News, Observations, Space

Say Cheese: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Takes Its 100 millionth photo!

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It’s a remarkable day for NASA and space observations: the Solar Dynamics Observatory has taken its 100,000,000th photo! The mission, which has been in continuous operation since 2010 has greatly contributed to our understanding of the Sun and the Sun-Earth relationship.

News, Observations, Space

Kepler crossed the 1,000 discovered alien planets milestone

Kepler-11 is a sun-like star around which six planets orbit. At times, two or more planets pass in front of the star at once, as shown in this artist's conception of a simultaneous transit of three planets observed by NASA's Kepler spacecraft on Aug. 26, 2010. Image credit: NASA/Tim Pyle

Since it was first launched in 2009, the $600 Kepler mission has discovered more than 1,000 alien worlds. Arguably it’s one of the most successful space mission in history so far, further cementing its status as a legend. The milestone was breached after eight newly confirmed exoplanets were added to the tally, two of which are very similar to Earth and thus could support alien life.

Observations

NASA can see your Christmas lights… from outer space

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Many are already preparing for Christmas – some shopping for presents, some Christmas lights… the usual. But as you’re gearing up for the winter holidays, NASA is watching you. Well, they’re not really watching you, it’s more that they are monitoring light emissions from big cities – and they report that during the holiday season, patterns in nighttime light intensity change –

Great Pics, Observations, Space

Cassini’s Stunning Pictures of Jupiter’s Southern Hemisphere

This polar map is composed of 18 colour images taken by the narrow-angle camera on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft following a flyby in 2000, but was only recently released.

When we think about Jupiter, we have a certain image in mind – the big red giant with a huge spot on its surface and rings around it. But if you look at it from “below” (from the southern Hemisphere), the planet looks entirely different, as the Cassini probe showed. “If you were to float just beneath the giant planet

News, Observations, Space

Earth-like planet spotted for the first time with a ground-based telescope

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Space-based telescopes have been used to spot planets (even Earth-like planets) for years now, but this is the first time ever that a ground-based telescope has detected an Earth like planet. A telescope based on the ground in La Palma (one of the Canary Islands) called Nordic has found 55 Cancri e, an exoplanet two times bigger than Earth orbiting a star much

News, Observations, Space

Mysterious martian gouges carved by hovering dry ice

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It’s like Christmas before Christmas – the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has started sending back images it took of the red planet, and there’s just so many fantastic stuff it feels like Christmas has come earlier this year. Now, the MRO sent back images peculiar features along the slopes of dunes: long, sharply defined grooves (pictured) that seem to appear and disappear seasonally.

News, Observations, Science, Space

Dawn spacecraft will soon figure out what Ceres actually is

Ceres as seen by Hubble Space Telescope (ACS). The contrast has been enhanced to reveal surface details.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has set sail to Ceres – one of the most intriguing objects in our solar system. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, containing a third of all the mass in the asteroid belt. The unmanned Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Ceres in early 2015, and will hopefully shed provide

Geology, News, Observations

Ancient “lava pie” found on Mars

NASA's MRO probe captured an image of a strange formation that resembles a pie. Photo by NASA/JPL.

A NASA probe has taken a picture of a surprising pie-like geological feature on Mars. Scientists are not yet sure what caused the feature, but the likely culprit is lava. The 1.2 mile (1.9 km) wide feature was imaged by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) appears like an island of iron in a very smooth field. Judging

Observations, Space

First full colour image of Comet 67P captured by Rosetta probe; meanwhile, Philae lost a leg

Comet 67 full colour

Only a couple of weeks ago, a historic rendezvous between the Rosetta spacecraft and Comet 67P was made after a 10-year round-trip journey of four billion miles. Most importantly, the Rosetta deployed its lander, Philae, safely on the comet’s surface which is set to soon beam back important information pertaining to the comet’s inner composition and other details. For instance, we already know there