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Probes of the Planets
Deep Impact
Viewed: 823 times
01/14/09
Deep Impact
Viewed: 643 times
01/14/09
Deep Impact
Viewed: 659 times
01/14/09
Variations in the colors of rocks lying in different craters, shown here
in enhanced Mariner 10 images, suggest variations in composition. Credit: NASA
Viewed: 801 times
01/14/09
Cooling and contraction of Mercury's core may have been the driving force
behind the global wrinkling that formed the planet's lobate scarps. This
scarp, Discovery Rupes, is nearly a mile in height. Credit: NASA
Viewed: 1192 times
01/14/09

Mercury-color-banner
Viewed: 675 times
01/14/09
Artist's impression of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft as it leaves Earth, following its Aug. 3, 2004 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. aboard a Delta II rocket. The spacecraft will fly past Earth once, Venus twice and Mercury three times before starting a yearlong orbital study of the innermost planet in March 2011.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Viewed: 1181 times
01/14/09
Earth and Moon system as seen by VIRTIS-M. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 759 times
01/14/09
Earth as seen by VIRTIS-M on Venus Express. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 728 times
01/14/09
Real and false colour visible images of Earth from Rosetta. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 851 times
01/14/09

'Thermal' image of Earth as seen by VIRTIS-M. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 761 times
01/14/09
This is the "important part" of the SDC. The detector. You can see here the individal cells that will gather the particles once the SDC is out in space.
Credit: University of Colorado
Viewed: 1089 times
01/14/09
In this artist's concept, Pluto and its moon Charon are seen from the surface of one of Pluto's newly discovered candidate satellites. Credit: David A. Aguilar (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics).
Viewed: 902 times
01/14/09
Artist's concept of Xena and its moon. The sun and other planets appear in the distance. Credit: R. Hurt, IPAC
Viewed: 817 times
01/14/09
No spacecraft from Earth has yet explored Pluto but astronomers have found ways of mapping its surface. A stunning map of this distant, diminutive planet, the first based on direct images, was revealed late last week in a Hubble Space Telescope press release. Above are two opposite hemisphere views of the computer constructed map of Pluto's surface (north is up). The grid pattern is due to the computer technique used where each grid element is over 100 miles across. The map is based on Hubble images made when Pluto was a mere 3 billion miles distant. It shows strong brightness variations - confirming and substantially improving upon ground based observations. While the brightness variations may be due to surface features like craters and basins they are more likely caused by regions of nitrogen and methane frost. The frost regions should show "seasonal" changes which can be tracked in future Hubble observations. Yes, Pluto is a planet even though it is only 2/3 the size of Earth's Moon! Credit: A. Stern (SwRI), M. Buie (Lowell Observatory), NASA, ESA,
Viewed: 1480 times
01/14/09

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of two new moons around the distant planet Pluto. Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto Companion Search Team
Viewed: 1026 times
01/14/09
The images show the evolution of the impact over the first three hours from the time of collision. The red colour on the plots shows the 'core' material (iron), while the blue shows the lighter mantle material (silicates, modelled as a rock type called dunite). © Horner et Al 2006
Viewed: 1201 times
01/14/09
Venus Express engine burn Credit: ESA
Viewed: 645 times
01/14/09
Venus, a planet with no magnetic shelter Credit: ESA
Viewed: 709 times
01/14/09
Artist's impression of Venus Express orbit insertion Credit: ESA
Viewed: 683 times
01/14/09

Venus Radio Science experiment Credit: ESA
Viewed: 716 times
01/14/09
Venus Express over atmospheric storms at Venus's North pole. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 744 times
01/14/09
Venus Express' trajectory to Venus Credit: ESA
Viewed: 650 times
01/14/09
View imaged in ultraviolet of Venus south pole captured by VMC 12 April 2006 onboard Venus Express. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 775 times
01/14/09
False-colour view imaged in ultraviolet of Venus south pole captured by VMC 12 April 2006 onboard Venus Express.
Credit: ESA
Viewed: 917 times
01/14/09

Composite, false-colour view of Venus south pole captured by VIRTIS 12 April 2006 onboard Venus Express. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 789 times
01/14/09
Artist's view of Venus Express at Venus.
Credit: ESA
Viewed: 735 times
01/14/09
Atmospheric investigations by Venus Express. Credit: ESA
Viewed: 721 times
01/14/09
Red, blue and green curves are results of three simulations of satellite growth and loss within a disk supplied by an inflow of gas and solids. Plotted is the total mass of all orbiting satellites in each case scaled to the planet´ mass, MT/MP, as a function of the total fraction of the planet´ mass delivered by the inflow, Min/MP, which is a quantity that is proportional to the total elapsed simulation time. For comparison, the black dotted lines are corresponding values for the satellite systems of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, respectively. In these simulations, a constant inflow rate is considered in order to illustrate cycles of satellite growth and loss. The inflow of solid material to the protosatellite disk causes MT/MP to increase with time until large satellites form and are lost to collision with the planet (indicated by the discrete jumps downward in MT/MP). Once large satellites have been lost to orbital decay, continued inflow causes a new generation of satellites to grow, and the cycle repeats. Throughout the process, MT/MP oscillates about a fairly constant value. The three simulations consider a wide range (a span of a factor of 500) for the key parameters that affect the amount of gas in the disk when large satellites form. Credit: SwRI
Viewed: 4094 times
01/14/09
Double vortex at Venus South pole. Credit: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Viewed: 874 times
01/14/09

These two images of Venus´ south pole were taken by NASA´ Mariner 10 (during a Venus fly-by on its way to Mercury) and Pioneer Venus missions during the early 1970s and 1980s, respectively. The images provided the first glimpses about a stormy atmospheric behaviour at the south pole of the planet. Credit: NASA
Viewed: 1347 times
01/14/09
Atmospheric stripe-like features at Venus. Credit: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Viewed: 934 times
01/14/09
Each image is the composite of the day side of Venus (left, in blue, taken in visible light at 380 nanometres) and the night side (right, in a red colour scheme, taken in infrared light at 1.7 microns).

