Astronomy

 Cosmic Tribune

Scenic vistas from . . . Mars by NASA’s Curiosity

Scenic vistas from . . . Mars by NASA’s Curiosity

September 20, 2016 It’s hard to believe that more than 4 years have passed since the Curiosity rover (a.k.a. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory) dropped onto the broad floor of Gale crater and began its marathon exploration of Mars. Although the craft’s “primary mission” spanned only 23 months, the hope has always been that this durable, […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Mars poses with the stars, Antares and M4

Mars poses with the stars, Antares and M4

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Sebastian Voltmer] Wandering through this stunning field of view, Mars really is in front of these colorful cosmic clouds. The mosaic contructed from telescopic images is about 5 degrees (10 full moons) across. It captures the planet’s position on Aug. 26, over 7 light-minutes from Earth and very near […]

 Cosmic Tribune

NASA launches probe to return samples from Asteroid Bennu

NASA launches probe to return samples from Asteroid Bennu

September 11, 2016 David Dickinson, Sky and Telescope The dusk skies lit up over Cape Canaveral on September 8th, as NASA’s ambitious Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security and Regolith Explorer (Osiris-REX) mission started its long round trip journey. Its mission: meet up and explore Earth-crossing Apollo asteroid 101955 Bennu and bring samples of it […]

 Cosmic Tribune

A 1967 solar flare led NORAD to conclude its early-warning radars were being jammed by the Soviet Union

A 1967 solar flare led NORAD to conclude its early-warning radars were being jammed by the Soviet Union

On May 23, 1967, … all three of the United States’ ballistic missile early-warning radars became simultaneously jammed. Located in the high-latitude areas of Alaska, Greenland, and the United Kingdom, these radars were designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles, and any attack or disruption of these radars were considered to be an act of war. […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Cassini’s awe-inspiring view of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io

Cassini’s awe-inspiring view of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA] How big is Jupiter’s moon Io? The most volcanic body in the Solar System, Io (usually pronounced “EYE-oh”) is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, about the size of planet Earth’s single large natural satellite. Gliding past Jupiter at the turn of the millennium, […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Forty-five years ago, July 31 . . .

Forty-five years ago, July 31 . . .

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Apollo 15, USGS, NASA] On July 31, 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts Jim Iwrin and Dave Scott deployed the first Lunar Roving Vehicle on the Moon. Using it to explore their Hadley-Apennine landing site they spent nearly three days on the Moon while Al Worden orbited above. This digitally stitched […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Cassini’s coming collision with Saturn

Cassini’s coming collision with Saturn

Aug. 1, 2016 [CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute] What’s behind Saturn? The first answer is the camera itself, perched on the Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting behind the planet with the most grand ring system in our Solar System. The unusual perspective places Cassini on the far side of Saturn from the […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Check out the magnificent M13 globular star cluster with your binoculars

Check out the magnificent M13 globular star cluster with your binoculars

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Dean Fournier; Inset: ESA/Hubble & NASA] M13 is one of the most prominent and best known globular clusters. Visible with binoculars in the constellation of Hercules, M13 is frequently one of the first objects found by curious sky gazers seeking celestials wonders beyond normal human vision. M13 is a […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Three universes, 90 million light years away

Three universes, 90 million light years away

July 6, 2016 [CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, CHART32 Team, Processing – Johannes Schedler] [This telescopic view] features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. On the right, two, spiky, foreground Milky Way stars echo the trio galaxy hues, a reminder that stars in our own galaxy […]

 Cosmic Tribune

‘Built like an armored tank’, Juno swoops through debris, radiation in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere

‘Built like an armored tank’, Juno swoops through debris, radiation in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere

July 4, 2016 [CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION] NASA’s Juno spacecraft was to fire its main rocket engine late Monday to slow itself down from a speed of 150,000 mph (250,000 kph) and slip into orbit around Jupiter. With Juno on autopilot, the delicately choreographed move comes without any help from ground controllers. The […]