March 2016

The Progress MS-2 space cargo ship blasting off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the Progress MS-2 spacecraft blasted off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After about ten minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and was placed on its route. The cargo spacecraft has started its resupply mission to the International Space Station also called Progress 63. The spacecraft was launched in the route that requires two days of travel.

Titan with Sinlap crater in the pane seen at different wavelengths (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/LPGNantes)

At the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held last week in The Woodlands, Texas, the latest news about the mountains of Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons, were presented. NASA also presented the progress made in creating maps of this moon, a task that has to face a number of problems. All these works are based on data collected by the Cassini space probe.

Color global map of Ceres (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

At the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held last week in The Woodlands, Texas, new results were presented of the analyzes of data collected about the dwarf planet Ceres by NASA’s Dawn space probe. Some of the mission scientists presented a new color map of Ceres surface and new highly detailed pictures of Occator crater, famous for the presence of the largest among the white spots, but also other interesting craters, especially Oxo, where water was found.

Shockwave breaking out of a star's surface (Image NASA)

An article accepted for publication in the journal “Astrophysical Journal” describes the shock wave generated by a supernova observation, captured for the first time at visible light due to strong flash that generates when erupts from the star’s surface. An international team directed by astrophysicist Peter Garnavich of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana analyzed data collected by the Kepler space telescope about 50 trillion stars to make this discovery.