Friday, 30 September 2016

The Rosetta Spacecraft Ends Its Mission

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The Rosetta spacecraft was the first to orbit a comet. It ended its mission on Friday in a crash landing.
via New York Times

Lynds Dark Nebula 1251

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Stars are forming in Lynds Dark Nebula (LDN) 1251. About 1,000 light-years away, the dusty molecular cloud is part of a complex of dark nebulae mapped toward the Cepheus flare region, drifting above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Across the spectrum, astronomical explorations of the obscuring interstellar clouds reveal energetic shocks and outflows associated with newborn stars, including the telltale reddish glow from scattered Herbig-Haro objects seen in this sharp image. Distant background galaxies also lurk on the scene, visually buried behind the dusty expanse. The deep telescopic field of view spans about two full moons on the sky, or 17 light-years at the estimated distance of LDN 1251.
Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend
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Rosetta’s descent

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Closer and closer: image highlights captured during Rosetta’s descent to the comet’s surface
via ESA Space Science
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Highlights/Rosetta_s_descent

Once upon a time...

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On the last day of her mission, Rosetta slowly descends onto the comet, but there is one last surprise in store
via ESA Space Science
http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2016/09/Once_upon_a_time_mission_complete

Rosetta’s final hour

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Watch how the final stages of Rosetta’s descent to the surface of the comet played out at ESA’s mission control
via ESA Space Science
http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2016/09/Rosetta_s_final_hour

Mission complete: Rosetta’s journey ends in daring descent to comet

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ESA’s historic Rosetta mission has concluded as planned, with the controlled impact onto the comet it had been investigating for more than two years. 


via ESA Space Science
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Mission_complete_Rosetta_s_journey_ends_in_daring_descent_to_comet

NASA's Fermi finds record-breaking binary in galaxy next door

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Scientists have found the first gamma-ray binary in another galaxy and the most luminous one ever seen. The dual-star system, dubbed LMC P3, contains a massive star and a crushed stellar core that interact to produce a cyclic flood of gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light.
via Science Daily
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Rosetta instrument provided first-ever ultraviolet observations of a comet

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After a two-year orbital tour around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft -- carrying the Alice ultraviolet spectrograph -- will end its mission on Sept. 30. Rosetta is the first spacecraft to orbit and escort a comet, and Alice, developed and operated for NASA, is the first instrument to obtain far-ultraviolet observations at a comet.
via Science Daily
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Spiral arms in protoplanetary disk: They're not just for galaxies any more

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Astronomers have found distinct spiral arms in the disk of gas and dust surrounding the young star Elias 2-27. While similar features have been observed on the surfaces of such disks before, this is the first time they have been identified within the disk, where planet formation takes place. Structures such as these could either indicate the presence of a newly formed planet, or else create the necessary conditions for a planet to form. As such, the results are a crucial step towards a better understanding how planetary systems like our Solar system came into being.
via Science Daily
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Curiosity finds evidence of Mars crust contributing to atmosphere

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NASA's Curiosity rover has found evidence that chemistry in the surface material on Mars contributed dynamically to the makeup of its atmosphere over time. It's another clue that the history of the Red Planet's atmosphere is more complex and interesting than a simple legacy of loss.
via Science Daily
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