comet

Rosetta Spots Clues About the Formation of the Solar System

he Rosetta Orbiter orbiting Comet 67P detected molecular nitrogen from October 17 to 23, 2014 when the orbiter was just 10 kilometers from the comet's center using the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis.
Ceres' Two Spots

As Dawn Spacecraft Approaches, A Second Bright Light Emerges from Ceres

To better answer Piazzi’s original questions, and some new ones that have arisen in the more than two centuries since it was first discovered, researchers with NASA developed the Dawn Spacecraft mission which was originally launched in 2007. After a successful 14-month-orbit around Vesta in the asteroid belt, Dawn is now moving onto the next dwarf planet and will arrive to Ceres within the next week. And the first question that the Dawn mission would like to answer is a glaring one, visible on the surface.
Comet Lovejoy

So Long Lovejoy, See You in 8,000 Years

After putting on quite a show in the night sky that delighted astronomers of all ages across the world, it is finally time to bid farewell to the comet Lovejoy. This past Saturday night was the last time that sky-watching enthusiasts had the opportunity to witness Comet Lovejoy with the naked eye, and there won't be another chance to catch this unique comet for the next 8,000 years.
An artist’s impression of Philae on the gassy comet’s surface

Comet Awakes As It Approaches the Sun

Do you remember that comet we landed on last year? It seems this comet has unexpectedly become more active showing signs of "waking up" as it zooms towards the sun at almost 47,800 miles per hour.
Stars in a country sky

"Spin, Spin, Spinning Around": A New Method On How We Measure Stars

Stars litter our skies with celestial light, continually cementing the fact that our planet, no matter how large it may seem, is just a grain of sand on the beach that is our shared universe. And, for years, astronomers have gauged a star's age by how brightly it shined. While this is moderately effective, another method has been tested-and-proven to be more accurate. Published in the newest issue of the journal Nature, astronomer's note that how quickly a star spins is the ideal metric to determining its age.
Comet Lovejoy

Newly Found Comet Dazzles Observers

A newly discovered comet is dazzling observers and amateur astronomers across the world, with its unique green color and blue tail. The new comet, found in August and named for its founder, Terry Lovejoy, will soon fade from viewing and won't return to our solar neighborhood for 10,000 years.
Dark Matter

Eons After the Big Bang, and 80 Years After It Was Proposed, Dark Matter Takes Form in Andromeda

For decades now, researchers have long believed that the ever-elusive dark matter has comprised roughly 80 percent of the entire universe’s mass. But in spite of advancing technology, taking astronomers past the moon to far off comets/planets and back, researchers have not yet been able to identify the existence of dark matter in our galaxy or any other, and have not yet been able to isolate the hypothetical invisible particles in Earth labs either. But in what appears to be a strange X-ray emission from nearby galactic clusters, two independent European research teams believe that they may have found the first true dark matter known to man—and it’s not too far away either.
Organic Molecules found on surface of Comet 67P.

Comet 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko Reveals Origins of Water May Not be From Comets

After an arduous ten year journey throughout some tough terrain of space, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission set records this past summer for being the first spacecraft to orbit a comet in mid-flight. And while many expected the mission to reveal a bit more insight into the behavior and composition of comets from the outer edges of our solar system, no one expected to learn exactly how Earth came to be so unique and the perfect host to life, only three planets away from our sun.
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