Satellites and space missions

Rosetta gathers data from the south pole of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Several months after the arrival at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) in August 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft has finally managed to observe and characterize comet's southern polar regions. The only instrument that was able to study this dark region of the co

October 02, 2015

New maps uncover amazing geological features on Ceres

A series of new images of Ceres have been provided by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showing the geological features of the dwarf planet in amazing, unprecedented details.A new colored topographic map shows numerous recently approved names for various geological features o

October 01, 2015

Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM): Deflecting asteroids to protect Earth

Our planet is constantly bombarded by small asteroids that try to penetrate its protective atmosphere. The vast majority don't get through, but larger asteroids could pose a threat. Understanding better the surface and internal structure of asteroids is crucial in i

October 01, 2015

Amazing new collection of high-resolution Pluto images opens a new page in its future research

A new collection of high-resolution images of Pluto, collected by NASA's New Horizon, has revealed the minor planet's surface in amazing, previously unseen topographic and compositional details. The collected data has opened new horizons in the future research o

September 25, 2015

New research reveals a global ocean beneath Saturn's moon Enceladus

Scientists have discovered a global ocean underneath the icy crust of Enceladus, the geologically active Saturn's moon. The discovery has been made by using data from NASA's Cassini mission, NASA announced on September 15, 2015.Researchers have come to this conc

September 17, 2015

Earth's gravity significantly impacts the Moon's faults orientation

New data obtained by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft show Earth's gravity has made a visible impact on the orientation of faults in the Moon's surface, NASA announced on September 15, 2015. LRO was launched on June 18, 2009 and has so fa

September 15, 2015

SOHO discovers its 3000th comet

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) detected its 3000th comet on September 13, 2015. The newest discovery confirmed SOHO's reputation for being the greatest comet finder in the history so far.SOHO is a joint project of the European Space Agency and NASA on

September 15, 2015

Bright spots on Ceres imaged in striking new detail

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has provided new views of the dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) announced on September 9, 2015. The brightest spots and the closest-yet view of Occator crater has given scientists a deeper insight into these unusua

September 10, 2015

LADEE spacecraft confirms Moon's exosphere contains neon

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft for the first time confirmed the long-speculated assumption, the Moon's atmosphere might contain neon, a gas known for it's intense glow, and commonly used in electric signs on Earth, NASA reporte

August 18, 2015

Fascinating world of Ceres with its mysterious bright spots and a pyramid-shaped mountain

Dwarf planet Ceres continues to fascinate scientists with it’s pyramid like mountain and bright spots on its surface. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the first probe to reach this dwarf planet on March 6, 2015, continues to return images and other data of this

August 10, 2015

A group of mysterious asteroids that could explain the origin of NEOs discovered

Lying near the asteroid rich abyss between Mars and Jupiter high above our Solar System, a unique family of space rocks called Euphrosyne asteroids just got discovered by the scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).The Euphrosynes are distributed at the

August 05, 2015

Unusual red arcs spotted on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Tethys

New enhanced-color images from NASA's Cassini spacecradr revealed unexplained arc-shaped, reddish streaks on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Tethys. The red arcs are narrow, curved lines on the moon's surface, and are among the most unusual color features o

July 31, 2015

NASA's Kepler mission discovers closest Earth twin yet

NASA made an announcement on July 23, 2015 of it's Kepler space telescope spotting the most Earth-like alien planet yet discovered - a world called Kepler-452b that's just slightly bigger than our own and orbits a sun-like star named Kepler-452 at about the same

July 25, 2015

Mystery of equatorial noise solved

A team from MIT, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Sheffield, and elsewhere has detected a remarkably orderly pattern amid the "equatorial noise." The discovery may help scientists to more accurately model the space environment an

July 16, 2015

New Horizons accomplished the historic first-ever flyby of Pluto

New Horizons spacecraft phoned home around 01:00 UTC on July 15, 2015 telling the mission control and the world it had accomplished the historic first-ever flyby of Pluto.The flyby began at 11:49 UTC on July 14 and the spacecraft has been instructed to spend the day gat

July 15, 2015

Tracking space weather for New Horizons

A few months before New Horizons was due to reach Pluto, a community of scientists came together to determine just what kind of a environment the mission would experience during its historic flyby.While the simulations aren't 100% conclusive, this first ever attempt

July 13, 2015

Neptune’s badly behaved magnetic field modelled in detail

A team of scientists at the Imperial College London have combined 26-year old data with supercomputer simulations and for the first time modelled Neptune's magnetic field in detail. The researchers find that the furthest planet from the Sun has a badly behaved

