Artist's concept of Shiaparelli deploying its parachute. Credit: ESA

Mars Lander Crashes, May Have Exploded On Impact

Something went horribly wrong. The Schiaparelli lander appears to have crashed during its attempted landing on Mars two days ago.  NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet almost certainly related to the lander’s demise. One is a dark, fuzzy spot roughly 50 x 130 feet (15 x 40…
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Credit: ESA

ExoMars Mission Preps For Landing On Red Planet

Schiaparelli’s descent to Mars on October 19 / European Space Agency (ESA) Move over Curiosity and Opportunity and make room for a new arrival. In less than two weeks, a European probe will touch down on the surface of Mars. The European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2016 mission, launched on March 14 this year, is scheduled…
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Curiosity Mars Aug25 sandstonesFEA

Curiosity Rover Sends A Moving Panorama

Look around and get the lay of the land. Mars land. Eroded mesas and buttes reminiscent of the U.S. Southwest shape part of the horizon in the latest 360° color panorama from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. The rover used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture more than 130 images on Aug. 5, 2016 during the…
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Venus Jupiter Aug27 FEA_v2

A Week Of Exceptional Planetary Conjunctions

After a quiet weekend sky-wise, we’ve got a busy week ahead. On Tuesday night, Mars and Saturn will line up with Antares in Scorpius followed on Saturday by the closest conjunction of two naked-eye planets for the year. On Saturday evening, August 27, Venus and Jupiter will approach within a hair’s breadth of each other as viewed…
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Starfest 2016 alien_FEA

Quiet Aurora And Star-Drenched Nights

Like a pot set to simmer that never boils, the aurora never quite bubbled up into easy viewing last night. It was there alright, so long as you had dark skies and could see down to the northern horizon. I watched it on and off for an hour and a half while hunting globular clusters…
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