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Latest Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Stories

Sunrise 2 Launched Successfully
2013-06-12 10:28:55

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research The balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise has lifted off - and will now begin its unique journey to the active Sun. The balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise has lifted off successfully from Esrange Space Center in the north of Sweden. Today at 7.37 a.m. CEST the launching vehicle released the gondola and the huge balloon lifted Sunrise into the sky. Ever since the last ground-based tests had been completed during the past week, the...

Balloon Solar Observatory Sunrise Ready To Launch
2013-06-04 11:52:36

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany has announced the upcoming launch of its balloon-based solar observatory Sunrise after its team performs one last ground-based test. Outfitted with the biggest solar telescope to have ever left the Earth's surface, a helium-filled balloon will lift Sunrise 2 almost 22 miles above the ground where it will begin observations of the Sun. Four years ago,...

Martian Snowstorms Can Be Forecast Weeks Before They Occur
2013-05-09 09:43:53

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study from an international group of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) reveals that snowstorms that lash the northern hemisphere of Mars during the harsh winters may be predicted several weeks in advance. The team´s calculations reveal a connection between the snowfalls and a weather phenomenon special to Mars: fluctuations of pressure, temperature, wind speeds and directions that...

Dawn Has Vesta's Dark Materials In View
2013-01-03 12:54:32

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory A new study of images from NASA's Dawn mission examines remarkable, dark-as-coal material that speckles the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. Scientists are using the images, taken by Dawn's framing camera, to understand the impact environment early in Vesta's evolution. In the most comprehensive analysis of the dark material to date, Dawn scientists describe how this carbon-rich material tends to appear around the edges of two giant impact basins in...

Vesta's Coat Of Many Colors
2012-06-07 09:05:24

[ Watch the Video ] A new video from NASA's Dawn mission reveals the dappled, variegated surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The animation drapes high-resolution false color images over a 3-D model of the Vesta terrain constructed from Dawn's observations. This visualization enables a detailed view of the variation in the material properties of Vesta in the context of its topography. The colors were chosen to highlight differences in surface composition that are too subtle for the...

Low Altitude Images Of Vesta Returned By Dawn Spacecraft
2011-12-22 04:31:12

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first images of the giant asteroid Vesta from its low-altitude mapping orbit. The images, obtained by the framing camera, show the stippled and lumpy surface in detail never seen before, piquing the curiosity of scientists who are studying Vesta for clues about the solar system's early history. At this detailed resolution, the surface shows abundant small craters, and textures such as small grooves and lineaments that are reminiscent of the...

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2011-07-29 06:10:00

Dawn took this image over Vesta's northern hemisphere after the spacecraft completed its first passage over the dark side of the giant asteroid. It is northern hemisphere winter on Vesta now, so its north pole is in deep shadow. The Dawn science team is working to determine the significance of the distinct features in this image, which include large grooves or ridges extending for great distances around Vesta. This image was taken by Dawn's framing camera on July 23, from a distance of 3,200...

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2011-07-22 09:45:00

Dawn took this image during its current orbit of Vesta, traveling from the day side to the night side. The large structure near the south pole that showed up so prominently in previous images is visible in the center of the illuminated surface. Compared to other images, this one shows more of the surface beneath the spacecraft in the shadow of night. Vesta turns on its axis once every five hours and 20 minutes. Dawn entered orbit around Vesta on July 15, 2011, and will spend a year orbiting...

2011-06-13 12:57:00

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists working with NASA's Dawn spacecraft have created a new video showing the giant asteroid Vesta as the spacecraft approaches this unexplored world in the main asteroid belt. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The video loops 20 images obtained for navigation purposes on June 1. The images show a dark feature near Vesta's equator moving from left to right across the field of view as Vesta rotates....

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2011-06-13 11:25:00

Scientists have created a new video to give a glimpse into the future as NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches the giant asteroid Vesta. The video loops 20 images that show a dark feature near Vesta's equator moving from left to right across the field of view as Vesta rotates. The images were obtained by a framing camera during a 30-minute period and show about 30 degrees of a rotation. "Like strangers in a strange land, we're looking for familiar landmarks," Jian-Yang Li, a Dawn participating...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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