July 08, 2015

After anomaly and temporary loss of communications New Horizons stays on course to Pluto

After NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suffered an anomaly on July 4, which caused temporary loss of communications, mission control announced today the spacecraft is healthy and it continues on its course toward Pluto for a historic July 14 flyby.Contact with the spa

July 06, 2015

Final 'all clear' for historic July 14 Pluto flyby

Having found no potential threats on the way, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft stays course to Pluto, as it speeds closer to it's historic July 14, 2015 flyby of Pluto and it's five moons. Launched from Cape Canaveral on January 19, 2006, New Horizons woke up

July 04, 2015

Watching meteors from space: Meteor investigation camera destroyed, again

Eight months after a catastrophic failure of Orbital Cygnus mission to the International Space Station, in which supplies for the Meteor mission were lost, a new special camera was built and is now ready for lift off.Currently scheduled to launch on June 28, 2015, the

June 27, 2015

Earth's magnetic complexity begins to untangle - Swarm mission

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere – all the way from the ionosphere about 100 km above, through to the outer reaches of our protective

June 22, 2015

DSCOVR reached its orbit around 1st Lagrange point

NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), launched on February 11, 2015, has reached its final destination on June 7 and entered orbit around the 1st Lagrange point (L1), the neutral gravity point between the Earth and Sun, approximately 1.5 million km (~1 mil

June 11, 2015

MESSENGER mission ends with planned impact on Mercury's surface

NASA's Mercury exploration mission "MESSENGER" ended on Thursday, April 30, 2015 with a planned impact into Mercury's surface at 19:26 UTC. MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft impacted "Shakespeare&

April 30, 2015

3D Earth observations from space

Results from a recent field campaign, which was organised to help investigate the potential of a new Earth observation mission concept, have provided a unique 3D glimpse of the peaks and troughs under the Mittelbergferner glacier in the Austrian Alps, ESA reports today.

April 29, 2015

A satellite revolution in oceanography

Plymouth is one of England’s historic port cities, a place from which sailors, soldiers and scientists have set off to sea for centuries. Today there’s a new twist to the tale though, as oceanographers now have a huge fleet of satellites in space to add to t

April 27, 2015

Gamma-ray spectrometer prompts researchers to rethink how Mercury formed

A versatile instrument developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and riding on the first spacecraft to ever orbit Mercury is causing researchers to rethink their theories on the planet’s formation.Known as the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer,

April 19, 2015

Dawn's new Ceres color map reveals surface diversity

A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March 2015, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active body, Dawn

April 14, 2015

Dawn of a new era: the revolutionary ion engine that took spacecraft to Ceres

The NASA spacecraft Dawn has spent more than seven years travelling across the Solar System to intercept the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Now in orbit around Ceres, the probe has returned the first images and data from these distant objects. But inside

March 23, 2015

How is Mars rover Opportunity still alive?

Today, we review one of the great ongoing mysteries in the history of Mars exploration. In January of 2004, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity arrived at the red planet about three weeks apart.Due to the extreme dustiness of the Martian environment, it was believed

March 21, 2015

Large underground ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon

Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface. Identifying liquid water is crucial in the

March 21, 2015

MAVEN detects unexpected aurora and mysterious dust cloud around Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere.The presence of the dust at orbital altitudes from

March 19, 2015

Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of hydrothermal activity

Data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft provided first clear evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world

March 15, 2015

MMS spacecraft in Earth’s Orbit, preparing to study magnetic reconnection phenomenon

Following a successful launch at 02:44 UTC on March 13, 2015, NASA’s four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft are now positioned in Earth’s orbit and ready to begin the first space mission dedicated to the study of a phenomenon called magnetic reconne

March 13, 2015

Dawn spacecraft arrives at dwarf planet Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached dwarf planet Ceres and achieved orbit around it on Friday, March 6, 2015. Dawn was approximately 61 000 km (38 000 miles) away from Ceres when it was captured by its gravity at about 12:39 UTC.Mission controllers at NASA’s Je

March 06, 2015

Dawn, mission to the asteroid belt - narrated by Leonard Nimoy

Produced in 2007, this overview video about NASA's Dawn mission to giant asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres was released before the spacecraft's launch that year.The mission greatly appreciated Leonard Nimoy's support and participation.Dawn investigated V

February 28, 2015