Planets

 Cosmic Tribune

Cassini offers glimpse of Saturn’s Dione, rings and 2 small moons

Cassini offers glimpse of Saturn’s Dione, rings and 2 small moons

When making its closest pass yet of Saturn’s moon Dione late last year, the robotic Cassini spacecraft snapped this far-ranging picture featuring Dione, Saturn’s rings, and the two small moons Epimetheus and Prometheus. The above image captures part of the heavily cratered snow-white surface of the 1,100 kilometer wide Dione, the thinness of Saturn’s rings, […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Russian Soyuz spacecraft lands safely in Kazakhstan, three astronauts in tow

Russian Soyuz spacecraft lands safely in Kazakhstan, three astronauts in tow

By Dan Nosowitz The Russian Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts (Commander Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyayev, both Russian, and American Ron Garan) safely landed this morning in Kazakhstan, bringing them home after five months on the International Space Station. The landing, about 94 miles southeast of the smallish Kazakh city Zhezkazgan, wasn’t entirely flawless–mission control […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Kepler spots a planet orbiting two suns, just like Star Wars’ Tatooine

Kepler spots a planet orbiting two suns, just like Star Wars’ Tatooine

A mournful French horn blows. An angsty Luke Skywalker stomps out of his aunt and uncle’s sand hut and peers up at Tatooine’s double sunset, his hair blowing in the breeze. It’s a memorable scene from Star Wars—but now, a precedent for such a sky with two suns has been found in our universe. Using […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Did Google geek discover ‘space station’ on Mars surface?

Did Google geek discover ‘space station’ on Mars surface?

An American ‘armchair astronaut’ claims to have discovered a mysterious structure on the surface of the red planet – by looking on Google earth. David Martines, whose YouTube video of the ‘station’ has racked up over 200,000 hits so far, claims to have randomly uncovered the picture while scanning the surface of the planet one […]

 Cosmic Tribune

NASA planet hunters announce smallest exoplanet ever found, and close

NASA planet hunters announce smallest exoplanet ever found, and close

A tiny world of molten rock, orbiting scorchingly close to its host star, is the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar system, NASA announced today. And it’s likely only the first in a parade of planet discoveries to be announced this spring by the Kepler Space Telescope team. Kepler-10b, as the new world is […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Venus has a moon?

Venus has a moon?

Astronomers have been busy trying to determine the spin period and composition of Venus‘ moon. December 8, 2010, results were announced by JPL/Caltech scientists, led by Michael Hicks.   “Wait a minute; back up”, I hear you ask. “Venus has a Moon?”   Of course it does. Well, kind of… Let me explain.   It has […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Saturn moon has ice volcano — and maybe life?

Saturn moon has ice volcano — and maybe life?

Topographic computer model of Sotra Facula, an apparent ice volcano on Saturn’s moon Titan. Not unlike the volcanoes of Hawaii, the supposed ice volcano, known as Sotra Facula, rises 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) above the surrounding plain in a large, gently shaped dome, according to the mountain’s discoverer, geophysicist Randolph Kirk. The feature had previously […]

 Cosmic Tribune

European space telescope to search for exoplanets of other stars

European space telescope to search for exoplanets of other stars

On 27 December, COROT is to be launched into space on a unique astronomy mission: its twin goals are to detect exoplanets orbiting around other stars and to probe the mysteries of stellar interiors as never before. . . . While CNES is completing preparations for the launch from Baikonur/Kazakhstan, ESA and a large number […]

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