Dwarf planet Ceres reveals pyramid-shaped mystery


Image of Pyramid taken by NASA’s Spacecraft DAWN. Do you think it is just a simple mountain or Something else.
OK, this is just too much.

First, NASA’s Dawn probe spotted curiously sparkly bright spots on the surface of Ceres, the dwarf planet that lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Beats us, the scientists said.

Now, cameras on the tractor-trailer-size spacecraft have captured a baffling structure rising 3 miles above the planet’s cratered surface.

Conveniently, the thing looks an awful lot like a pyramid.”Intriguing,” the NASA scientists said.

 Another Image of Ceres showing Strange mysterious lights. Image taken by NASA’s DAWN spacecraft.
To be fair, the agency offered no suggestion that the towering structure is an offering to some long-lost space emperor or home to our new alien overlords.
And, to be even more fair, it’s probably just a really tall mountain in a solar system filled with wondrous and strange natural phenomena.

But the Dawn mission has done nothing but stoke imaginations since the discovery of mysterious bright spots on the surface of the dwarf planet in February and the beginning of the probe’s orbit in March.

Folks have claimed to have spotted giant alien motherships hovering over the planet, bat-winged spaceships parked on its surface and even evidence of alien cities.

But the mystery only deepened with the most recent batch of images showing even more bright spots alongside the largest one, which NASA said looks to stretch some 6 miles.

Many, of course, insist that the spots look for all the world like brightly lit cities twinkling on the shadowed surface of the distant dwarf planet.

I knew it! There’s gambling going on on Ceres! #aliens pic.twitter.com/QP6PB6JFho

 
— Chris Reher (@Chris_Reher) June 13, 2015
Of course, NASA hasn’t traveled down that road. Scientists, they say, still don’t know what the spots are. Maybe ice. Maybe salt.
“But scientists are considering other options, too,” NASA said coyly.
But #itsaliens, right?
Source : FirstPost
NOTE :  Now, if you spent more time on Blogger then you can Check out my new  BLOGGER Blog. 
 
 

The Dawn Spacecraft Is Closing in on Dwarf Planet Ceres


NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is currently en route to the asteroid belt where it will rendezvous with the region’s largest celestial body, Ceres. As a sneak preview, the spacecraft has snapped its best-yet image of the dwarf planet.

The image was snapped at a distance of 740,000 miles (1.2 million km) from Ceres. The dwarf planet features an average diameter of about 590 miles (950 km).

kwf0wvkdtevijbyloxqx

At 9-pixels wide, the image isn’t much. It doesn’t hold a candle to the one previously snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope:

squrhgvk4ec9ltpub4ez

But just wait until Dawn arrives at Ceres. In early 2015, the spacecraft will begin delivering images at much higher resolution.

Since launching in 2007, Dawn has visited Vesta, a giant protoplanet currently located 104 million miles (168 million kilometers) away from Ceres.

Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

Source : io9.com

Esa’s mission to Jupiter is GO! ‘Juice’ spacecraft will launch in 2022


Follow us on Google+ , Twitter and Facebook

jupiter-wallpaper-1920x1080

(Click Image to Download)

  • Jupiter and its moons could be best hope of finding signs of alien life
  • Jupiter icy moons explorer (Juice) will reach the Jovian system in 2030
  • It will explore volcanic Io, Europa and rock-ice Ganymede and Callisto
  • Juice will also take a look at Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetosphere

Astronomers claim Jupiter and its moons could provide the best hope of finding signs of alien life in our solar system.

Now, in an effort to explorer its distant oceans, the Jupiter icy moons explorer (Juice) mission has been given the green light to launch in 2022.

The five-tonne satellite will reach Jupiter in 2030 where it will use its suite of instruments to explore the planet’s atmosphere, magnetosphere and tenuous set of rings.

Juice will also look at Jupiter’s diverse Galilean moons – volcanic Io, icy Europa and rock-ice Ganymede and Callisto – which make the Jovian system a miniature solar system in its own right.

The focus will largely be on Ganymede, though, and will the first time any icy moon has been orbited by a spacecraft.

Earlier this year, scientists said Ganymede might have ice and oceans stacked up in several layers similar to a club sandwich.

Previously, the moon was thought to harbour a thick ocean sandwiched between just two layers of ice, one on top and one on bottom, but now it seems it has multiple layers.

Scientists claims that places where water and rock interact are important for the development of life. For example, it is possible life began on Earth in bubbling vents on our sea floor.

Prior to the new study, Ganymede’s rocky sea bottom was thought to be coated with ice, not liquid – a problem for the emergence of life.

It will visit Callisto, the most heavily cratered object in the solar system, and will twice fly by Europa.

Juice is hoping to make the first measurements of the thickness of Europa’s icy crust and will identify candidate sites for future in situ exploration.

