As you see from the post dates, this blog is no longer maintained.


The Moon - Rosetta OSIRIS images

The Moon was imaged with the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) at 07:36 CET, about nine hours after (ESAS) Rosetta's closest approach to Earth. See other pictures of the Moon and the Earth, and read about Rosetta at the European Space Agency web site.

Read about the origin of the Moon at this page of the NASA RedShift Astronomy web site. "
New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that moons like Earth's - that formed out of tremendous collisions - are uncommon in the universe, arising at most in only 5 to 10 percent of planetary systems."

On this page there is also a link to an animation of "a massive collision between rocky, embryonic planets as big as mountain ranges. Such collisions form the basis of the planet-building process."

In another story, on the Sky and Telescope web site,
you can read about a Chinese spacecraft named Chang’e 1 which will study the Moon at close range after successfully settling into lunar orbit on November 5.

5000 orbits of Mars

The European Space Agency news service has a story about the Mars Express mission, launched in December 2003. On November 23 it completed its 5000th orbit of Mars. The news story describes the details of the mission:
"During its mission to investigate martian mysteries, the orbiter has revolutionised our knowledge of Mars, probing every facet of the Red Planet in unprecedented detail. Some of the most visually astonishing results have been returned by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), which has produced breathtaking, 3D colour images of the diverse martian surface – with its giant volcanoes, sinuous valleys and ice-modified craters."
Read more at the ESA site.


Spectacular images from "KAGUYA"

From the press release:
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully performed the world's first high-definition image taking of an Earth-rise* by the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE,) which was injected into a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 km on October 18, 2007.

The Apollo project was the first mission to take images of Earth rising over the Moon. The KAGUYA successfully shot high-definition images of the Earth-rise showing an impressive image of the blue Earth which was the only floating object in pitch-dark space. These are the world's first high-definition earth images taken from about 380,000 km away from the earth in space.

You can learn more about the mission at its home page.


Fly me to the moons of Saturn

Do you want to visit the moons of Saturn? Watch this 18 minute video (below) of Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco showing images from Cassini voyage to Saturn. She focuses on Saturn's intriguing largest moon, Titan,with deserts, mudflats and puzzling lakes, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice. You can download audio and video versions of this movie here.