellites and space missions

Rosetta’s lander Philae will target the 'head' of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

ESA announced today that the landing spot for Rosetta's lander Philae will be target Site J, an intriguing region on the 'head' of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The spot offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum

September 15, 2014

Rosetta mission findings: no room for dirty snowballs

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to the Comet 67P is attracting worldwide attention to comet science. While months remain until the team attempts to land a probe on the comet's surface, astonishing revelations are already confronting scientists on Ear

August 16, 2014

Insight into one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades

On January 21, 2014, astronomers around the world witnessed a supernova soon after it exploded in the Messier 82, or M82, galaxy. It is one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades. Telescopes across the globe and in space turned their at

August 15, 2014

Stardust's payload holds first potential interstellar space particles

A team of scientists has been combing through the payload of NASA's Stardust spacecraft since it returned to Earth in 2006. They found seven rare, microscopic interstellar dust particles, that most likely came from outside of our solar system. If

August 14, 2014

Colliding atmospheres - Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

It's a known fact that planets have atmospheres, but the same can't be said for comets. The atmosphere of a comet, called its "coma," is made of gas and dust that spew out of the sun-warmed nucleus and it's typically wider than Jupiter.La

August 13, 2014

Live event: Rosetta arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

On August 6, 2014, after a decade-long journey through space, ESA’s comet chaser "Rosetta" will become the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. Rosetta will also be the first mission in history to escort a comet as it or

August 05, 2014

Comet 67P too hot to be covered in ice

ESA’s comet chaser Rosetta has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, and found that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.The observations of the comet we

August 01, 2014

Mysterious signal from the center of the Perseus Cluster unexplained by known physics

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to explore the Perseus Cluster, a swarm of galaxies approximately 250 million light years from Earth, have observed the spectral line that appears not to come from any known type of matter. The signal

July 25, 2014

New images and 3D model of Rosetta's target - Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

As the ESA's comet chaser Rosetta approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) for an August rendezvous, the comet's core is finally coming into sharper focus. Yesterday, ESA released a new set of images taken by the OSIRIS spacecraft on July 20th

July 25, 2014

Fermi catches a never before seen 'transformer' neutron star

In late June 2013 astronomers using Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observed an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star which suddenly underwent a dramatic change in behavior. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the

July 23, 2014

NASA's RapidScat to unveil hidden cycles of sea winds

Ocean waves, the hot sun, sea breezes -- the right combination makes a great day at the beach. A different combination makes a killer hurricane. The complex interactions of the ocean and the air above it that can create such different outcomes are not yet fully known. S

July 10, 2014

Sun sends more 'tsunami waves' to Voyager 1

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced a new "tsunami wave" from the sun as it sails through interstellar space. Such waves are what led scientists to the conclusion, in the fall of 2013, that Voyager had indeed left our sun's bubble, entering a n

July 08, 2014

STEREO probes operations will be curtailed for more than a year

NASA's revolutionary twin STEREO probes which allowed us to see the farside of the Sun and make 3D models of incoming CMEs will pass directly behind the Sun later this year making images from the probes unavailable for quite some time.While planning the

June 28, 2014

Athena to study the hot and energetic universe

ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics as its second ‘Large-class’ science mission.The observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe and takes the ‘L2’ slot in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–25 p

June 27, 2014

New NASA model gives glimpse into the invisible world of electric asteroids

Space may appear empty -- a soundless vacuum, but it's not an absolute void. It flows with electric activity that is not visible to our eyes. NASA is developing plans to send humans to an asteroid, and wants to know more about the electrical environment explorers wi

June 26, 2014

Swift calculates water production of Mars-bound comet Siding Spring

In late May, NASA's Swift satellite imaged comet Siding Spring, which will brush astonishingly close to Mars on October 19, 2014. These optical and ultraviolet observations are the first to reveal how rapidly the comet is producing water and allow astronomers to

June 20, 2014

Earth's magnetic field showing signs of significant weakening

The first set of high-resolution results from ESA’s three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth. Magnetic field is in a permanen

June 19, 2014

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's view of Tycho Central Peak

Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) celebrates its fifth anniversary in space. LRO launched from Florida on June 18, 2009 and after a four-day journey, it successfully entered lunar orbit on June 23. In the succeeding five years, LRO has continued to shap

