Saturday, December 14, 2013

Links 14/12/13

On this day China's Chang'e Lunar Lander successfully touched down on the Moon at 13:11:18.695 GMT (8:11:18.695 EST). It's the first spacecraft to land on the Moon in 37 years. Here's an animation based on images taken by its landing camera during descent.

'NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has observed water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter's moon Europa, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon's surface.'

 'A new analysis of data from NASA's Galileo mission has revealed clay-type minerals at the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa that appear to have been delivered by a spectacular collision with an asteroid or comet. This is the first time such minerals have been detected on Europa's surface. The types of space rocks that deliver such minerals typically also often carry organic materials.'

Titan's north, revealed in a mosaic of radar images
'Cassini's recent close flybys are bringing into sharper focus a region in Titan's northern hemisphere that sparkles with almost all of the moon's seas and lakes. Scientists working with the spacecraft's radar instrument have put together the most detailed multi-image mosaic of that region to date. The image includes all the seas and most of the major lakes. Some of the flybys tracked over areas that previously were seen at a different angle, so researchers have been able to create a flyover of the area around Titan's largest and second largest seas, known as Kraken Mare and Ligeia Mare, respectively, and some of the nearby lakes.' 

'The Curiosity mission has achieved another milestone as scientists have determined that the rocks inside Gale Crater that were analyzed by the rover are very old – even on geologic time scales, but were exposed very recently. The achievement of utilizing in-situ age-dating methods using radiogenic and cosmogenic noble gases marks a first in planetary exploration.' 

Visit National Parks on other worlds.

Cold War Christmas Cards from the USSR.


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