Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017

“A private space telescope mission that aims to discover 500,000 near-Earth asteroids is technically sound and on track for a 2017 launch, a review panel says.

The mission design and implementation plans for the Sentinel Space Telescope — which is being put together by the nonprofit B612 Foundation and its partner Ball Aerospace — are solid, according to the panel, which is called the Sentinel Special Review Team.”

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Source: Live Science

Saturn’s Ice Queen, Helene Image Of A Moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its second-closest encounter with Saturn’s icy moon Helene on June 18, 2011, beaming down raw images of the small moon. At closest approach, Cassini flew within 4,330 miles (6,968 kilometers) of Helene’s surface. It was the second closest approach to Helene of the entire mission.

This I found on Tom’s Astronomy blog. Got to love the image. Saturn has so many moons it is hard to keep track of them all. What I like about this image is its clarity, the patterning on the moons surface and the light and shadow effects.

Hartley 2 A ‘Hyperactive’ Comet?

Images at the same scale for all cometary nuclei observed by spacecraft. Differences in overall shape are dramatic, as are the differences in contrast between the nuclei and their associated jets, which are brighter than the nucleus at Halley and Hartley 2 and much fainter than the nucleus at other comets. Credit: Science/AAAS
Images at the same scale for all cometary nuclei observed by spacecraft. Differences in overall shape are dramatic, as are the differences in contrast between the nuclei and their associated jets, which are brighter than the nucleus at Halley and Hartley 2 and much fainter than the nucleus at other comets. Credit: Science/AAAS

Centauri Dreams is reporting on a hyperactive comet. Comet off gasings occurs as comets move toward the sun. As the various volatiles are heated by the sun energy they move from a frozen state to a gaseous state. Sometimes the off gasings can be quite energetic. This article looks at the comet Hartley 2 an provide analysis of the results of the flyby which occurred last fall. The results come from a paper published in journal Science.

Opportunity Surpasses 30 KM Driving and Snaps Skylab Crater in 3 D

The 7 Year and 30 Kilometer Long Journey of Opportunity to June 1, 2011 This collage of martian surface mosaics and orbital maps shows the entire route traversed by NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover from landing on Jan 24, 2004 to surpassing the 30 kilometer driving mark on June 1, 2011(see map notation). Opportunity is on an overland expedition driving to Endeavour Crater, some 22 km in diameter. Photo mosaic of Santa Maria crater at bottom, center shows one of the last spots investigated by Opportunity on Sol 2519, Feb. 23, 2011 before departing for Endeavour in March 2011. The exposed rock named Ruiz Garcia showed signatures of hydrated mineral deposits located at southeast portion of Santa Maria crater. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell Marco Di Lorenzo, Kenneth Kremer

Okay I’m not posting the 3D pictures here, but if you click on the image it will take you to the Universe Today website which will have the full story and the images provided by NASA. I don’t have 3D glasses yet so I can not really enjoy the pictures anyways.