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News by month (2005): Recent : Jan
News by month (2004): Dec : Nov : Oct : Sep : Aug : Jul :
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Cassini ends 2004 with flyby of icy moon Iapetus
Dec 30:  NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to cap off 2004 with an encounter of Saturn's ying-yang moon Iapetus on New Year's Eve. Iapetus is a world of sharp contrasts. The leading hemisphere is as dark as a freshly-tarred street, and the white, trailing hemisphere resembles freshly-fallen snow.
   FULL STORY
   EARLIER IAPETUS IMAGERY
Tethys' great rift
Dec 30:  This dazzling new view of Saturn's moon Tethys from the Cassini spacecraft shows the tremendous rift called Ithaca Chasma, which is 60 miles wide in places, and runs nearly three-quarters of the way around the icy moon.
   FULL STORY
Stars of wonder, stars of infrared and X-ray light
Dec 29:  This montage shows three clusters of bright, young stars in X-ray (blue) and infrared (green) light that lie in the direction of the centre of the Galaxy. Like many stars in the disk of the Galaxy, they are difficult, if not impossible, to see with an optical telescope because of interstellar dust that blocks the visible light.
   FULL STORY
Asteroid 2004 MN4 will miss
Earth in 2029

Dec 27:  One potential hammer blow from space can now be dismissed for the foreseeable future: astronomers have just refined the orbit of near-Earth asteroid 2004 MN4 and can state categorically that it will miss our planet on April 13th, 2029.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Jupiter's moon Amalthea was probably captured
Dec 24:  The first ground-based infrared spectrum of Jupiter's moon Amalthea reveals that it must have formed far from its current location. This new result, based on observations with the Subaru telescope and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, sheds new light on our solar system's turbulent past.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Cassini orbiter deploys Titan descent probe
Dec 24:  In a long-awaited milestone, a European-built probe carrying cameras and a suite of scientific instruments was released from NASA's Cassini Saturn orbiter Christmas Eve, setting up a dramatic January 14th plunge into the atmosphere of the ringed planet's mysterious moon Titan.
   FULL STORY
   DETAILED TIMELINE
VAB
World's most powerful infrared camera begins observations in Hawaii
Dec 22:  A new astronomical camera has begun operations on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii. The Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) is the world's most powerful infrared survey camera. It will survey large regions of the sky at infrared wavelengths and is expected to discover both the nearest objects outside our solar system and the farthest known objects in the universe.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Aging universe may still be spawning giant "baby" galaxies
Dec 21:  NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has spotted what appear to be massive "baby" galaxies in our corner of the universe. Previously, astronomers thought the universe's birth rate had dramatically declined and only small galaxies were forming.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Saturn lightning, rotation discoveries made
Dec 20:  As NASA's Cassini spacecraft approached Saturn last July, it found evidence that lightning on the planet is roughly one million times stronger than lightning on Earth.
   FULL STORY
VAB
New clouds add to mystery of Saturn's moon Titan
Dec 19:  Using adaptive optics on the Gemini North and Keck II telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, a U.S. team has discovered a new phenomenon in the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon Titan. Unlike previous observations showing storms at the south pole, these new images reveal atmospheric disturbances at Titan's temperate mid latitudes — about halfway between the equator and the poles.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Saturn's outer rings may be eroding, Cassini data shows
Dec 18:  A massive eruption of atomic oxygen from Saturn's outer rings, seen by Cassini's ultraviolet camera as the spacecraft neared its destination, may be an indication that the planet's wispy E ring is eroding so fast that it could disappear within 100 million years if not replenished.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Hubble puts a new twist on an old nebula
Dec 17:  Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to celestial objects like galaxies and nebulae. These objects are so far away that astronomers cannot see their three-dimensional structure. The colourful Helix Nebula is one good example.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Before and after look at Saturn's moon Titan