The visible part shows solar radiation reflected by the atmosphere. The infrared part shows complex cloud structures, revealed by the thermal radiation coming up from different atmospheric depths. Venus Express can resolve these structures by use (for the first time from orbit) of the so so-called –infrared windows´ present in the atmosphere of Venus. In fact, if observed at certain wavelengths, it is possible to detect thermal radiation leaking from the deepest atmospheric layers, revealing what lies beneath the dense cloud curtain situated at about 60 kilometres altitude.

In the colour scheme of the presented infrared images, the brighter the colour, the more radiation comes up from the lower layers.
Credits: ESA/VIRTIS/ INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Viewed: 1024 times
01/14/09
During the course of its mission, Venus Express communicates with Earth by means of its two high gain antennas, located on two different sides of the spacecraft. Routinely, Venus Express will downlink scientific data for about eight hours once a day, when the spacecraft is around its furthest point from the planet (apocentre) along its 24-hour orbit. Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab
Viewed: 1160 times
01/14/09
Charged atoms in Venus high atmosphere. Credits: ESA/ASPERA/Swedish Institute of Space Physics (Kiruna)
Viewed: 1220 times
01/14/09

Tracking clouds in the Venusian night. Credits: ESA/VIRTIS/ INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Viewed: 1019 times
01/14/09
Ultraviolet view of cloud structures at Venus. Credits: ESA/MPS, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
Viewed: 835 times
01/14/09
Close-up view of south polar vortex. Credits: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Viewed: 877 times
01/14/09
This spectacular night image is an infrared view taken at 1.7 microns, as seen by the Ultraviolet/ Visible/Near-Infrared spectrometer (VIRTIS) on board ESA´ Venus Express on 12 April 2006, during the first orbit around the planet (capture orbit). Credits: ESA/VIRTIS/ INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
Viewed: 797 times
01/14/09
Illustration courtesy / Steven Dubowsky
This illustration shows what a swarm of mini probes might look like exploring the surface of Mars.
Viewed: 734 times
01/14/09

Illustration / Gus Frederick
An artist's rendering shows the baseball-sized probes being designed by MIT researchers for Mars exploration.
Viewed: 958 times
01/14/09
SPIDERS TRACE a delicate pattern on top of the residual polar cap, after the seasonal carbon-dioxide ice slab has disappeared. Next spring, these will likely mark the sites of vents when the CO2 icecap returns. This MOC image is about 2 miles wide. Click on the image to download an 824KB version
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS)
Viewed: 1284 times
01/14/09
DARK SPOTS (left) and fans scribble dusty hieroglyphics on top of the Martian south polar cap in two high-resolution MOC images taken in southern spring. Each image is about 2 miles wide. Click on the image to download a 976KB version.
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS)
Viewed: 884 times
01/14/09
SAND-LADEN JETS SHOOT into the polar sky in this view by noted space artist Ron Miller. It shows the Martian south polar icecap as southern spring begins. Click on the image to download a 5.6MB version. (Image Credit: Arizona State University/Ron Miller)
Viewed: 709 times
01/14/09
Artist concept of Voyager near interstellar space. Image credit: NASA/JPL
Viewed: 723 times
01/14/09

A preliminary drawing of the proposed Vesper spacecraft. Credit: NASA
Viewed: 652 times
01/14/09
The volcano Maat Mons is displayed in this computer generated three-dimensional perspective of the surface of Venus. Radar data is combined with radar altimetry from NASA's Magellan mission to develop a three-dimensional map of the surface. The viewpoint is located 634 kilometers (393 miles) north of Maat Mons at an elevation of 3 kilometers (2 miles) above the terrain. Lava flows extend for hundreds of kilometers across the fractured plains shown in the foreground, to the base of Maat Mons. The vertical scale in this perspective has been exaggerated 10 times. Simulated color and a digital elevation map developed by the U.S. Geological Survey are used to enhance small-scale structure. Credit: NASA/JPL
Viewed: 893 times
01/14/09
Technicians at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, install the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. The telescopic camera is one of seven science instruments designed for the Pluto flyby mission, which is planned for launch in January 2006. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)
Viewed: 836 times
01/14/09
LORRI's location on the New Horizons spacecraft. Credit: NASA
Viewed: 683 times
01/14/09
The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons acquired images of the Pluto field three days apart in late September 2006, in order to see Pluto's motion against a dense background of stars. LORRI took three frames at 1-second exposures on both Sept. 21 and Sept. 24. Because it moved along its predicted path, Pluto was detected in all six images. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.
Viewed: 931 times
01/14/09

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