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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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Dawn snaps its best-yet image of dwarf planet Ceres

7 December 2014 Astronomy Now

Launched in 2007, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is preparing for its encounter with dwarf planet Ceres, imaging the body from a distance of 740,000 miles as a final calibration of the probe’s science camera. Dawn will be captured into Ceres’ orbit in March 2015.

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Ground-based detection of super-Earth transit

1 December 2014 Astronomy Now

A team of astronomers has measured the passing of a super-Earth in front of a bright, nearby Sun-like star using a ground-based telescope for the first time. Exoplanet 55 Cancri e, some 40 light-years away, is about twice as big and eight times as massive as the Earth.

NASA's reworked image of Europa based on late 1990s data from the Galileo spacecraft.
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NASA’s ‘remastered’ view of Europa

21 November 2014 Astronomy Now

NASA uses modern processing techniques to rework a mosaic of images sent back by the Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s, delivering a high-resolution view of this icy ocean world in natural colours.

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MAVEN begins science mission at Mars

18 November 2014 Stephen Clark

NASA’s newest Mars orbiter has formally started a one-year research campaign to study an ancient case of climate change that starved the red planet of water, breathable air and potential life, scientists said Monday.