Fly Across Mercury with MESSENGER!

by Jason Major November 8, 2013

Take a ride on the Mercury express and see what MESSENGER sees in these two new videos! Each made from over 280 Narrow-Angle Camera (NAC) images taken at intervals of four seconds, the videos give us a first-class seat on a flight over some of the rugged, sun-scorched surfaces on Mercury’s southern hemisphere. Check out […]

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Feast Your Mind on This: Strange “Brain Terrain” on Mars

by Jason Major September 19, 2013

It doesn’t take much thought to understand why this landscape on Mars is called “brain terrain” — the swirling lobes of ice, part of a large glacial deposit in Mars’ northern hemisphere, uncannily resemble the texture of a brain — or at the very least a brain coral! What causes this strange landscape? Find out […]

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MESSENGER Sees a Smoother Side of Mercury

by Jason Major March 22, 2013

During its two years in orbit around Mercury — as well as several more years performing flybys — the MESSENGER spacecraft has taken over 150,000 images of the innermost planet, giving us a look at its incredibly rugged, Sun-scoured surface like never before. But not all areas on Mercury appear so harsh — it has […]

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Are Venus’ Volcanoes Still Active?

by Jason Major December 3, 2012

Artist’s impression of an active volcano on Venus (ESA/AOES) Incredibly dense, visually opaque and loaded with caustic sulfuric acid, Venus’ atmosphere oppresses a scorched, rocky surface baking in planet-wide 425 ºC (800 ºF) temperatures. Although volcanoes have been mapped on our neighboring planet’s surface, some scientists believe the majority of them have remained inactive — at […]

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Titan Shines in Latest Cassini Shots

by Jason Major December 3, 2012

Color-composite raw image of Titan’s southern hemisphere. Note the growing south polar vortex. (NASA/JPL/SSI/Jason Major) Last Thursday, November 29, Cassini sailed past Titan for yet another close encounter, coming within 1,014 kilometers (603 miles) of the cloud-covered moon in order to investigate its thick, complex atmosphere. Cassini’s Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), Composite Infrared […]

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