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Uranus’ Moon of Titania

Titania

Voyager 2 image of Titania, Uranus’ largest moon. Credit: NASA

Like all of the Solar Systems’ gas giants, Uranus has an extensive system of moons. In fact, astronomers can now account for 27 moons in orbit around Uranus. Of these, none are greater in size, mass, or surface area than Titania. One of the first moon’s to be discovered around Uranus, this heavily cratered and scarred moon was appropriately named after the fictional Queen of the Fairies.

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Example of a cluster of bright spots on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko found in the Khepry region. The bright patches are thought to be exposures of water-ice. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Careful! It’s slippery out there. Bright patches seen in 67P/C-G’s Khepry region appear to be boulders with exposed surfaces of water ice. Scale bar is 50 meters or 164 feet. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Comet 67P/C-G may be tiny at just 2.5 miles (4 km) across, but its diverse landscapes and the processes that shape them astound. To say nature packs a lot into small packages is an understatement.

In newly-released images taken by Rosetta’s high-resolution OSIRIS science camera, the comet almost seems alive. Sunlight glints off icy boulders and pancaking sinkholes blast geysers of dust into the surrounding coma. [click to continue…]

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How Do Astronauts Avoid Debris?

GuideToSpace193
Watch this video over at our Patreon page HERE!

So, just how do we keep our space stations, ships and astronauts from being riddled with holes from all of the space junk in orbit around Earth?
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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes about 2 minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 28, 2015.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes about 2 minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 28, 2015. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – SpaceX and NASA are diligently working to “identify the root cause” of the June 28 in flight failure of the firms Falcon 9 rocket, as the accident investigation team focuses on “flight data” rather than recovered debris as the best avenue for determining exactly what went wrong, a SpaceX spokesperson told Universe Today.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 booster broke up just minutes after a picture perfect blastoff from a seaside Florida launch pad on a critical mission for NASA bound for the International Space Station (ISS). It was carrying a SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter loaded with [click to continue…]

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What is a Terrestrial Planet?

The terrestrial planets of our Solar System at approximately relative sizes. From left, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute

The terrestrial planets of our Solar System at approximately relative sizes. From left, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute

In studying our Solar System over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery of extrasolar planets, many of which are similar to what we have observed here at home.

For example, while hundreds of gas giants of varying size have been detected (which are easier to detect because of their size), numerous planets have also been spotted that are similar to Earth – aka. “Earth-like”. These are what is known as terrestrial planets, a designation which says a lot about a planet how it came to be.

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spaceship dazzled in the moments after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 28, 2015 but were soon doomed to a sudden catastrophic destruction barely two minutes later in the inset photo (left).  Composite image includes up close launch photo taken from pad camera set at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral and mid-air explosion photo taken from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida as rocket was streaking to the International Space Station (ISS) on CRS-7 cargo resupply mission.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spaceship dazzled in the moments after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 28, 2015 but were soon doomed to a sudden catastrophic destruction barely two minutes later in the inset photo (left). Composite image includes up close launch photo taken from pad camera set at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral and mid-air explosion photo taken from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida as rocket was streaking to the International Space Station (ISS) on CRS-7 cargo resupply mission. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – In the span of mere moments, euphoria at the dawn of a dazzling Dragon liftoff atop a commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying critical science, supplies and docking components for NASA’s upcoming crewed spaceships to the International Space Station (ISS), turned to doom and gloom as the Dragon cargo ship disintegrated in mid-air, to the shock of everyone watching under sun drenched skies along the Florida space coast on Sunday, June 28.

By all accounts from NASA and SpaceX and based on new up close imagery from media including myself, the cargo flight on the CRS-7 cargo resupply mission to the ISS began [click to continue…]

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Astronomy Cast Ep. 383: Approaches to Absolute Zero

The coldest possible theoretical temperature is Absolute Zero, this is the point at which no further energy can be extracted from a system. How are physicists working to get as close as possible to this extreme cold?
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Carnival of Space #412

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major.

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major.

This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Zain Husain at the Brownspaceman.com blog.

Click here to read Carnival of Space #412.
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Pluto nearing the ‘Sagittarius Spoon’ asterism in 2014. Image credit and copyright: John Chumack

Are you ready for July? The big ticket space event of the year is coming right up, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is set to make its historic flyby targeting a pass 12,500 kilometres (7,750 miles) from the surface of Pluto at 11:50 UT on July 14th. Already, Pluto and its moons are growing sharper by the day, as New Horizons closes in on Pluto at over 14 kilometres per second. [click to continue…]

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Pluto with its enigmatic "crater" photographed on June 27. The apparent row of three depressions near the bottom of the globe are most likely artifacts from processing. Credit:

Pluto with its enigmatic “crater” photographed on June 27. The apparent row of three depressions near the bottom of the globe are most likely artifacts from processing. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

You’re probably as eager as I am for new images of Pluto and Ceres as both New Horizons and Dawn push ever closer to their respective little worlds. Recent photos, of which there are only a few, reveal some wild new features including what appears to a large crater on Pluto. [click to continue…]

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