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An Asteroid with a Moon!

Apparently on Monday an asteroid passed very close to the Earth-Moon system, just over three times the Earth-Moon distance away. NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna array tracked it by radar.

There’s a video of this on the JPL site. The moon is clearly visible. Astounding stuff.

I found this via Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Titan’s Lakes

A movie showing liquid on the surface of a world other than Earth?

Yes indeed. This is Saturn’s moon Titan and its methane/ethane lakes in a digital compilation of still radar images from NASA’s Cassinni satellite. The liquid is deep blue, the higher land tan coloured.

The video featured on Astronomy Picture of the Day on 24/11/14.

The Heart of the Comet*

Okay, so the harpoons didn’t fire and the lander bounced twice, but to set down on a comet is a stunning achievement.

Philae on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

(Pinched from the Daily Galaxy, picture from ESA/Rosetta/Philae)

*Not quite; but I couldn’t resist.

Triton from Voyager 2

This is via Astronomy Picture of the Day, 26//8/14.

Neptune’s largest moon Triton.

The movie has been stitched together from still pictures taken by Voyager 2 on its fly past.

The Voyager missions must have been Nasa’s most successful unmanned investigations of the Solar System.

Apparently the green colour of the moon is real.

Off to a Comet

Below is a video of the approach by the Rosetta spacecraft to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko as posted on Astronomy Picture of the Day, 11/8/14.

The ambition of this mission is simply mind-boggling.

What weird things comets are though. Not quite what Jules Verne imagined I think.

A Dangerous Neighbourhood

Below is a video of a solar coronal mass ejection on 9/5/14 as observed by NASA’s IRIS satellite.

The eruption occurs at 1.5 million miles per hour. You don’t want to get in the way of that.

Rings around an Asteroid

I haven’t done an astronomy post for ages.

This one intrigued me. An asteroid with a ring system? Yes it would seem.

The animation and occultation measurements below appeared on Astronomy Picture of the Day on 9/4/14.

Saturn’s Hexagonal Polar Storm

This sequqnce appeared on The Daily Galaxy on Tuesday 4/2/14.

Phobos in the Round

This video of the larger of Mars’s two moons, Phobos, was Astronomy Picture of the Day for Dec 25th.

You can’t actually see this rotation from the surface of Mars as Phobos is tide-locked to its primary in the same way Earth’s Moon is to its.

Comet ISON Again

It looks like comet ISON has survived perihelion. At least in part.

This video was Astronomy Picture of the Day for 30/11/13.

Comet ISON Dives Toward the Sun from Babak Tafreshi on Vimeo.

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