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Latest Carnegie Institution of Washington Stories

2012-05-09 07:59:44

Larry Nittler, a staff scientist in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, has been named deputy principal investigator of the MESSENGER mission. MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of CIW, delivered the announcement this morning at the first plenary of the 26th meeting of the MESSENGER Science Team meeting in Vancouver, B.C. Solomon, a research scientist and director emeritus at CIW, has led NASA's orbiting exploration of the planet...

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2011-02-18 12:13:25

What would our solar system look like if visitors from other worlds took a series of pictures? NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft did just that by piecing together the first portrait of our solar system from the inside looking out. Comprised of 34 images, the mosaic provides a complement to the solar system portrait--from the outside looking in--taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. "Obtaining this portrait was a terrific feat by the MESSENGER team," says MESSENGER principal investigator Sean Solomon, of the...

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2009-04-30 15:00:00

NASA's live media teleconference held earlier today included a panel of experts working on the U.S. space program's MESSENGER instrument that discussed new data and findings revealed by the planet Mercury's makeup. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft's second flyby of the planet in October 2008 showed that the planet's atmosphere, magnetosphere, and geological past are all characterized by much greater levels of activity than astronomers...

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2008-12-12 13:21:44

Members of the MESSENGER science team will present a range of new findings from the spacecraft's studies of the planet Mercury during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting next week in San Francisco. "The principal goal of the MESSENGER mission is to gather global observations of Mercury from orbit about the planet, beginning in 2011, but our first two flybys produced a wonderful abundance of new information about the least known of our sister planets," says MESSENGER Principal...

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2008-10-29 12:35:00

A NASA spacecraft gliding over the battered surface of Mercury for the second time this year has revealed more previously unseen real estate on the innermost planet. The probe also has produced several science firsts and is returning hundreds of new photos and measurements of the planet's surface, atmosphere and magnetic field. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, or MESSENGER, spacecraft flew by Mercury shortly after 4:40 a.m. EDT, on Oct. 6. It completed a...

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2008-10-08 13:55:00

NASA's Mercury Messenger passed within 200km of the planet on Monday collecting about 1,200 new images. On Oct. 6, 2008, at roughly 4:40 a.m. ET, Messenger flew by Mercury for the second time this year, according to NASA. NASA officials said the flyby also gave Messenger the gravity tug it needed to get on to the right path to go into orbit in 2011. "The Messenger team is extremely pleased by the superb performance of the spacecraft and the payload," said chief scientist Sean Solomon of the...

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2005-09-27 14:28:03

NASA -- Fifty years ago, scientists Bernard Burke and Kenneth Franklin mistook radio signals from Jupiter for a Maryland farmhand driving home after a late date. It was an easy mistake to make back in 1955 as they set out to map the northern sky using a radio astronomy array in the middle of a rural 96-acre field about 20 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Before that fateful night, astronomers had never picked up radio signals from any other planet besides Earth. Testing the array and...

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2005-07-13 06:51:52

Last August, two groups of scientists announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planets found to date. But just what are these Neptune-size worlds? Are they gas giants, ice giants, or oversized Earths? Astronomer Alan Boss examines the possibilities. Astrobiology Magazine -- Over the past decade, astronomers using a planet-hunting technique that measures small changes in a star's speed relative to Earth, have discovered more than 130 extrasolar planets. The first such planets were...

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2005-07-11 14:37:58

In the past decade, more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered. Almost all have been found using a technique that measures tiny changes in a star's radial velocity, the speed of its motion relative to Earth. Astronomer Alan Boss tells the story how the first of these discoveries came about. Astrobiology Magazine -- More than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered to date. Most of these have been found using a technique that measures tiny changes in a star's radial velocity,...

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2005-07-07 14:37:11

The existence of extrasolar planets has become common knowledge in the past decade. But in the mid-20th Century, the search for worlds orbiting other stars got off to a rocky start. Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution of Washington, recounts the early days of extrasolar planet-hunting. Astrobiology Magazine -- These days, it is generally accepted within the scientific community that there are planets orbiting nearby stars. In the past decade, more than 130 such extrasolar...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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