1141–1160 of 1,205 results

Astronomy & Observing News

Eros's Puzzling Surface

Scientists are beginning to understand the complex asteroid's surface.

Astronomy & Observing News

A Hit-and-Miss Annular Eclipse

Only a lucky few captured Friday's annular eclipse on film. Observing from near the eclipse's southern limit at Herradura Beach on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, Kelly Beatty recorded a cloud-laced view (left) using an Orion 90-mm f/13.9 Maksutov-Cassegrain. Just 7 km farther north, Paul Maley outraced the clouds to snare…

Solar System

A Comet's Brush with the Sun

The SOHO spacecraft watched as a comet swung past the Sun.

Astronomy & Observing News

Jupiter's Shrinking Red Spot

Compare the size (and color) of Jupiter's Great Red Spot as drawn by Thomas Gwyn Elger in November 1881 (left) and as imaged by Texas amateur Ed Grafton (right) 120 years later. South is up. Telescopic observers from the 19th century may not have had the technological wizardry available to…

Astronomy & Observing News

Wrong-Way Blobs Sink Toward Sun

An enormous cloud of ionized gas plunges toward the Sun over three hours. The cloud becomes evident by electronically subtracting one frame from another taken some minutes later. To record such faint features, the Sun itself (yellow disks) must be hidden behind an occulting mask.Courtesy LASCO consortium, ESA, and NASA.…

Astronomy & Observing News

Killer Asteroids: The Count Rises

This projection of the celestial sphere shows the sky coverage recorded by the 1-meter LINEAR telescope over three years. Bright yellow corresponds to an accumulated depth (faintness limit) of magnitude 20.8. In star-dense areas of the Milky Way (dark swath at right) and near the local horizon the survey probed…

Astronomy & Observing News

Arecibo Radar Gets 11th-Hour Reprieve

The 305-meter (1,000-foot) radio telescope near Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has been used for radar probing of solar-system objects since the early 1960s. The facility underwent a $27 million upgrade in the mid-1990s.Photograph by David Parker (Science Photo Library); courtesy NAIC/Arecibo Observatory Facing tight budgets for its space-science activities, last week…

Astronomy & Observing News

Was Mars All Wet?

NASA artist Greg Shirah depicts Mars as it might have looked some 4 billion years ago, with much of its northern hemisphere submerged under water.Courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Future astronauts roaming the surface of Mars will be hard-pressed to find sources of water, but the red planet was not…

Astronomy & Observing News

A Probe for Pluto

With luck and another $260 million in funding, the New Horizons spacecraft will be skimming past distant, enigmatic Pluto (foreground) and its moon, Charon, 15 years from now. Selected by NASA last week, the spacecraft features four instruments, a plutonium-fueled powerplant, and a radio dish 2.5 meters (8 feet) across.Courtesy…

Astronomy & Observing News

Comet Borrelly: Black and Bent

Deep Space 1 took this picture of Comet Borrelly's nucleus from 3,400 kilometers away. Astronomers now believe that Borrelly is the darkest object ever seen in the solar system.Courtesy NASA/JPL. In the two months since NASA’s Deep Space 1 craft zipped past the nucleus of Comet 15P/Borrelly, mission scientists have…

Astronomy & Observing News

Mars's Bumpy Magnetism

A three-dimensional portrayal of Mars, as seen from the Sun, shows how magnetized regions of the planet's crust create electromagnetic 'bubbles' that extend hundreds of kilometers into the atmosphere.Courtesy David A. Brain (University of Colorado). In its infancy, Mars must have had a churning, conductive core and a magnetic field…

Astronomy & Observing News

NASA Pulls Plug on 28-Year-Old Spacecraft

The Interplanetary Monitoring Platform (IMP) 8 spacecraft has radioed solar-wind conditions to Earth since 1973. The drum-shaped craft weighs 371 kilograms.Courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Bowing to pressure from NASA Headquarters to cut costs, a space-science review panel has recommended that the agency cease communications with an ancient, virtually unknown…

Astronomy & Observing News

How Hot Can Venus Get?

Wind-sculpted details in the dense, sulfuric-acid clouds of Venus are accentuated in this ultraviolet image acquired by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter in February 1979.Courtesy NASA/Ames Research Center. The planet Venus is a textbook case of greenhouse warming run amok. Sunlight filters down through the planet's dense, cloud-choked atmosphere, where the…

Astronomy & Observing News

The Fuzzy Face of Ceres

The first known asteroid, 1 Ceres, is also the largest body in the asteroid belt. These Hubble Space Telescope images, taken in ultraviolet light about 3 hours apart, reveal a vague, dark circular feature about 250 kilometers across. Astronomers propose to name it Piazzi, to honor the asteroid's discoverer.Courtesy Joel…

Astronomy & Observing News

Mars Odyssey Arrives

An artist's depiction of the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft firing its engine upon reaching Mars. The brightly colored landscape at upper right represents the surface-composition mapping that will be a major mission objective.Courtesy NASA/JPL. After cruising across 460 million kilometers of interplanetary space over 6½ months, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey…

Astronomy & Observing News

Meet Comet Borrelly

Deep Space 1 successfully encounters Comet Borrelly.

Astronomy & Observing News

New Eruption Offers a Taste of Io

A towering new volcano on Io, unknown prior to Galileo's close-range flyby on August 6th, created both a 700-kilometer-wide ring (left) and an umbrella-shaped plume extending to a height of at least 500 km (right). The nearby volcano Tvashtar Patera was unexpectedly dormant during the flyby.Courtesy University of Arizona and…

Astronomy & Observing News

Deep Space 1 Spies Comet

Comet Borrelly, which orbits the Sun every 6.8 years, passed through perihelion on September 14th — just 8 days before Deep Space 1 flew past at close range. Georgia amateur Tim Puckett recorded Borrelly's coma and faint tail a half day later with his 30-centimeter telescope. After weeks of concern…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astronomers Launch Pro-Am "Registry"

Years in development, a new online service allows experienced amateur observers and willing professionals to collaborate on scientific research projects.

Solar System

Cassini Calls on Phoebe

Cassini's first rendezvous with a Saturnian moon was a date to remember.

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