Space & Planetary Science: February 2005 Archives

Mystery Picture from Saturn

NASA Cassini Saturn Image: What is this?, NASA JPL

"W00005078.jpg was taken on February 21, 2005 and received on Earth February 21, 2005. The camera was pointing toward SKY, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated. A validated/calibrated image will be archived with the NASA Planetary Data System in 2005."

Editor's note: This raw image has been online for a week. It would seem that this image shows Saturn's shadow upon something rather tenuous. NASA JPL has yet to tell us just what it is we are looking at. Perhaps someone from JPL PAO will drop us a line.

Morphology of Fresh Outflow Channel Deposits on Mars, Rice,J.W.,Jr.; Parker,T.J.; Russell,A.J.; Knudsen,O., 33rd Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 11-15, 2002, Houston, Texas, abstract no.2026

"Perhaps the most intriguing and debatable landforms in the region are the plates and ridges seen within the channel margins of Athabasca and Marte Valles. The plates can be up to 5 km diameter and have been rafted apart. The plates can be 'jigsaw fitted' back in place. The ridges are sinuous and up to 10 m wide and a few meters high."

Mars Rover Self Portraits

NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity used their panoramic cameras to take a series of images which have been combined into a mosaic overhead view of each rover. The downward-looking view omits the mast on which the camera is mounted. Opportunity's solar panels are shown to be relatively dust-free while Spirit's panels have an appreciable amount of dust.

Stunning Images From Saturn

Check out the latest spectacular images from Saturn at Saturn Today.

Evidence from HRSC Mars Express for a Frozen Sea Close to Mars' Equator (PDF abstract), Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI (2005)

"We have found evidence consistent with a presently-existing frozen body of water, with surface pack-ice, around +5 latitude and 150 east longitude in southern Elysium. It measures about 800 km x 900 km and averages up to 45 m deep: similar in size and depth to the North Sea."

'Pack ice' suggests frozen sea on Mars, New Scientist

"One problem with this proposed frozen sea is that there is very little water vapour in the Martian atmosphere today. [Michael] Carr says that if there had been relatively recent sublimation, as the scientists propose, some traces of water should remain in the atmosphere."

Picture Imperfect: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Sky and Telescope

"NASA officials acknowledge that two of the space agency's premier orbiting telescopes share a common problem: flawed optics. One is the 15-year-old, multibillion-dollar Hubble Space Telescope, which made "spherical aberration" a household term before being rehabilitated in a spectacular rescue mission by Space Shuttle astronauts. The other, overlooked until this week, is the $720 million infrared Spitzer Space Telescope."

The Truth About Beagle 2

Editorial: Beagle 2, cock-ups and conspiracy, New Scientist

"Kicking and screaming, the UK government and European Space Agency have been forced to publish the results of their inquiry into the failed Mars lander Beagle 2. It is a sad reflection on these organisations that New Scientist had to invoke the UK's new Freedom of Information Act to force the release."

Titan Flyby

NASA Cassini: Titan-3 Flyby Description

"The third targeted flyby of Titan occurs on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 6:58 SCET (Ground: 8:06 UTC - 12:06 AM Pacific time). Cassini's closest approach to Saturn's largest satellite is at an altitude of 1577 km (980 miles) above the surface at a speed of 6.1 kilometers per second (14,000 mph). Titan has a diameter of 5150 km (3200 miles), so the spacecraft passes within 1.6 Titan radii."


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

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