June 18, 2014

El Hierro volcano helps to improve algorithms used by satellites

Information provided by satellites on the amount of chlorophyll-A and the roughness of the sea following the eruption of the underwater volcano off the island of El Hierro (Spain) did not coincide with the actual data collected in situ by vessels carrying

June 09, 2014

Venus now the first planet after Earth to get daily space weather reports

European Space Agency (ESA) announced today they have started issuing regular space weather reports for a spacecraft orbiting planet Venus. This is the first time since the exploration of Solar System has begun that a planet, other than Earth, gets a dedi

June 06, 2014

Citizen scientists took control of long forgotten International Cometary Explorer

A group of citizen scientists who raised almost $160,000 to fund the process of taking control of 36-year-old International Cometary Explorer (ICE), formerly known as International Sun/Earth explorer 3 (ISEE-3), announced that after 16 years of silence tw

May 30, 2014

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko develops coma

As comet-chaser Rosetta approached its target to roughly 2 million km in early May, images captured by OSIRIS clearly showed that the comet has already developed 1 300 km long coma. This onset of activity offers scientists the opportun

May 15, 2014

First image of an asteroid taken from the surface of Mars

The Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has captured the first image of an asteroid taken from the surface of Mars. The night-sky image actually includes two asteroids: Ceres and Vesta, plus one of Mars' two moons, Deimos, which may have been an

May 01, 2014

LADEE ends its mission with stunning 80 Mbps laser transmission from Moon

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, ended its mission last week with a planned impact on the Moon but just before the impact it performed another successful laser communication with ESA's ground station at a stunning s

April 26, 2014

First images of Earth from ESA's new environmental satellite

European Space Agency (ESA) launched Sentinel-1A satellite on April 3, 2014 which opened a new page in the implementation of Copernicus, the largest civil Earth observation programme ever conceived​ and the second EU flagship space initia

April 18, 2014

Cassini images may reveal the birth of new Saturn moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known moons.Images taken with Cassini's narrow angle camera on Apr

April 15, 2014

Europe lofts first Copernicus environmental satellite

European Space Agency (ESA) launched Sentinel-1A satellite on April 3rd which opens a new page in the implementation of Copernicus, the second EU flagship space initiative, after the Galileo positioning system. The ability of European citizens,

April 04, 2014

Cassini reports sub-surface ocean on Enceladus

Enceladus—one of Saturn's smaller satellites—has joined the ranks of Titan and Europa as a moon that appears to have liquid water splashing around inside of it, researchers say. New gravity data from the Cassini spacecraft, which has been exploring the

April 04, 2014

Comet-hunter Rosetta captures first images of its destination comet

Rosetta, a unique ESA's comet-hunting spacecraft, captured first images of its destination comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on March 20, 2014. If everything goes by the plan this solar-powered spacecraft will become the first space

March 28, 2014

First images available from NASA-JAXA Global Rain and Snowfall Satellite

NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have released the first images captured by their newest Earth-observing satellite, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, which launched into space February 27. The images show

March 25, 2014

Sensing lightning from ISS

Across the atmosphere of Earth, lightning flashes about 50 times per second. That’s 4.3 million times a day and roughly 1.5 billion times a year. Using a new instrument on the International Space Station (ISS), scientists are trying to observe and dissect at

March 24, 2014

New era of global weather observing and climate science

International, next-generation, unifying satellite observatory for global snow and rain measurements - Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory - was successfully launched yesterday from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan marking the beginning of a

February 28, 2014

Cassini gets a 360-degree view of Saturn's auroras

While Hubble Space Telescope, orbiting around Earth, was able to observe the Saturn's northern auroras in ultraviolet wavelengths, Cassini spacecraft, orbiting around Saturn, got complementary close-up views in infrared, visible-light and ultraviolet

February 16, 2014

IBEX research shows influence of galactic magnetic field extends well beyond our solar system

In a report published yesterday, new research suggests the enigmatic “ribbon” of energetic particles discovered at the edge of our solar system by NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) may be only a small sign of the vast influence of the

February 14, 2014

Earth and our moon as seen from Mars

This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover includes Earth as the brightest point of light in the night sky. Earth is a little left of center in the image, and our moon is just below Earth. Researchers used the left eye

February 10, 2014