Cassini Zips Over Enceladus North Pole, Reveals Bizarre Spider-web Cracks

Saturn’s snowball-white moon Enceladus, famous for its ice-crystal geysers, just revealed it has even more surprises. In new images taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during a close flyby of the icy moon’s north polar region, jaw-dropping networks of cracks thread the landscape like spider webs, cutting across craters that appear “softened” as if they were once heated. Cassini’s…
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Mars: Once Upon A Day At The Beach

I live in a tourist town. A favorite pastime of visitors is to head down to the pebble beach along Lake Superior and skip rocks on the water. The flatter they are, the better they skip. Each pebble’s rounded contours are visible evidence of the erosive power of the lake before them. Years and years…
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Northern Lights May Show Three Nights In A Row

Seems every night I go out this month there’s some aurora smoldering away in the northern sky. Now, NOAA space weather forecasters are predicting G1 or minor storms tonight through Friday night from early evening till around midnight for the U.S. and Canada. Nothing big, but the aurora’s can’t-pin-me-down nature can sometimes mean bigger storms than expected or nothing…
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China’s Chang’e 3 Camera Still Snapping Photos From The Moon

Remember the Chinese Chang’e 3 mission to the moon in December 2013? Once alighting on the dusty surface on December 14, the golf cart-sized Yutu rover wheeled down the lander’s ramp to photograph the landscape, measure the soil composition and probe the lunar crust with ground-penetrating radar. Everything went well until a mechanical malfunction stopped the rover in its tracks…
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And Then There Were Four! Elusive Mercury Joins The Dawn Planet Parade

No question about it. Mercury can be shy. There are only a few times a year when the innermost planet puts in an appearance for observers in mid-northern latitudes. Since it never gets far from the sun, the angle at which it rises (or sets) has to be steep enough to clear the horizon haze.…
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