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Earthshine used to test life detection method
...By imagining the Earth as an exoplanet, scientists observing our planet's reflected light on the Moon with ESO's Very Large Telescope have demonstrated a way to detect life on other worlds...

Solid buckyballs discovered in space
...Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have detected a particular type of molecule, given the nickname “buckyball”, in a solid form for the first time...

Steamy water-world gets the Hubble treatment
...Hubble Space Telescope observations of a 7 Earth-mass planet find an unusual water-rich world swathed in a thick, steamy atmosphere...

Eye in the sky! Curiosity spied from orbit

Posted: 15 August 2012

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curiosity_mro_400x309 A colour-enhanced view of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as it flew overhead. See full resolution image. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

The Mars Curiosity rover has been spied by the orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), sitting on layered bedrock within the enormous Gale Crater. The rover is actually the two bright spots, and you can even see its shadow. Fanning out on either side is the blast pattern in the dust scoured by the retro rockets on the sky crane that lowered Curiosity to the surface. Note that the colours are enhanced – the blast pattern would appear more grey in real life. This image was snapped at an angle of 30 degrees – the MRO team hope to take another picture from a different angle in a few days to create a stereo pair.

The image of Curiosity is part of a much larger image of the terrain in Gale Crater (see below). Mount Sharp, six kilometres away lies off the bottom of the frame to the south, with silky smooth dune fields between the mountain and the rover.

context See full resolution image. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

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.

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.

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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