Solar System

  • Spirit, the Problem Child
    In their explorations of Mars, both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers found evidence that liquid water was once on the planet's surface. Joy Crisp, project scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, discussed the rovers' long journey and their surprising discoveries at a public lecture
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  • Bombing the Comet
    On July 4, 2005, the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft will visit Comet 9P/Tempel 1. It will launch a 360 kilogram (kg) impactor that should produce a crater on the surface of the comet and a plume of gas and dust. This experiment will be the
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  • Mars: Windows on the World
    In their explorations of Mars, both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers found evidence that liquid water was once on the planet's surface. Joy Crisp, project scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, discussed the rovers' long journey and their surprising discoveries at a public lecture
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  • The Bluster on Mars
    The tiny tornadoes, or dust devils, that scientists have observed from orbit have now been seen close up on the surface by the Spirit rover. The most recent series of images show that these tornadoes can appear suddenly with diameters in the hundreds of feet.
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  • Backyard Astronomers Discover Planet
    An international collaboration featuring Ohio State University astronomers has detected a planet in a solar system that, at roughly 15,000 light years from Earth, is one of the most distant ever discovered.
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  • Is Titan’s Bright Spot Hot?
    Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft.
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  • Titan’s Face Lifted
    How old is Titan's surface? For years, Saturn's moon Titan was thought to have mastered the cosmetic surgery of the cosmos, with barely a mark or wrinkle to betray its true age. Close-up views provided by Cassini instruments show that Titan is nearly as
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  • Voyager I Reaches Final Frontier
    NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered the solar system's final frontier. It is entering a vast, turbulent expanse, where the sun's influence ends and the solar wind crashes into the thin gas between stars.
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  • Details in the Debris
    NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is trying to escape from a sand trap, while its twin, Spirit, has been busy finding new clues to a wet and violent early Martian history.
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  • Clues to Molding Planets
    The detailed measurements of dusty disks around young stars confirm a new theory that the region where rocky planets such as Earth form is much farther away from the star than originally thought. These definitive measurements of planet-forming zones offer important clues to initial conditions
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  • Thumping the Earth like a Watermelon
    Oscillations begun by the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in December 2004 are providing important information about the composition of the Earth as well as the size and duration of the earthquake.
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  • Titan versus Earth
    Observations of Titan's atmosphere offer a unique look at how Saturn's giant moon compares to Earth. Methane, the main component in natural gas, plays a key role in the makeup of atmospheric conditions on Titan.
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  • The Titanic Quilt
    Scientists have turned to image analysis to understand their highly successful landing on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Since January, the team has produced representative pictures of the mysterious river-like patterns. The current interpretation of these lines is that they are cut by flowing liquid methane.
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  • Bullet-Proof, Kevlar Boom
    European flight controllers have successfully completed the deployment of the first boom of the MARSIS radar on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. The Mars Express Sub-Surface Sounding Radar Altimeter (MARSIS) experiment is to map the Martian sub-surface structure to a depth of a few kilometers.
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  • Organics in Titan’s Atmosphere
    Titan's atmospheric winds, temperature and mixing have been revealed by new observations from the Cassini spacecraft. The thick atmosphere of Saturn's giant moon is rich in organic compounds, whose chemistry may be similar to that which occurred on Earth before the emergence of life.
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