Tag: NASA

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Stunning New Colour-Enhanced Pictures of Jupiter

NASA recently released new pictures of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. The photos were taken by the Juno spacecraft. Many of the black-and-white images, sent back to Earth by Juno, have been colourized by people to better show the clouds swirling around the planet. The Juno spacecraft was launched in 2011. Its mission was “to examine Jupiter’s chemistry, atmosphere, interior structure and magnetosophere,” according to a NASA website. Juno arrived at Jupiter in 2016, looking for “clues to its origin and evolution.” Since that time, it has been orbiting (flying around) Jupiter, taking pictures and sending them digitally back to Earth.

News Science

Cassini Spacecraft Begins Last Stage Of 20-Year Mission

In October 1997, a spacecraft called the Cassini orbiter was launched on a mission to explore Saturn and its moons.
Now, after nearly 20 years in space, Cassini’s mission is coming to an end. Cassini is running out of fuel. Scientists expect it to burn up in Saturn’s atmosphere in September.
But before that happens, the spacecraft will make a series of dives between Saturn and its rings, sending photographs and other information back to Earth.

News Science

The “Comet Of The Century” Set To Put On A Show

Comet ISON is about to put on a show.

Scientists around the world are watching as ISON streaks, ever-faster, towards the sun.

NASA has been studying ISON since December, when it was more than 800 million kilometres away.

Experts are calling Comet ISON as “the comet of the century.”

What is a comet? Here’s how astrophysicist Julie Abraham describes a comet: “It’s basically a big ball of dirty ice in orbit around the sun that gradually melts or burns up, spewing out debris and water in a plume blown out behind it.”

News Science Technology

MAVEN Spacecraft Takes Off For Mars

This week, a “robotic explorer” left Earth on its way to Mars.

It should get there next September. Mars is more than 700 million kilometres away.

The explorer is going to Mars to try to solve some of the planet’s mysteries.

For instance, why is Mars now a cold, dry planet when it started out warm and wet?

The Associated Press reports that “the early Martian atmosphere was thick enough to hold water and possibly support microbial life.”

Scientists at NASA want to know what happened to change that.