Solar System

Watch Pluto and Charon Engage in Their Orbital Dance

by Jason Major August 7, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Now here’s something I guarantee you’ve never seen before: a video of the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon showing the two distinctly separate worlds actually in motion around each other! Captured by the steadily-approaching New Horizons spacecraft from […]

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New Image Captures one of the Brightest Volcanoes Ever Seen in the Solar System

by Shannon Hall August 4, 2014

Jupiter’s innermost moon, Io — with over 400 active volcanoes, extensive lava flows and floodplains of liquid rock — is by far the most geologically active body in the Solar System. But last August, Io truly came alive with volcanism. Three massive volcanic eruptions led astronomers to speculate that these presumed rare outbursts were much […]

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If the Sun Were the Size of a Person, How Big Would an Asteroid Be?

by Jason Major August 4, 2014

I love anything that attempts to provide a sense of scale about the Solar System (see here and here for even more examples) and this one brings us down past the Sun, planets, and moons all the way to asteroid size — specifically asteroid 101955 Bennu, the target of the upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission. Created by […]

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New Image of Rosetta’s Comet Reveals So Much More

by Jason Major July 31, 2014

WOW! We’re really getting to the good stuff now! This is no computer-generated shape model, this is the real deal: the double-lobed nucleus of Comet 67P/C-G, as imaged by Rosetta’s OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) narrow-angle camera on Tuesday, July 29. At the time just about a week away from making its […]

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X-ray Glow: Evidence of a Local Hot Bubble Carved by a Supernova

by Shannon Hall July 29, 2014

I spent this past weekend backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, where although the snow-swept peaks and the dangerously close wildlife were staggering, the night sky stood in triumph. Without a fire, the stars, a few planets, and the surprisingly bright Milky Way provided the only light to guide our way. But the night sky […]

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