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Cosmic eye peers into distant galaxy

...astronomers have peered into the heart of a young star-forming region in the distant Universe as it appeared only two billion years after the big bang...

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A multi-wavelength portrait of stellar birth

...by combining observations at different wavelengths from telescopes on the ground and in space, astronomers have taken a fresh look at the history of star formation in a galaxy residing in the Small Magellanic Cloud...

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Mars Odyssey enters new orbit for extended mission

...NASA’s orbiting Mars Odyssey spacecraft has been given the go ahead for a third two-year extension of its mission to survey the red planet, making it the longest serving of six spacecraft currently studying Mars...

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STS-120 day 2 highlights

Flight Day 2 of Discovery's mission focused on heat shield inspections. This movie shows the day's highlights.

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STS-120 day 1 highlights

The highlights from shuttle Discovery's launch day are packaged into this movie.

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STS-118: Highlights

The STS-118 crew, including Barbara Morgan, narrates its mission highlights film and answers questions in this post-flight presentation.

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 Mission film

STS-120: Rollout to pad

Space shuttle Discovery rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building and travels to launch pad 39A for its STS-120 mission.

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Dawn leaves Earth

NASA's Dawn space probe launches aboard a Delta 2-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral to explore two worlds in the asteroid belt.

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Dawn: Launch preview

These briefings preview the launch and science objectives of NASA's Dawn asteroid orbiter.

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New views of enigmatic Enceladus
BY DR EMILY BALDWIN
ASTRONOMY NOW

Posted: October 13, 2008

On 9 October, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft successfully executed a daring dive through the icy plumes emanating from the tiger stripes in the south polar region of Saturn’s enigmatic moon Enceladus.

The spacecraft tasted the ingredients of the plumes and the data is now being analysed. Meanwhile, here are some of the first, and unprocessed, images received on Earth from the depths of the Saturnian system.

All of the images show extensive ridges and fault lines that stretch across the moon's surface, but this image reveals a particularly massive chasm, which could have once been a source of the geyser-like plumes. This image was taken at a distance of 42,000 kilometres with a resolution of 503 metres per pixel. Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

The ridges and faults are not just restricted to straight lines; one system seen in the bottom left corner of this image has been deformed and bent around like a meander in a river. This image was taken at a distance of 26,000 kilometres with a resolution of 312 metres per pixel. Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

The moon's surface is etched with impact craters in the far right of this image, taken at a distance of 47,000 kilometres with a resolution of 279 metres pixel. Dark grey smokey shapes also dominate the central parts of this image. Are they due to camera shake causing blurring, a surface feature, or are they plumes in action? The Cassini Imaging Team are now analysing this new data and will report on the results soon. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Cassini will perform another flyby of the icy satellite on 31 October. Stay tuned to www.astronomynow.com for further updates.

Related Stories

Oct 08 Cassini prepares for double flyby... read more

Aug 28 Cassini pintpoints source of Enceladus jets read more

Aug 13  Enceladus images dazzling success read more

Aug 12  Cassini swoops past Enceladus read more

Jun 02  Cassini primed for extended tour of Saturn read more

May 21  Cassini maps of Saturn’s moons... read more

Mar 27  Cassini tastes organic material... read more

Mar 14  Cassini flyby success read more

Mar 11  Cassini to dive into water plume... read more

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.
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Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.
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3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!
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