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Latest Solar System Stories

building blocks of comets
2014-06-24 08:52:55

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A joint research effort between NASA and the European Space Agency has found proof that nitrogen within the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan came from conditions very similar to those that formed most of the ancient comets in the Oort cloud, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The Oort cloud is a spherical cloud of predominantly icy space rocks believed to surround the Sun at a radius far outside the Solar...

ESA Expects The Unexpected As Rosetta Nears Comet Rendezvous
2014-06-20 09:49:28

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft is the first mission in history to attempt to rendezvous with a comet. The spacecraft will deploy the Philae lander to the surface of the comet and accompany it as it orbits the Sun. The comet in question is 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is currently approximately 267,189 miles from the spacecraft. The Rosetta team released a series of images last May that detailed the extended...

Comet Siding Spring Won't Disrupt Martian Orbiters As It Makes Close Approach Of The Red Planet
2014-06-20 07:06:18

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Later this year, comet Siding Spring will have a very close brush with Mars. That brush will be so close, in fact, that it lead scientists to worry about the safety of the three spacecraft currently orbiting the planet. Some experts from the University of Maryland (UMD) have used a satellite mounted telescope to observe the "fresh" comet, however, and they find that it poses minimal danger to the Martian spacecraft. Instead, the...

Scientists Spots Giant Space Weather Effects At Mercury
2014-06-16 03:32:22

Karen C. Fox, NASA The solar wind of particles streaming off the sun helps drive flows and swirls in space as complicated as any terrestrial weather pattern. Scientists have now spotted at planet Mercury, for the first time, a classic space weather event called a hot flow anomaly, or HFA, which has previously been spotted at Earth, Venus, Saturn and Mars. "Planets have a bow shock the same way a supersonic jet does," said Vadim Uritsky at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in...

earth moon formation
2014-06-12 04:44:38

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Dating the formation of the Earth is a difficult process, because usually geological dating methods do not work as well. Early in its existence the Earth was more fluid, with materials all mixing together in a super-heated mix. It took millions of years for differentiation and cooling to achieve the layered Earth we live on today. So traditional geological dating gives us more of a lower bound for the age of the Earth, while...

Image converted using ifftoany
2014-06-07 05:13:41

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Now that the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express spacecraft has completed its eight-year scientific mission and is preparing to plunge into the planet’s atmosphere, the agency has started providing regular space weather reports for an extraterrestrial world for the first time. Venus Express, which was launched in November 2005, had been orbiting the planet in an elliptical 24-hour loop and using a suite of seven...

GOES-R EXIS instrument
2014-05-30 03:00:48

Lauren Gaches/Rob Gutro - NOAA/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Two of the six instruments that will fly on NOAA's first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R (GOES-R) satellite have completed integration with the spacecraft. The Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) were installed on the sun-pointing platform. They will observe the sun and space weather, including coronal mass ejections, solar flares and ion fluxes that...

solar system formation
2014-05-21 04:49:15

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online How do solar systems form? Specifically, why do some systems form smaller rocky worlds, while others are dominated by gas giants? A recent study led by Trey Mack, a graduate student in astronomy at Vanderbilt University, may have found the answer. Stars are dominated by hydrogen and helium, possessing only trace amounts of other elements – what astronomers generically call “metals”. Mack proposed looking at ratios of...

earth rotation ask a scientist
2014-05-12 13:43:55

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online This article is the latest installment in a new series where redOrbit's in-house experts will answer questions submitted by you, the reader. Got a science or space question that's stumping you? Each week we'll select a handful of the wiliest questions you can whip up to tease the brains of our resident gurus (we like call them ‘geeks’). Question: “Why does earth rotate? And if it is for conserving angular momentum,...

2014-05-12 08:38:11

SALT LAKE CITY, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO) today announced that Michael Mendenhall has joined the company as executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. Mendenhall formerly served as senior vice president and global chief marketing officer at Hewlett Packard. Before HP, Mendenhall spent 17 years at the Walt Disney Company, culminating in his positions as president of marketing and synergy for Walt Disney Studios and EVP of global...


Latest Solar System Reference Libraries

Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

Planetary and Space Science
2012-05-28 10:21:45

Planetary and Space Science is a peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1959 and published by Elsevier 15 times per year. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Rita Schulz (The Netherlands). The journal publishes original research articles and short communications. The main focus is on solar system processes which encompass multiple areas of the natural sciences. Research that involves planetary and space sciences involves many disciplines. Celestial mechanics is part of these...

26_c47c1e1ef4be232682b2419b8dcade37
2009-04-28 19:02:44

Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel was born on December 4, 1821 in Germany and died March 16, 1889. Tempel worked in Marseille until the onset of the Franco Prussian War in 1870 at which time he relocated to Italy. Tempel discovered or assisted in discovering 21 comets. The Tempel asteroid 3808 and lunar crater Tempel are named in his honor. His most notable discoveries include the following asteroids 564 Angelina, 65 Cybele, 74 Galatea, 81 Terpsichore and 97 Klotho.

0_c47c1e1ef4be232682b2419b8dcade37
2009-04-28 18:59:52

Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel was born on December 4, 1821 in Germany and died March 16, 1889. Tempel worked in Marseille until the onset of the Franco Prussian War in 1870 at which time he relocated to Italy. Tempel discovered or assisted in discovering 21 comets. The Tempel asteroid 3808 and lunar crater Tempel are named in his honor. His most notable discoveries include the following asteroids 564 Angelina, 65 Cybele, 74 Galatea, 81 Terpsichore and 97 Klotho.

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Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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