Space & Planetary Science: September 2010 Archives

NASA and NSF-Funded Research Finds First Potentially Habitable Exoplanet

"A team of planet hunters from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone."

NASA To Reveal New Data On Conditions At Edge Of Solar System

Keith's note: NASA has rescheduled the media teleconference to discuss new information about the boundary of our solar system obtained from the agency's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft. The telecon now is set for noon EDT, on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Comparisons of the Interstellar Magnetic Field Directions obtained from the IBEX Ribbon and Interstellar Polarizations

"Variations in the spatial configuration of the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) near the Sun can be constrained by comparing the ISMF direction at the heliosphere found from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft (IBEX) observations of a 'Ribbon' of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), with the ISMF direction derived from optical polarization data for stars within ~40 pc."

Please Look at This Image

Breaking Waves in the Stellar Lagoon

"A spectacular new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the heart of the Lagoon Nebula. Seen as a massive cloud of glowing dust and gas, bombarded by the energetic radiation of new stars, this placid name hides a dramatic reality. The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a dramatic view of gas and dust sculpted by intense radiation from hot young stars deep in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8). "

Was Phobos Blasted Out of Mars?

Martian Moon Phobos May Have Been Formed by a Catastrophic Blast

"Scientists now have firm indications that the Martian satellite Phobos formed relatively near its current location via re-accretion of material blasted into Mars's orbit by some catastrophic event. Two independent approaches of compositional analyses of thermal infrared spectra, from ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Global Surveyor missions, yield very similar conclusions. The re-accretion scenario is further strengthened by the measurements of Phobos's high porosity from the Mars Radio Science Experiment (MaRS) on board Mars Express."

New NASA HD App for iPad With Expanded Content Available Free

"The app's landing page features the solar system, where users can learn more about our neighborhood, the universe and NASA missions. The app also enables users to experience and search updated, higher resolution NASA Image of the Day and Astronomy Picture of the Day collections and agency videos on demand."

Keith's note: What's missing from this picture on this iPad app's "landing page"? (enlarge) Pluto, Ceres, and Vesta for starters. NASA has missions on their way to these worlds (Dawn and New Horizons). But it does show the ISS (which is not a planet or a moon). Whether you think Pluto, Ceres, and Vesta are planets or dwarf planets or something else, they are the destinations for major missions and deserve to be on this front page. Not to do so is to ignore a billion dollar's worth of hardware and science. I wonder who reviews these apps prior to release?


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This page is an archive of entries in the Space & Planetary Science category from September 2010.

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