Space & Planetary Science: January 2005 Archives

Message to Outer Planet Research Community by NASA Mission Directorate's Solar System Division

"Due to miscommunications within the Solar System Division, the email that you received was misleading and premature. I sincerely apologize for the confusion and concern that it has caused. I am working with Science Mission Directorate Management to institute a process that will eliminate future miscommunications to the Science Community."

Simple Grandeur

NASA Cassini Image: Saturn and Several of its Moons

"This image was taken on January 23, 2005 and received on Earth January 24, 2005.

The camera was pointing toward Saturn, and the image was taken using the MT2 and CL2 filters.

This image has not been validated or calibrated."

Images of New Identified Meteorite Adjacent to NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Heatshield Impact Point

NASA's Opportunity Rover Finds an Iron Meteorite on Mars

"The meteorite, dubbed "Heat Shield Rock," sits near debris of Opportunity's heat shield on the surface of Meridiani Planum, a cratered flatland that has been Opportunity's home since the robot landed on Mars nearly one year ago."

Science goes deeper with Antarctic meteorites

"Of the 15,000 meteorites in the U.S. collection, Antarctic meteorites number about 10,000. As a comparison, the largest Antarctic collection in the world is at Japan's National Institute of Polar Research and numbers about 16,700 meteorites, according to the institute's Naoya Imae."

Editor's note: While ESA takes its time to slowly release images, full collections of Huygens imagery have already been processed and refined well beyond anything ESA has done - see Amateur compositions of the Huygens images for one spectacular collection. This mosaic (R) shows the 'drainiage systems' at Huygens' landing site. This panorama - in simulated colors, shows the location where Huygens landed from the air.

Then there is this animated GIF (1.6 mb) assembled from 98 surface shots. These individual frames are all still in need of some processing however, I cannot help but get the impression that something is flowing from the right to the left of the image - just past the larger ice rocks. Note: This may well be an optical illusion or artifact resulting from how these images were assembled.

If you scroll to the bottom of this page you can download all of the raw images for yourself in a variety fo formats. Why wait for ESA to get around to this - and have all the fun?

Editor's update: 17 January 2005: ESA has finally gotten around to posting the raw images from Huygen's descent to Titan. They have also posted a spectacular montage showing the view from 10 km above Titan

For the latest information on Huygens' landing on Titan as well as Cassini's continuing exploration of Saturn, its rings, and its retinue of moons, visit

Huygens Lands on Titan

14 January 2005: Images of Titan Begin to Arrive from Huygens

"NASA's Cassini has begun to relay data received from the ESA Huygens lander as it descended through Titan's atmosphere. They will be posted here as they become available."

Deep Impact Departs Earth

NASA Deep Impact Asteroid Probe Launched

"The Deep Impact spacecraft lifted off on-time aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 1:47:08.574 p.m. EST. Deep Impact has successfully begun its mission to investigate comet Tempel 1."

One (Earth) Year On Mars

Happy Holidays from Mars,

3 January 2005: One Year on Mars

"One Year on Mars," a special two-hour live event to commemorate the mission, will be presented at JPL on Monday, Jan. 3, 2005, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. The live event, along with additional taped programming and live-shot opportunities, will be aired on NASA-TV."

4 January 2005: Welcome to Mars, Nova, PBS

"On January 3, 2004, a compact rover named Spirit, cushioned inside a pyramid of balloons, hurtled through the martian atmosphere and crash-landed on the dusty surface of Mars. Minutes later, Spirit sent its first message home. The elation of the assembled scientists, along with the much more involved engineering story leading up to the landing, were captured by NOVA producer Mark Davis in his popular documentary MARS Dead or Alive. That elation is the starting point for the highly anticipated sequel, "Welcome to Mars."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Space & Planetary Science category from January 2005.

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