Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rosetta Images Show Philae Lander Bouncing Across Comet

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When the European Space Agency's Philae lander descended to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last week, the Rosetta spacecraft's OSIRIS camera was watching from almost 10 miles above. Now a poignant series of images tracks Philae's double rebound — with a parting shot that shows the lander in mid-bounce.
After bouncing twice, Philae settled onto the comet's shadowed surface and operated for almost 57 hours before its batteries ran out. The lander's current location doesn't show up on the OSIRIS imagery released Monday, but the Rosetta mission's managers are confident that it will eventually be spotted. 

Source: NBC News

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Our lander’s asleep

With its batteries depleted and not enough sunlight available to recharge, Philae has fallen into 'idle mode' -- a possibly long silence. In this mode, all instruments and most systems on board are shut down.
"Prior to falling silent, the lander was able to transmit all science data gathered during the First Science Sequence," says DLR's Stephan Ulamec, Lander manager, who was in the main control room at ESOC tonight.

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

"Discover!" and "ConCards"

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Updates for our popular introductory star charts are now available for free download from the ASSA website.
The short "Discover!" workbook is perfect for getting to know the southern constellations. (Tip: Use the workbook in conjuction with the "Southern Star Wheel" for a complete solution.)
To delve deeper into the constellations, and to explore their deep-sky treasures, get your copy of the updated "ConCards".

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Rosetta mission - Philae’s descent and science on the surface


The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will deploy its lander, Philae, to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November.

Philae’s landing site, currently known as Site J, is located on the smaller of the comet’s two ‘lobes’, with a backup site on the larger lobe. The sites were selected just six weeks after Rosetta arrived at the comet on 6 August, following its 10-year journey through the Solar System

In that time, the Rosetta mission has been conducting an unprecedented scientific analysis of the comet, a remnant of the Solar System’s 4.6 billion-year history. The latest results from Rosetta will be presented on the occasion of the landing, during dedicated press briefings.

The main focus to date has been to survey 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in order to prepare for the first ever attempt to soft-land on a comet.


Blood Moon Photos: Total Lunar Eclipse Pictures from April 15, 2014

    After the Blood Moon comes the Pumpkin Sun

    Click to enlarge!
    On October 7, 2014 [Manila time], active regions on the sun gave it the appearance of a jack-o'-lantern. This image is a blend of 171 and 193 angstrom light as captured by the NASA-Solar Dynamics Observatory. NASA/GSFC/SDO

     Source: GMANews

    It looks like the Moon isn't the only heavenly body giving the skies a creepy feel this month.

    After last Wednesday's "Blood Moon" comes the "Pumpkin Sun" as captured by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration last Wednesday, October 8.

    Last Wednesday, the moon took on a blood-colored appearance during a total lunar eclipse.

    "Active regions on the sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face on Oct. 8, 2014. The active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy – markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona," NASA's Goodard Space Flight Center said.

    The Bermuda Triangle of Space: The High-Energy South Atlantic Anomaly Threatens Satellites

    Click to enlarge!
    Source: DefenceNews

    Much fanfare accompanied the Sept. 25, 2010, launch of the Air Force’s Space Based Space Surveillance satellite. The $833 million craft was finally going up to do its job: monitor orbiting items from space itself, free of the time constraints and atmospheric interference that hamper its earthbound counterpart, the Space Fence. Its 30-centimeter telescope, mounted on a two-axis gimbal, would help keep tabs on satellites as far away as geosynchronous orbit as well as thousands of bits of space junk closer in. The builders said SBSS would be on the job within 60 days, and forecast a working life of at least 5½ years.

    Shortly after launch, the satellite passed over the South Atlantic, and things went awry. The satellite was hit by radiation that sent the sensors reeling and knocked out an electronics board payload. Suddenly, the expensive, specially-designed satellite could no longer do what it was built for.