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NASA’s Kepler spacecraft proves it can still find planets

19 December 2014 Astronomy Now

When the primary mission of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft ended in May 2013 due to a failure of its stabilisation system, a team of scientists and engineers developed an ingenious strategy to control the spacecraft. The resulting second mission, K2, has a newfound planet — HIP 116454b

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Carnegie hosts Mercury crater-naming contest

16 December 2014 Astronomy Now

To celebrate MESSENGER’s highly successful ten-year mission, you’re invited to immortalise five famous artists, composers or writers by naming craters on Mercury in their honour — but hurry, the contest closes 15th January 2015!

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Dunes on Saturn’s moon Titan need firm winds to move

8 December 2014 Astronomy Now

Titan is the only planetary moon known to have fields of wind-blown dunes on its surface. Experiments with the high pressure wind tunnel at Arizona State University’s Planetary Aeolian Laboratory provide key data for understanding dunes on Saturn’s largest moon.