Category Archives: space exploration

Cassini reveals Saturn’s kittens

by Matthew Cobb The Cassini probe may have plummeted into Saturn’s gassy depths, becoming part of the planet it had observed so long, but it still keeps giving science. As Rae Paoletta noted on Inverse a couple of days ago, Cassini’s data reveal the presence of kittens in the F ring of Saturn. Sadly these […]

The death of Cassini

The spacecraft Cassini was launched nearly twenty years ago—on October 15, 1997—to study Saturn and its moons. After two decades of faithful service, it took its “suicide plunge” yesterday, incinerating itself in Saturn’s atmosphere. Both NASA and the New York Times (100 pix!) have images from the mission, and here are a few. NASA’s images […]

Jupiter and beyond the infinite

by Matthew Cobb Watch this on full screen with your speakers turned up and your mind-expanding drug of choice to hand. This animation by Seán Doran uses the stunning images recently sent back by the Juno probe. Nobody was expecting the degree of complexity in Jupiter’s multiple storm systems – it really is an extraordinary […]

PB&J in space

Sacrifices have to be made on the International Space Station, and one of them is having to have your PB&J sandwiches on a tortilla. Oy!

SpaceX launch soon

UPDATE: As you saw if you watched, they aborted the launch for today because of technical issues. If it goes up tomorrow, it will be at 9:38 a.m. EST. ********* In about one hour and twenty minutes from this posting, SpaceX is launching a supply rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Launch estimated […]

ISS spacewalk starting now!

If you click on the screenshot below (or on its title), you’ll see a live spacewalk from the International Space Station that starts at 7:05 a.m. Eastern time (US) and will last about 6½ hours, so there’s plenty of time to watch. The EVA (extra-vehicular activity) is just about to start as I post this: […]

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: