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Watch Two Dark Moons Sneak Into Cassini’s Shots

by Jason Major March 14, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter On March 11, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was acquiring some images of Saturn’s back-lit limb when two of its moons decided to make an entrance. Like stage hands in a darkened theatre the moons quickly passed ¬†across the scene, moving between Saturn […]

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This is the Moon, the Whole Moon and Nothing But the Moon

by Jason Major October 16, 2013

Take a look around the Moon… no, really, take a good look AROUND the Moon! This is a fantastic animation of our planetary partner in space made by the folks on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team at Arizona State University. Assembled from reflectance maps and digital terrain models created from data gathered by LRO’s wide-angle […]

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An Illustrative Explanation Of Our Solar System

by Jason Major August 23, 2013

The Solar System: it’s our home in space, the neighborhood that we all grew up in and where — unless we figure out a way to get somewhere else — all of our kids and grandkids and great-great-great-great-times-infinity-great-grandkids will grow up too. That is, of course, until the Sun swells up and roasts Earth and […]

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An Occult Occurrence: Saturn’s Moon Iapetus Blocks a Background Star

by Jason Major August 14, 2013

It’s a cosmic cover-up! No, don’t put your tinfoil* hats on, this isn’t a conspiracy — it’s just Saturn’s moon Iapetus drifting in front of the bright star Gamma Orionis (aka Bellatrix) captured on Cassini’s narrow-angle camera on August 10, 2013. Such an event is called an occultation, a term used in astronomy whenever light […]

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Earth-Passing Asteroid is “An Entirely New Beast”

by Jason Major June 17, 2013

On the last day of May 2013 asteroid 1998 QE2 passed relatively closely by our planet, coming within¬†6 million kilometers… about 15 times the distance to the Moon. While there was never any chance of an impact by the 3 km-wide asteroid and its surprise 750 meter satellite, astronomers didn’t miss out on the chance […]

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