Observing

Observe planet Uranus at its best in the autumn sky

27 October 2019 Ade Ashford

Have you ever seen Uranus with the naked eye? If not, moonless nights in late October and November offer ideal conditions to test your visual acuity and sky clarity. Uranus reaches opposition in the constellation of Aries on 28 October 2019 and lies 48° above the southern horizon at midnight as seen from the heart of the British Isles. Here is our guide to tracking down the seventh planet from the Sun.

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NASA lunar orbiter to image Chandrayaan 2 landing site

13 September 2019 Stephen Clark

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try to locate India’s Vikram lander on the moon during a flyover of the landing site Tuesday. Indian space officials said they found the disabled spacecraft on the moon using the country’s own Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, but declined to release any images.

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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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Japanese spacecraft snags second sample from asteroid

11 July 2019 Stephen Clark

Scientists celebrated another success with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft late Wednesday (U.S. time), when the robot explorer accomplished a second pinpoint touch-and-go landing on asteroid Ryugu, this time to collect a sample of pristine dust and rock excavated by an explosive impactor earlier this year.

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Hayabusa 2 cleared for second touchdown on asteroid

5 July 2019 Stephen Clark

Ground teams have approved plans for Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return mission to briefly land on asteroid Ryugu for the second time on 11 July, aiming for a targeted touch-and-go to gather material exposed by an explosive impactor released by the robot explorer in April.