Phobos & Deimos — The Moons of Mars Explained

by Nancy Atkinson May 14, 2014

Where did Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos come from? How did they end up in orbit around Mars? This cool video from the folks at Kurzgesagt answers the most-oft asked questions about these mini moons. You should also check out their other wonderful videos, like the one about our own Moon, below, which explains how […]

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Asteroids VS. Your Hometown: Fun but Frightening Graphics Compare Asteroid Sizes to Places on Earth

by Nancy Atkinson April 24, 2014

So, how big is that space rock? Sometimes when I see data on sizes and distances in relation to stuff out in space, it’s hard to get a frame of reference, since those two categories tend to lean towards the super-big. But now, I’ve got a little help. Space enthusiast and software engineer Ciro Villa […]

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Watch Two Dark Moons Sneak Into Cassini’s Shots

by Jason Major March 14, 2014

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 and the spacecraft and, because of exposure time and spacecraft motion, getting a bit […]

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A Distant View of Janus, One of Saturn’s ‘Dancing Moons’

by Jason Major January 12, 2014

One of 62 moons discovered thus far orbiting giant Saturn, Janus is a 111-mile (179-km) -wide pockmarked potato composed of rock and ice rubble. The image above shows Janus as seen with Cassini’s narrow-angle camera on September 10, 2013, from a distance of 621,000 miles (1 million km), floating against the blackness of space. Despite its […]

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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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