The Galileo mission found strong evidence that a subsurface ocean of salty water is in contact with a rocky seafloor.

Source : Daily mail

Venus Express Spacecraft, Low On Fuel, Does Delicate Dance Above Doom Below


Follow us on Google+ , Twitter and Facebook

Planet-venus-wallpaper-hd-3

(Click Image to Download)

It’s been an interesting year for Venus Express. A few months ago, controllers deliberately dipped the spacecraft into the atmosphere of the planet — for science purposes, of course. The daring maneuver was approved because the spacecraft is near the end of its mission. It’s nearly out of fuel and will fall into Venus — sometime. Likely in 2015. No one knows exactly when, however.

Until Dec. 30, European Space Agency operators are going to boost the spacecraft’s orbit to try to get a little more productivity out of it. After that, all depends on what gas is left in the tank.
The push against the dense atmosphere revealed a few surprises. In a recent blog post, ESA said the atmosphere was changing more than expected. Between different altitudes, controllers sometimes saw a steady rise in pressure and sometimes multiple peaks. The spacecraft’s journeys took it as low as 129.2 kilometers (80 miles) above the surface, but mostly involving a month of “surfing” between 131 km and 135 km (81.4 miles and 83.9 miles).

Venus_Express_aerobraking

Artist’s impression of Venus Express performing aerobreaking maneuvers in the planet’s atmosphere in June and July 2014. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau (Click Image to Download) 

“One possible explanation is that we detected atmospheric waves,” stated Håkan Svedhem, Venus Express project scientist.

“These features can be caused when high speed winds travel over mountain ranges. The waves then propagate upwards. However, such waves have never before been detected at such heights – twice the altitude of the cloud deck that blankets Venus.”

ESA observed that the atmospheric density increased 1,000 times between 165 km and 130 km (102.5 miles and 80.8 miles) and that it also changed when the spacecraft moved from day to night (specifically, it was four times greater on the sunlit side.) Measurements were also taken of high-energy particles and Venus’ magnetic fields, which are still being examined.

But now, the end is indeed near for the spacecraft after eight years at Venus — four times longer than its primary mission. Although it is healthy and performing routine science operations, fuel is only standing at around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) and oxidizer at 5 kg (11 lbs). It’s possible not all of it is accessible due to propellant movement in the tanks, ESA said. The new maneuvers are expected to subtract 1.4 kg of fuel and 2 kg of oxidizer from these totals.

“Unfortunately, we do not know how much fuel remains in its tanks, but we are intending to continue the up-down process as long as possible, until the propellant runs out,” Svedhem added.

“We have yet to decide whether we shall simply continue until we lose control, allowing it to enter the atmosphere and burn up naturally, or whether we attempt a controlled descent until it breaks up.”

Source : Universe Today

NASA clears Orion spacecraft for first test flight next week


Follow us on Google+ , Twitter and Facebook

uxb0ks1s2b5xvd2wamhf

(Click Image to Download)

NASA’s newest deep space capsule Orion, is getting ready for its first uncrewed test flight, launching next week.

The space agency and Lockheed Martin – the company that manufactured Orion for NASA – have given the “go” to proceed with the capsule’s robotic test on Dec. 4. The company and agency finished their “Flight Readiness Review” on Nov. 20, clearing the way for Orion’s first test flight.

“The FRR is a rigorous assessment of the spacecraft, its systems, mission operations and support functions needed to successfully complete Orion’s first voyage to space,” NASA officials said in a statement.

Orion Illustration 1

Orion Spacecraft illustration  (Click Image to Download)

NASA officials hope that Orion will eventually be able to take humans to deep space destinations like Mars, but first, the capsule’s systems need to get through a series of flight tests starting with the first one next week.

Orion is scheduled to launch to space atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket from Florida. The spacecraft is outfitted with more than 1,000 sensors to gather data about how the capsule performs under the harsh conditions in space and during re-entry.

In total, the test flight should last about 4.5 hours. Orion will make two orbits of Earth with one of them taking it as high as 3,600 miles from the planet. The spacecraft will gain speed as it comes back down from its position in orbit, before re-entering the atmosphere. Orion’s heat shield is the largest of its kind ever manufactured, and the test will help scientists see if it can efficiently protect the capsule during re-entry.

The test — called Exploration Flight Test-1 — will also help officials check out Orion’s parachute system, designed to slow down the spacecraft before its expected splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Officials will be on hand to fish Orion out of the ocean after it returns to Earth.

NASA, U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin officials have started to prepare for activities after splashdown.

“At Naval Base San Diego, two Navy ships, the USS Anchorage and the USNS Salvor, have been outfitted with the necessary tools and equipment needed to return Orion to land after the flight test,” NASA officials said in the same statement.

Source : Foxnews