Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Solar

  • NASA instruments aboard Rosetta begin science as comet comes alive

    SpaceFlight InsiderJune 14th, 2014

    Since its launch in 2004, Rosetta has been traveling through space, patiently awaiting its mission – a rendezvous and landing on a comet. Composed of an orbiter and lander, the Rosetta spacecraft was awakened from a 957 day hibernation back in January and is slated to be the first vehicle to both orbit and land […]

  • Cassini spies the ice-giant planet Uranus

    NASAMay 9th, 2014

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured its first-ever image of the pale blue ice-giant planet Uranus in the distance beyond Saturn’s rings.

  • Telescope duo discover Sun’s chilly neighbor

    SpaceFlight InsiderMay 2nd, 2014

    NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) teamed up with the Spitzer Space Telescope to make a very “cool” discovery – a stellar version of our North Pole.  The frigid new star, classified as a brown dwarf, is the fourth closest star system to the Sun at a distance of approximately 7.2 light-years away. Our Sun’s […]

  • Kepler Space Telescope discovers Earth-sized Planet in star’s habitable zone

    SpaceFlight InsiderApril 17th, 2014

    Today, astronomers working with the Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of the first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of its host star. A star’s habitable zone is the area around a star where the conditions would be ideal for liquid water to pool on the planet’s surface. Many factors contribute to a planet’s […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: A rare sight

    NASAApril 11th, 2014

    On this day in 1986, Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to Earth. Several spacecraft were able to capture images of this spectacular moment. Giotto, with European Space Agency, took up close photographs of Halley’s nucleus, showing it to be a mixture of frozen water, other volatile ices, and rocky particles. Comet Halley was discovered in […]

  • Through spacecraft and observatories – wild new solar system comes into focus

    David DarlingMarch 31st, 2014

    A ring around an asteroid, a new dwarf planet, a fresh gully on Mars, and preparations to land on a comet – it’s all happening in the solar system at the moment. The last week or two has brought a slew of new discoveries and the promise of many more to come in the very […]

  • E.T. – are you out there?

    SpaceFlight InsiderMarch 23rd, 2014

    You and your wife are on a two-hour trip late at night in separate cars, travelling through dense fog. You need to talk but you can’t see her. She’s out there somewhere. The only mode of communication with her is a CB with a hundred different channels and no idea which one she might be […]

  • ULA selected to launch Solar Orbiter mission in 2017

    Paul Scott AndersonMarch 19th, 2014

    NASA’s next-generation mission to explore the Sun, Solar Orbiter, will be launched in July 2017 using an Atlas V rocket, it was announced yesterday. The rocket will be provided by the United Launch Alliance (ULA), which was awarded the United Launch Services contract after a competitive procurement which selected ULA from several possible launch providers.

  • NASA SOFIA targets Comet ISON

    Jim SharkeyNovember 22nd, 2013

    NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) recently made a flight to observe “targets of opportunity” including Comet ISON. The nearly 10 hour flight was SOFIA’s  second chance to study a comet, having previously observed Comet Hartley 2 in 2010.

  • A six-minute journey to study Comet ISON

    NASANovember 15th, 2013

    In an example of an extremely tight turnaround, a NASA-funded team has spent six months preparing for a mid-November launch to observe Comet ISON during a six-minute sounding rocket flight. The Far-ultraviolet Off Rowland-circle Telescope for Imaging and Spectroscopy, or FORTIS, was originally designed – and flew for the first time in May 2013 — […]

  • ISON vs. Kohoutek, “Comet of the Century”

    SpaceFlight InsiderOctober 18th, 2013

    Today, NASA released this stunning Hubble photo of Comet ISON, showing its nucleus fully intact. Its form is looking good as it heads closer to us, with its closest pass by our Sun on November 28. So far, there are no signs of the nucleus fragmenting or disintegrating. Time will tell how spectacular ISON’s show […]