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.
At the Committee on SPAce Research (COSPAR) meeting held this week in Pasadena, NASA’s JPL scientists are presenting the latest information gathered by NASA’s Dawn space probe about the dwarf planet Ceres. In particular, there’s an attention on Occator Crater, the most famous crater thanks to its brightness due to the various bright spots made of salts inside it, now called faculae. In the next few months Dawn will finish its mission but will continue to collect data from the lowest orbit at only 34-35 kilometers (about 21 miles) of altitude.
An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a new measurement of the expansion of the universe. A team of astronomers led by Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess combined observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope and those made with ESA’s Gaia space probe, an observatory that specifically aims to map billions of objects in the sky including the variable stars called Cepheid variable used for those measurements. The new results increase the accuracy but also the discrepancy between the measures of the expansion of the near universe and those of the early universe.
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.
A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the International Space Station. Ricky Arnold, assisted by his colleague Drew Feustel, managed the operation then started moving the Dragon to the berthing point at the Harmony module. The cargo spacecraft blasted off last Friday.