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Posts Tagged ‘European Space Agency’

New History: Rosetta’s Spacecraft Successfully Lands On Comet (Video)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 13, 2014


European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe on Wednesday successfully deployed its robotic lander Philae on the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.2

This is the first time a spacecraft has ever landed on the surface of a comet. The mission was ten years in the making.

EU science chief Anne Glover tweeted that, “I think Europe just boldly went where no one else has gone before.”

Philae touched down on an area of the comet named Agilkia, using harpoons and screws to latch on to the surface.


                                             Here’s a timeline of the spacecraft’s historic mission, courtesy of the AP: Read the rest of this entry »

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Found: A Watery Solar System Being Born — and Clues to Earth’s Creation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 25, 2011

By Jeffrey Kluger

If E.T. is out there, it may be a lot easier to find him than we thought — mostly because there are a lot more places for him

An artist's rendering illustrates an icy planet-forming disk around a young star called TW Hydrae, in the constellation Hydra

to live. Scientists looking for life (or at least earthlike life) have always obeyed a simple rule: follow the water. Biology is a wet process, after all — and generally the wetter the better. Now, the Herschel Space Observatory has spotted an infant solar system 175 million light years from Earth that seems fairly awash in primordial water. The finding suggests many more such systems may be out there — and offers tantalizing clues about how our own biologically rich world began as well.

Herschel, which was launched by the European Space Agency in 2009, hovers in space 930,000 miles (1.5 million km) from Earth at what’s known as a Lagrange point, a gravitationally quirky spot where the pull of the planet Earth and the sun balance out. This allows a spacecraft placed just so to remain locked in place on the far side of the planet, shielded from solar interference. In the case of Herschel, that’s important, because the readings it takes are exquisitely precise, scanning the skies in the far infrared and submillimeter wavelengths.(See how earthlike planets may be less common than we think.)

Turning its gaze toward a star known as TW Hydrae — a comparatively cool orange dwarf just 10 million years old — the telescope recently found a vast disk of dusty material moving in a solar orbit about 200 times as far from the star as Earth is from our own sun. Dust is just dust in the visible spectrum, but operating in the extreme infrared, Herschel was able to spot the surprising signal of water — lots and lots of water — created as ultraviolet light from the star knocked individual water molecules free from the traces of ice that cling to the dust grains.

“These are the most sensitive [infrared] observations to date,” said NASA project scientist Paul Goldsmith, who collaborates with the European investigators in analyzing Herschel findings. “It is a testament to the instrument builders that such weak signals can be detected.”(See how Venus may have once had water.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Venus springs ozone layer surprise

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 8, 2011

By Jennifer Carpenter

Scientists have discovered that Venus has an ozone layer.

The thin layer, which is hundred of times less dense than the Earth’s, was discovered by the European Space Agency’s

Artist's impression of the detection of ozone on Venus' night side

Venus Express craft,researchers report in the journal Icarus.

Until now, ozone layers have only been detected in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars.

The find could help astronomers refine their hunt for life on other planets.

The European spacecraft spied the ozone layer when focusing on stars through Venus’ atmosphere.

The distant stars appeared fainter than expected, because the ozone layer absorbed some of their ultraviolet light.

The paper’s lead author Franck Montmessin, of the LATMOS atmospheric research centre in France, explained that Venus’ ozone layer sits 100km up; about three times the height of our own.

The ozone – a molecule containing three oxygen atoms – formed when sunlight broke down carbon dioxide in the Venusian atmosphere to form oxygen molecules.

On Earth, ozone, which absorbs much of the Sun’s harmful UV-rays preventing them reaching the surface, is formed in a similar way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nasa Finds ‘Star Wars’ Planet With A Double Sunset (Video)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 16, 2011

How many of we will be able to migrate to the new planet? That planet will also be spoiled as earth in the near future and we need to do lots of things there. If we everybody really serious to make this world better place, that could be better idea.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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