The European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta has rendezvoused with Comet 67P, with plans to send a smaller craft to land on it November 11. The project was launched back in 2004. The comet is about 3×5 kilometers across (1.86×3 miles). Go here for more information. After the jump, photographs from the probe, showing what a comet looks like up close. [Read more…]
The Earth and the Moon from the Saturn probe Cassini, launched in 1997 and still sending back pictures, about a billion miles away:
The universe did to the earth what a boxer does to his chump opponent, feinting with his right as a distraction, then punching hard with his left. On the very day we were concentrating on the near miss from the asteroid, which passed within the orbit of some of our satellites, a 55-foot-long meteor, weighing 10,000 tons and traveling 44,000 miles per hour, slammed into Russia with the energy of 30 nuclear bombs. Most of that was absorbed by our atmosphere, but the shock wave injured 1,200 people and damaged thousands of houses. [Read more…]
On February 15, an asteroid of the size that struck this planet in the past, knocking out that forest in Siberia and making Meteor Crater in Arizona, will pass not only between the earth and the moon but between the earth and the orbit of some of our satellites. [Read more…]
Remember those spunky little rovers that were landed on Mars, sending back pictures of the Red Planet for years on end? Well, another rover is scheduled to touch down on Mars this Sunday, August 6.
It’s the size of an SUV, with massive digging arms, lasers, and automated laboratories that may settle the question of Martian life once and for all. The plan is for this 2000 pound vehicle, named “Curiosity,” to be dropped inside a Martian crater that appears to have once held water. The difficulty of this landing, requiring pin-point precision of all systems, is being described as “seven minutes of terror” for the NASA team trying to pull this off.
If it works, we will greatly expand our knowledge of Mars. And have some sublime photos of another world.