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Latest Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Stories

Dolores Hill Honored As White House Champion Of Change
2013-06-27 10:22:09

University of Arizona University of Arizona researcher Dolores Hill, co-lead of the OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroids! program, has been recognized as one of 12 White House Champions of Change recipients. Hill and her 11 counterparts were selected from a pool of about 1,000 nominations. The group was honored at a ceremony at the White House, which was attended by representatives of the Obama Administration and other honorees' families, friends and colleagues. "It is such an honor to be...

Analysis Indicates Huygens Probe Had Rough Landing On Saturn’s Moon Titan In 2005
2012-10-12 08:28:31

[WATCH VIDEO: Touching Down On Titan] Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The European Space Agency´s (ESA) Huygens space probe, which landed on Saturn´s largest moon Titan in 2005, had a bit of a shaky landing in the final seconds of its Titanian descent. After touching down on the distant landscape--the farthest away any spacecraft has ever landed--the probe “bounced, slid and wobbled” to its final resting place, according to a new analysis...

Astronomers To Get Sneak Peek Of OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroid
2011-09-15 06:59:33

  Every six years, asteroid 1999 RQ 36 nears the Earth - by cosmic standards - and researchers are launching a global observation campaign to learn as much as possible in preparation for the OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S.-led mission to bring back a sample of pristine asteroid material. Astronomers working on the U.S.' first asteroid-sample return mission — the NASA mission named OSIRIS-REx — have begun a months-long observing campaign that is the last chance to study their...

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2011-08-04 13:55:00

Researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have found possible flowing water on Mars. A team using the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars orbiter have tracked seasonal changes to determine that finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during the warmest months of the Mars year. The features fade during the winter, and return during the next spring.  Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in...

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2011-06-30 14:00:00

A planetary scientist at the University of Arizona has determined Neptune's rotation. According to the first accurate measurements of the planet's rotational period, a day on Neptune lasts about 15 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds. University of Arizona planetary scientist Erich Karkoschka has discovered one of the largest improvements in determining the rotational period of a gas planet in almost 350 years since Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini made the first observations of Jupiter's...

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2011-04-06 06:30:00

By Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona The discovery of minerals requiring liquid water for their formation challenges the paradigm of comets as "dirty snowballs" frozen in time. For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material. "Current thinking suggests that it is impossible to form liquid water inside of a...

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2011-03-15 09:00:33

Scientists are excited about solving some of the mysteries surrounding our smallest and hottest planet; the findings are expected to broaden our understanding of rocky planets, more and more of which are being discovered in other solar systems At 8:45 p.m. EDT on March 17, the MESSENGER spacecraft will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place it into orbit around Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost...

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2010-10-29 13:55:00

A growing bounty of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals that the timing of new activity in one type of the enigmatic gullies on Mars implicates carbon-dioxide frost, rather than water, as the agent causing fresh flows of sand. Researchers have tracked changes in gullies on faces of sand dunes in seven locations on southern Mars. The periods when changes occurred, as determined by comparisons of before-and-after images, overlapped in all cases with the known winter build-up...

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2010-10-11 08:03:55

By Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona Simulating possible chemical processes in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, a UA-led planetary research team found amino acids and nucleotide bases in the mix -- the most important ingredients of life on Earth In an experiment exploring the chemical processes that might be going on in the hazy atmosphere enshrouding Saturn's largest moon, a University of Arizona-led team of scientists discovered a variety of complex organic molecules...

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2010-06-20 07:31:31

One might find that Jupiter's moon Europa to have extraterrestrial life after fossil-hunting on the icy surface. "A prospector sent there could possibly find extraterrestrial life within our lifetimes," planetary scientist Richard Greenberg at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson told Space.com. A global ocean that may be about 100 miles deep envelops Europa.  An icy crust of unknown thickness overlies this ocean, although some estimates say that it is...


Word of the Day
drawcansir
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.
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