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Topic: NASA’s Messenger Satellite

NASA’s Cassini and Messenger Spacecrafts take pictures of Earth

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Color and black-and-white images of Earth taken by two NASA interplanetary spacecraft on July 19th show our planet and its moon as bright beacons from millions of miles away in space.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured the color images of Earth and the moon from its perch in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. MESSENGER, the first probe to orbit Mercury, took a black-and-white image from a distance of 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) as part of a campaign to search for natural satellites of the planet.

In this rare image taken on July 19th, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and Earth in the same frame. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

In this rare image taken on July 19th, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn’s rings and Earth in the same frame. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA says Saturn to make it’s closest approach to Earth April 28th

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The Solar System is a beautiful place filled with wonders that NASA space probes are only beginning to discover. There’s a tendency, though, for people to become indifferent; every year Hubble, Cassini, MESSENGER and other spacecraft beam back gigabytes of jaw-dropping images. After a while, you don’t have any more “gasps” left in you.

Well, maybe just one more. Inhale deeply, because at the end of April, Saturn will put on a breathtaking display.

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NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft data confirms Ice at Mercury’s poles, some covered in Dark Material

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Observations by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft provide compelling support for the long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen materials in permanently shadowed polar craters.

“The new data indicate the water ice in Mercury’s polar regions, if spread over an area the size of Washington, D.C., would be more than 2 miles thick,” said David Lawrence, a MESSENGER participating scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD, and lead author of one of three papers describing the findings in the online edition of Science Express.

Mercury's north pole. Red denotes areas that are in shadow in all images acquired by MESSENGER to date. (The mapping of shadows is still incomplete near the pole.) Yellow shows the locations of bright polar deposits imaged by Earth-based radar. Updated from N. L. Chabot et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 117. (Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory)

Mercury’s north pole. Red denotes areas that are in shadow in all images acquired by MESSENGER to date. (The mapping of shadows is still incomplete near the pole.) Yellow shows the locations of bright polar deposits imaged by Earth-based radar. Updated from N. L. Chabot et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 117. (Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory)

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NASA reports Space Weather Explosions on Venus

 

Written by Karen C. Fox
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – In the grand scheme of the solar system, Venus and Earth are almost the same distance from the sun. Yet the planets differ dramatically: Venus is some 100 times hotter than Earth and its days more than 200 times longer.

The atmosphere on Venus is so thick that the longest any spacecraft has survived on its surface before being crushed is a little over two hours. There’s another difference, too. Earth has a magnetic field and Venus does not – a crucial distinction when assessing the effects of the sun on each planet.

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