Tag Archives: NASA

The Vistas of Pluto

New high resolution data inbound from New Horizons contains some amazing views of Pluto.  The image above reveals thin upper layers of atmosphere and mountains illuminated at a shallow angle through a surface level haze.  Other views have features that resemble parts of an Earth-like … Continue reading

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The cold, thin atmosphere of Pluto

Pluto’s thin atmosphere is mainly nitrogen, and leaking away from the planet at a significant rate.  Scientists speculate that cryovolcanic activity is continually releasing enough new nitrogen vapor to keep the atmosphere from completely dissappearing. Cryovolcanic.  That’s a term you … Continue reading

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Fails

 Today’s launch of a Dragon cargo capsule full of supplies for the International Space Station did not go well.  The Falcon 9 rocket exploded shortly before second stage ignition.  Video clip here. This was the first Falcon 9 failure after … Continue reading

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

First Color Movies of Pluto and Charon

First color movie of Pluto and Charon, courtesy of NASA and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.  Pluto has a distinct reddish tint, while Charon is more grey.

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

More surface details apparent as New Horizons draws closer to Pluto

The New Horizons space probe is seeing more as it approaches Pluto.  The spacecraft is closing in at the rate of 750,000 miles per day, increasing image clarity at an accelerating rate: “By late June the image resolution will be four times … Continue reading

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

NASA’s New Horizons Probe Detects Surface Features & Possible Polar Cap on Pluto

For the first time, images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft are revealing bright and dark regions on the surface of faraway Pluto – the primary target of the New Horizons close flyby in mid-July.  The images were captured in early … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Horizons probe images a full orbit of Charon around Pluto

The images are still grainy, but NASA’s New Horizons probe is beginning to film Charon traveling in its orbit around Pluto.  Follow this link to see the animated version!

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Horizons space probe reaches Pluto

NASA’s space craft is closing in on Pluto and is beginning to take its first pictures: New Horizons is aiming its Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) telescope at Pluto to help navigate the final 135 million miles (220 kilometers) of its … Continue reading

Posted in Space & Astronomy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Amazing Images from the Cassini Mission

Following up on the space exploration theme in yesterday’s post (and one from a while back), here is a link to Nadia Drake / Wired Magazine’s summary of discoveries from the Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn. One of my favorites is the incredible … Continue reading

Posted in Fun Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spectacular View of Saturn

Check out this amazing photograph (actually a composite of 141 images) of the Saturn ring system, taken from the post “The Day the Earth Smiled”.  Being backlit by the sun, the planet itself is mostly black, except for the faint … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment