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News by month (2005): Recent : Jan
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Pit chains hint at recent marsquakes on red planet
Oct 29:  Strings of depressions dotting the Martian landscape indicate that seismic activity — marsquakes — may still be reshaping the surface of the planet. These pit chains occur along dilational faults, partially filled or open cavities that served as conduits for past groundwater flow.
   FULL STORY
Cassini's radar shows Titan's young active surface
Oct 29:  The first radar images of Saturn's moon Titan show a very complex geological surface that may be relatively young. Previously, Titan's surface was hidden behind a veil of thick haze.
   FULL STORY
   RADAR IMAGERY
Two views of Titan's haze
Oct 28:  Titan's planet-wide stratospheric haze is observed in Cassini's first close encounter with the shrouded moon. This image shows Titan's night-side backlit by the Sun after the space probe's closest approach to the moon. The haze layer ringing the planet is illuminated because the small particles scatter significant sunlight in the forward direction.
   FULL STORY
Gigantic cosmic corkscrew reveals new details
Oct 28:  Making an extra effort to image a faint, gigantic corkscrew traced by fast protons and electrons shot out from a mysterious microquasar paid off for a pair of astrophysicists who gained new insights into the beast's inner workings and also resolved a longstanding dispute over the object's distance.
   FULL STORY
Scientists elated by Cassini's Titan observations
Oct 27:  After years of anticipation, the Cassini spacecraft beamed back smog-piercing close-up images of Saturn's moon Titan late Tuesday, revealing a strange, striated landscape that both thrilled — and mystified — planetary scientists.
   FULL STORY
Stellar survivor from 1572 A.D. supports theory
Oct 27:  An international team of astronomers is announcing today that they have identified the probable surviving companion star to a titanic supernova explosion witnessed in the year 1572 by the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era.
   FULL STORY
Titan up close
Oct 26:  These raw, un-processed images of Saturn's moon Titan were taken by the Cassini spacecraft and transmitted to Earth on October 26th. The pictures provide the closest views ever snapped of the hazy moon.
   PICTURE COLLECTION
Cassini has close encounter with Saturn's moon Titan
Oct 26:  NASA's Cassini spacecraft streaked by Saturn's smoggy moon Titan on Tuesday, October 26th, targeted to pass within just 750 miles of the planet-sized satellite to give scientists their first detailed glimpse of a world that, until now, has been shrouded in mystery. A news conference to discuss the pictures and data is planned for 1600 GMT (12 noon EDT) Wednesday, 27th.
   FULL STORY
   FLYBY TIMELINE
   OUR CASSINI MISSION ARCHIVE
Lonely halo raises questions about dark matter
Oct 26:  Dark matter continues to confound astronomers, as NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory demonstrated with the detection of an extensive envelope of dark matter around an isolated elliptical galaxy.
   FULL STORY
Eyes on Xanadu
Oct 25:  This stunning image taken on Sunday, October 24th, reveals Titan's bright "continent-sized" terrain known as Xanadu. It was acquired with the narrow angle camera on Cassini as the craft sped toward its first close encounter with the largest moon of Saturn.
   FULL STORY
Survey finds mysterious new Milky Way companion
Oct 24:  Most of the stars in our Milky Way galaxy lie in a very flat, pinwheel-shaped disc. Although this disc is prominent in images of galaxies similar to the Milky Way, there is also a very diffuse spherical "halo" of stars surrounding and enclosing the discs of such galaxies.
   FULL STORY
As the world turns, it drags space and time
Oct 24:  An international team of NASA and university researchers has found the first direct evidence that the Earth is dragging space and time around itself as it rotates.
   FULL STORY
New view of the sky
Oct 20:  Astronomers have overcome longstanding technical hurdles to map the sky at little-explored radio frequencies that may provide a tantalizing look deep into the early universe. The scientists have released images and data covering half of the sky, and hope to complete their survey within a year.
   FULL STORY
I, Robotic Telescope
Oct 20:  The world of astronomy meets the science fiction world of Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" with the commissioning of a new robotic telescope. While it lacks the humanoid qualities of the movie version, this robot will aid in humanity's quest to understand the early universe by observing the most distant and powerful explosions known.
   FULL STORY
Europe's Hipparcos finds rebels with a cause
Oct 20:  A team of European astronomers has discovered that many stars in the vicinity of the Sun have unusual motions caused by the spiral arms of our galaxy, the Milky Way. According to this research, based on data from ESA's Hipparcos observatory, our stellar neighbourhood is the crossroads of streams of stars coming from several directions.
   FULL STORY
Astronomers discover planet building is big mess
Oct 18:  Planets are built over a long period of massive collisions between rocky bodies as big as mountain ranges, astronomers announced Monday, October 19th. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal surprisingly large dust clouds around several stars. These clouds most likely flared up when rocky, embryonic planets smashed together.
   FULL STORY
European probe on track for its Moon encounter
Oct 18:  The ion engine of European Space Agency's SMART-1 probe carried out a continuous thrust manoeuvre last week in the final major push that will get the spacecraft to the Moon capture point in mid-November.
   FULL STORY
Cassini yields new knowledge of Saturn's rings
Oct 17:  Although the probe has only been orbiting the planet since July 1st, data from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer has already begun to provide new information about the curious nature of Saturn's space environment.
   FULL STORY
Probe preparing to plunge into Titan's atmosphere
Oct 15:  On January 14th, the Huygens probe will plough into the orange atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan, becoming the first spacecraft to attempt to land on a moon in our solar system since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 touched down on Earth's moon in 1976.
   FULL STORY
Research shows liquid water on Mars briefly
Oct 14:  A Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech has research published this week in Nature that shows Mars probably had liquid water at some point, but likely for only a short time, geologically speaking.
   FULL STORY
U.K. astronomers scan the skies for threat from space
Oct 13:  British astronomers are providing a vital component to the world-wide effort of identifying and monitoring rogue asteroids and comets. From this month, the U.K. Astrometry and Photometry Programme (UKAPP) for Near-Earth Objects will track NEOs and feed their crucial information into the international programme of protecting the Earth from any future impact by a comet or asteroid.
   FULL STORY
Newfound star cluster may be final Milky Way 'fossil'
Oct 12:  Just when astronomers thought they might have dug up the last of our galaxy's "fossils," they've discovered a new one in the galactic equivalent of our own backyard.
   FULL STORY
Cassini eyes the culprit
Oct 11:  Gazing beyond Saturn's magnificent rings, Cassini spotted the cause of the dark gap visible in the foreground of this image: Mimas. The gravitational influence of Mimas is responsible for the 2,980 mile-wide Cassini division, which stretches across the lower left portion of this view. The little moon is at a nearly half-full phase in this view.
   FULL STORY
Radio astronomers remove the blindfold
Oct 9:  U.K. radio astronomers at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, working with colleagues from Europe and the U.S., have demonstrated a new technique that will revolutionise the way they observe.
   FULL STORY
What is it? Mystery object discovered by astronomers
Oct 8:  Astronomers using the Gemini North and Keck II telescopes have peered inside a violent binary star system to find that one of the interacting stars has lost so much mass to its partner that it has regressed to a strange, inert body resembling no known star type.
   FULL STORY
Unravelling a 400-year-old supernova mystery
Oct 6:  Four hundred years ago, sky watchers, including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler, best known as the discoverer of the laws of planetary motion, were startled by the sudden appearance of a "new star" in the western sky, rivaling the brilliance of the nearby planets.
   FULL STORY
Satellite to seek nearest stars, brightest galaxies
Oct 6:  A new NASA mission, called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, will scan the entire sky in infrared light in search of nearby cool stars, planetary construction zones and the brightest galaxies in the universe.
   FULL STORY
Genesis samples go to JSC
Oct 6:  Following an extensive recovery effort since its September 8th impact at a Utah landing site, the first scientific samples from the Genesis space probe arrived at NASA's Johnson Space Center this week.
   FULL STORY
Frequent starbursts sterilize centre of Milky Way
Oct 5:  Life near the centre of our galaxy never had a chance. Every 20 million years on average, gas pours into the galactic centre and slams together, creating millions of new stars. The more massive stars soon go supernova, exploding violently and blasting the surrounding space with enough energy to sterilize it completely.
   FULL STORY
Giant 'pinhole camera' for exoplanet studies
Oct 1:  A NASA institute has selected a new University of Colorado at Boulder proposal for further study that describes how existing technologies can be used to study planets around distant stars with the help of an orbiting "starshade."
   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.
 GET YOUR COPY

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.
 GET YOUR COPY

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!
 GET YOUR COPY


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