Breathtaking photo of the crescent Pluto surrounded by a hazy atmosphere taken by New Horizons This image was made just 15 minutes after New Horizons' closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, as the spacecraft looked back at Pluto toward the sun. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Pluto Pandemonium: Ice Volcanoes, Tumbling Moons And Busy Geology

Pluto never stops amazing. Scientists have now tentatively identified two huge cryovolcanoes — ice volcanoes that erupt with a melted slurry of materials such as water ice, nitrogen, ammonia, or methane — on the dwarf planet. “These are big mountains with a large hole in their summit, and on Earth that generally means one thing – a volcano,” said Oliver White,…
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Ice lake May 23 featured

Astronaut Photographs Lingering Ice On Lake Superior

I’d forgotten all about the ice, but space station astronaut Terry Virts reminded me it was still there – on May 23 – hiding out on Lake Superior north of Batchawana Bay in western Ontario. His eye was taken by the artful patterns created by the remains of a once-massive ice sheet that covered nearly 95%…
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Ceres Bright Spots May Be Ice; Dawn Slips Into Orbit Friday

Ceres mysterious bright spots = icy volcanoes? Probably not, but the alternatives are just as intriguing. In a press conference Tuesday with scientists behind the Dawn mission, deputy principal investigator Carol Raymond explained that the brightest spot isn’t associated with a mound or peak as it would be if it were produced by oozing or eruption of…
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Glowing Comets And Deep Fried Ice Cream

Everything’s glowing! This new photo from the Rosetta spacecraft was taken on Feb. 6 and processed to show jets active all over comet 67P. They’re brightest and most effervescent in the Hapi region, the name given to the neck of the comet, but take a look around the nucleus. You can see that the entire…
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Come Fly With Me To Mercury

MESSENGER flies over Mercury. The spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral on August 3, 2004. To commemorate this week’s 10th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury, NASA released this amazing video of a flight over the planet’s north polar region. The movie was assembled from 214 images taken once per second…
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