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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captures perlexing photo of Pluto’s landscape

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The newest high-resolution images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons are both dazzling and mystifying, revealing a multitude of previously unseen topographic and compositional details.

The image below — showing an area near the line that separates day from night — captures a vast rippling landscape of strange, aligned linear ridges that has astonished New Horizons team members.

In this extended color image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, rounded and bizarrely textured mountains, informally named the Tartarus Dorsa, rise up along Pluto’s day-night terminator and show intricate but puzzling patterns of blue-gray ridges and reddish material in between. This view, roughly 330 miles (530 kilometers) across, combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) on July 14, 2015, and resolves details and colors on scales as small as 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers). (NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI)

In this extended color image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, rounded and bizarrely textured mountains, informally named the Tartarus Dorsa, rise up along Pluto’s day-night terminator and show intricate but puzzling patterns of blue-gray ridges and reddish material in between. This view, roughly 330 miles (530 kilometers) across, combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) on July 14, 2015, and resolves details and colors on scales as small as 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers). (NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI)

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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft takes stunning photos of Pluto

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The latest images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have scientists stunned – not only for their breathtaking views of Pluto’s majestic icy mountains, streams of frozen nitrogen and haunting low-lying hazes, but also for their strangely familiar, arctic look.

This new view of Pluto’s crescent — taken by New Horizons’ wide-angle Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) on July 14th and downlinked to Earth on September 13th — offers an oblique look across Plutonian landscapes with dramatic backlighting from the sun.

Pluto’s Majestic Mountains, Frozen Plains and Foggy Hazes: Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

Pluto’s Majestic Mountains, Frozen Plains and Foggy Hazes: Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovers evidence that Gullies on Mars are being created by Dry Ice

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Repeated high-resolution observations made by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate the gullies on Mars’ surface are primarily formed by the seasonal freezing of carbon dioxide, not liquid water.

The first reports of formative gullies on Mars in 2000 generated excitement and headlines because they suggested the presence of liquid water on the Red Planet, the eroding action of which forms gullies here on Earth.

This pair of images covers one of the hundreds of sites on Mars where researchers have repeatedly used the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to study changes in gullies on slopes. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

This pair of images covers one of the hundreds of sites on Mars where researchers have repeatedly used the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to study changes in gullies on slopes. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

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NASA reports scientists map solar system’s largest moon, Jupiter’s Ganymede

 

Written by Jia-Rui Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – More than 400 years after its discovery by astronomer Galileo Galilei, the largest moon in the solar system – Jupiter’s moon Ganymede – has finally claimed a spot on the map.

A group of scientists led by Geoffrey Collins of Wheaton College has produced the first global geologic map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s seventh moon. The map combines the best images obtained during flybys conducted by NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft (1979) and Galileo orbiter (1995 to 2003) and is now published by the U. S. Geological Survey as a global map.

To present the best information in a single view of Jupiter's moon Ganymede, a global image mosaic was assembled, incorporating the best available imagery from NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft and NASA's Galileo spacecraft. (USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

To present the best information in a single view of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, a global image mosaic was assembled, incorporating the best available imagery from NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft and NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. (USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA is looking for ways to Target an Asteroid

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Like many of his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space navigator devotes a great deal of time to crafting, and contemplating, computer-generated 3-D models of these intriguing nomads of the solar system.

But while many of his coworkers are calculating asteroids’ past, present and future locations in the cosmos, zapping them with the world’s most massive radar dishes, or considering how to rendezvous and perhaps even gently nudge an asteroid into lunar orbit, Bhaskaran thinks about how to collide with one.

This spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 was taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact's impactor spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

This spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 was taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact’s impactor spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

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NASA’s Swift satellite observes Comet ISON

 

Written by Francis Reddy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Astronomers from the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) and Lowell Observatory have used NASA’s Swift satellite to check out comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which may become one of the most dazzling in decades when it rounds the sun later this year.

Using images acquired over the last two months from Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT), the team has made initial estimates of the comet’s water and dust production and used them to infer the size of its icy nucleus.

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Former APSU Graduate Student Discovers New Turtle Species

 

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – There was something strange about the turtle, aside from its enormous head. Normally, the other species in the broad-headed group of map turtles confined themselves to a single major river system, but Austin Peay State University alum Josh Ennen (’05) knew this particular turtle was listed as living in two separate rivers.

“That was interesting, so I started looking at the genetics of the species,” he said. He compared populations of Graptemys gibbonsi (Pascagoula map turtle) from the Pascagoula and Pearl rivers.

APSU student Jeffrey Horton works on a sculpture of a hand while taking a Steampunk Sculpture class at APSU this summer. The goggles he is wearing were also part of a project for the class. (Photo By Cris Hagen/Savannah River Ecology Lab)

APSU student Jeffrey Horton works on a sculpture of a hand while taking a Steampunk Sculpture class at APSU this summer. The goggles he is wearing were also part of a project for the class. (Photo By Cris Hagen/Savannah River Ecology Lab)

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