Category Archives: space exploration

We made it to Jupiter!

Consider this: a lineage of apes began making tools a couple million years ago, wresting stones from the earth to make crude choppers and axes. A bit later we had arrowheads, and then spears. And then the wheel.  Only six thousand years after the wheel, those apes had progressed to where they could wrest sufficiently diverse […]

Here’s the Philae lander!

by Matthew Cobb I said none of you would get it. It’s *very* tiny! Good guesses on the find @Philae2014 image! Here’s the answer: (Original image via: https://t.co/1dVgktGBNh) pic.twitter.com/kea7c0G1xL — ESA Rosetta Mission (@ESA_Rosetta) May 4, 2016

Spot the Philae lander!

by Matthew Cobb Earlier today, to mark May the Fourth, the European Space Agency released this photo of  comet 67P taken by the Rosetta probe with, somewhere on its surface, the tiny Philae lander (you’ll never spot it). The answer is already out there, so no cheating! Genuine spots only in the comments, please. Click […]

It’s Astro Sam’s birthday!

Since Samantha Cristoforetti (the Official Website Astronaut™) returned from the ISS, we haven’t heard much from her, but at least I can report that today is her 39th birthday, and she got a special cake from a special person:

Are there aliens? (Unedited TV pilot)

by Matthew Cobb Here are some links to a TV pilot I have made along with five scientific colleagues/friends – David Kirby (biologist and historian), Alastair Reynolds (astronomer and SF writer), Danielle George (radio engineer), Aravind Vijayaraghavan (nanotechnologist) and Sheena Cruickshank (immunologist) (all of us except Alastair are from the University of Manchester). The programmes […]

Earthrise over the Moon

This image, released by NASA on December 18, will make great wallpaper (or whatever they call it) for your computer screen. Click to enlarge, or get it from the site linked below: It’s a composite of images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on October 12, and the NASA site gives details on how it was […]

Water on Mars: what does it mean?

Lots of folks have gone gaga about the discovery of salty water on the surface of Mars, and the excitement centers on one thing: the possibility that there could be life there. Well, we can’t rule out life yet, but the four Mars Rovers haven’t found any. What they have found are organic chemicals on the planet and sedimentary rocks […]

Big announcement by NASA about Mars today: 11:30 a.m. EDT

Reader Tom C. calls our attention to a big announcement today, and he speculated a bit about it: There’s a NASA press conference regarding something cool on Mars at 11:30 EDT.  I’m hoping for HD images of brachiopod-like fossils embedded in a dry stream bed, but I’ll bet on the discovery of liquid water on […]

So you think you knew Pluto?

NASA has put up some stunning pictures of Pluto taken by the New Horizons spacecraft that did its amazing and recent flyby. I won’t duplicate everything the article says, but will show you just a few sections of text and some images (more at the site) that justify the URL’s bit that “it’s complicated”. The text from the NASA […]

Far from the madding crowd

by Grania And now something to relax and soothe the brain after all the vexatious stuff. If the ISS has done nothing else, its public outreach has provided humankind with a wealth of images. Click the blue button to play Dr. Kjell Norwood Lindgren is a NASA astronaut on the ISS since July this year. […]