Moons

Yusaku Maezawa on Elon Musk's shoulders (Image courtesy Elon Musk. All rights reserved)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first passenger of the spaceship that’s planned to make a trip around the Moon. This is an extension of the project announced last year given that, according to the new information, 6-8 people will participate but it’s scheduled to take place only in 2023. Another participant could be Elon Musk himself.

Distribution of water ice on the Moon's polar areas

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” describes three specific traces of the presence of water ice on the surface of the Moon. A team led by Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii and Brown University used data collected by the Chandrayaan-1 space probe’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper spectrometer to find traces of that ice concentrated in lunar craters at the south pole and spread in an wider area at the north pole.

Pluto

NASA has published new images of the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon which reproduce with the greatest possible accuracy their natural colors. This processing celebrates the 3rd anniversary of the New Horizons space probe’s July 14, 2015 flyby, but also the 40th anniversary of the discovery of Charon, identified by the astronomer James Christy on June 22, 1978 and confirmed in the following days thanks to other observations.

Titan (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Nantes/University of Arizona)

NASA has published a series of 6 images of Titan, one of the moons of the planet Saturn, seen at infraredd by the Cassini space probe’s VIMS instrument. The images were created by combining observations conducted over the 13 years of the mission that were processed to compensate for the fact that they were made with a great variety of light conditions and viewing angle by Cassini.

Artitst's concept of Enceladus and Saturn (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Two articles published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters” describe studies concerning the planet Saturn’s system based on information obtained from the Cassini space probe during what was called the Grand Finale, the orbits close to Saturn performed in the weeks preceding the end of that extraordinary mission. In particular, the audio was generated that contains sound obtained by converting the electromagnetic emissions discovered between Saturn and its rings and Enceladus generated by movements of plasma between them.