Juno Eyeballs Jupiter’s Antarctic From 2,670 Miles Up

NASA’s Juno probe made its fourth close flyby of the planet Jupiter on Feb. 2, cruising just 2,670 miles (4,300 km) above the cloud tops at a speed of about 129,000 mph (58 km/sec).  Cyclones swirl around the south pole, and white oval storms can be seen near the outer edge of the planet in…
Read More

Way To Go, Juno — Nice Photos!

We’ve got some new Juno images to share! The JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft snapped these photos of Jupiter’s northern latitudes on Dec. 11, 2016 as the spacecraft made a close flyby of the gas giant planet. Juno was at an altitude of 10,300 miles (16,600 km) above Jupiter’s cloud tops at the time.…
Read More

Start Your Day With Mercury

These late sunrises make for fun surprises. The other morning I got up around 6:30 to look for the planet Mercury, now making a pleasing appearance in the southeastern sky at dawn. After a short drive to a location with a wide open horizon facing that direction, I watched the little planet climb above a…
Read More

NASA Lured By Heavy Metal, Plans Missions To Psyche And Beyond

When most people think of a meteorite, they imagine a lump of iron-nickel metal. And while there are plenty of those, stony meteorites peppered with fine metal flakes are far more common. Psyche, a robotic spacecraft, scheduled to launch in October 2023, will target one of these sources of those ‘heavy metal’ meteorites, when it…
Read More

Three Dawn Planets On A String

My fingertips are still tender after today’s happy morning. I drove out to the country in hopes of seeing three comets — V2 Johnson, ER61 PANSTARRS and U1 NEOWISE — before dawn. I tracked them all down from an icy road in the –24°F shivery silence, my fingers curled around hand warmer packets inside lined gloves. My hunt…
Read More