Observing

See Mercury at its best meet Mars in the dawn sky

18 November 2019 Ade Ashford

Innermost planet Mercury puts on its best morning display of the year for Northern Hemisphere observers from late November to early December. Skywatchers in the British Isles should find a location offering an unobstructed view of the southeast horizon about 45 minutes before sunrise to get the best views, with the Red Planet and star Spica – the brightest in Virgo – also nearby.

News

Mars 2020 rover on track for launch next July

31 July 2019 Stephen Clark

The launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is less than a year away, and the steady pace of work inside the craft’s pristine assembly hall in California is keeping the mission on schedule for liftoff from Cape Canaveral next July, despite growing costs, according to mission managers.

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NASA’s Mars 2020 rover looking more and more like a rover

28 July 2019 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, scheduled for launch on 17 July 2020, is rapidly maturing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where engineers recently tested the spacecraft’s multi-joint robot arm as critical instruments and other systems are installed and tested.