Dec 16:  Cassini's second close flyby of Titan completes a 'before' and 'after' look at the fuzzy moon and provides the first direct evidence of changing weather patterns in the skies over Titan.
   FULL STORY
Symphony of colours in the Tarantula Nebula
Dec 15:  The Tarantula Nebula is the most vigorous star forming region known in the local universe. This amazing panorama was created by a young amateur astronomer from images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Earth's safe zone got hot during legendary storms
Dec 15:  A NASA-funded study found a region between radiation belts surrounding the Earth is not as benign as once thought. The region was considered a safe zone for satellites in "Middle Earth" orbits, because of relatively small amounts of radiation.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Pulsar gives insight into ultra dense matter
Dec 15:  A long look at a young pulsar with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed unexpectedly rapid cooling, which suggests that it contains much denser matter than previously expected. The pulsar's cool temperature and the vast magnetic web of high-energy particles that surrounds it have implications for the theory of nuclear matter and the origin of magnetic fields in cosmic objects.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Cassini has another successful Titan flyby
Dec 13:  The Cassini spacecraft completed a successful rendezvous with Saturn's moon Titan on Monday, December 13th. This was the last pass before the European Space Agency's Huygens probe is sprung loose from Cassini on Christmas Eve.
   FULL STORY
   CASSINI NEWS ARCHIVE
From Saturn's dark side
Dec 11:  As Cassini swung around to the dark side of the planet during its first close passage after orbit insertion, the intrepid spacecraft spied three ring moons — Mimas, Janus and Prometheus — whizzing around the planet.
   FULL STORY
'Solar ultrasound' waves discovered by satellite
Dec 10:  The Sun's atmosphere is filled with ultrasound-like waves that may help solve decades-old mysteries about the Sun and space weather, according to Southwest Research Institute scientists who found the waves in data from NASA's TRACE spacecraft.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Spitzer, Hubble capture evolving planetary systems
Dec 9:  Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, have provided astronomers an unprecedented look at dusty planetary debris around stars the size of our Sun.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Report: Shuttle servicing of Hubble is best option
Dec 8:  To ensure continuation of the extraordinary scientific output of the Hubble Space Telescope and to prepare for its eventual de-orbiting, NASA should send a space shuttle mission, not a robotic one, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Academies' National Research Council.
   FULL STORY
VAB
Saturn's moon Iapetus as you've never seen it
Dec 8:  New details on Iapetus are illuminated by reflected light from Saturn in this revealing Cassini image. Never-before-seen features on the Saturn-facing part of Iapetus' bright trailing hemisphere are visible for the first time.
   FULL STORY
   CASSINI NEWS ARCHIVE
Explosions in majestic spiral galaxy beauties
Dec 5:  Images of beautiful galaxies, and in particular of spiral brethren of our own Milky Way, leaves no one unmoved. It is difficult indeed to resist the charm of these impressive grand structures.
   FULL STORY
Cassini captures Saturn moon red-handed
Dec 4:  Stealing is a crime on Earth, but at Saturn, apparently it is routine. The Cassini spacecraft has witnessed Saturn's moon Prometheus snatching particles from one of Saturn's rings.
   FULL STORY
Did our Sun capture
alien worlds?

Dec 1:  Computer simulations show a close encounter with a passing star about 4 billion years ago may have given our solar system its abrupt edge and put small, alien worlds into distant orbits around our sun.
   FULL STORY
Gazing down on Saturn
Dec 1:  The Cassini spacecraft pierced the ring plane and rounded Saturn a few weeks ago, capturing these pictures that NASA has released showing the dark portion of the planet's majestic rings.
   FULL STORY
A baby galaxy uncovered in a grown-up universe
Dec 1:  Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a scientist has identified what may be the youngest galaxy ever seen in the universe. By cosmological standards it is a mere toddler. Called I Zwicky 18, it may be as young as 500 million years old. Comparatively, our Milky Way galaxy is about 12 billion years old, the typical age of galaxies across the universe.
   FULL STORY

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.
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Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.
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3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!
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