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Latest JPL Stories

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2005-09-15 12:50:00

JPL -- Three cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter worked as expected in a test pointing them at the moon and stars on Sept. 8. "We feel great about how the camera performed and can hardly wait to see what it will show us at Mars," said Dr. Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The test also checked operation of the spacecraft's Context Camera and Optical...

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2005-07-08 21:30:00

JPL -- Data from Deep Impact's instruments indicate an immense cloud of fine powdery material was released when the probe slammed into the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at about 10 kilometers per second (6.3 miles per second or 23,000 miles per hour). The cloud indicated the comet is covered in the powdery stuff. The Deep Impact science team continues to wade through gigabytes of data collected during the July 4 encounter with the comet measuring 5-kilometers-wide by 11-kilometers-long (about...

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2005-06-20 19:36:56

JPL -- As the mercury shoots upward and lazy summer days stretch into balmy evenings, NASA is teaming with amateur astronomy clubs across the country to share the wonders of the nighttime skies with the public. "From campgrounds to beaches, to museums to inner city streets, our Night Sky Network is helping people look up and enjoy the starry view overhead," said Michael Greene, manager of the Navigator/Planet Quest public engagement program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,...

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2005-03-02 16:50:00

NASA -- On three consecutive days, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity accomplished unprecedented feats of martian motion, covering more total ground in that period than either Opportunity or its twin, Spirit, did in their first 70 days on Mars. Spirit, meanwhile, has uncovered soil that is more than half salt, adding to the evidence for Mars' wet past. The golf-cart-size robots successfully completed their three-month primary missions in April 2004 and are continuing extended mission...

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2005-03-01 13:20:00

JPL -- How do you hide something as big and bright as a galaxy? You smother it in cosmic dust. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope saw through such dust to uncover a hidden population of monstrously bright galaxies approximately 11 billion light-years away. These strange galaxies are among the most luminous in the universe, shining with the equivalent light of 10 trillion suns. But, they are so far away and so drenched in dust, it took Spitzer's highly sensitive infrared eyes to find them. "We...

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2005-01-12 12:30:00

JPL -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered a hatchery for massive stars. A new striking image from the infrared telescope shows a vibrant cloud called the Trifid Nebula dotted with glowing stellar "incubators." Tucked deep inside these incubators are rapidly growing embryonic stars, whose warmth Spitzer was able to see for the first time with its powerful heat-seeking eyes. The new view offers a rare glimpse at the earliest stages of massive star formation -- a time when developing...

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2005-01-10 15:20:00

JPL -- Astronomers say a dusty disc swirling around the nearby star Vega is bigger than earlier thought. It was probably caused by collisions of objects, perhaps as big as the planet Pluto, up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles) in diameter. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has seen the dusty aftermath of this "run-in." Astronomers think embryonic planets smashed together, shattered into pieces and repeatedly crashed into other fragments to create ever-finer debris. Vega's light heats the...

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2005-01-04 01:25:00

JPL -- NASA lit a birthday candle today for its twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The Spirit rover begins its second year on Mars investigating puzzling rocks unlike any found earlier. The rovers successfully completed their three-month primary missions in April. They astound even their designers with how well they continue operating. The unanticipated longevity is allowing both rovers to reach additional destinations and to keep making discoveries. Spirit landed on Jan. 3...


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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