Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Europa Clipper is a mission concept under study by NASA that would conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and would investigate whether it has conditions suitable for life.
The mission name is a reference to the lightweight clipper ships of the 19th century that routinely plied trade routes around the world.
Europa has been identified as one of the locations in the Solar System, other than the Earth, that could possibly harbor microbial extraterrestrial life.
Immediately following the Galileo spacecraft's discoveries, JPL conducted preliminary mission studies that envisioned a capable spacecraft such as the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (a $16B mission concept), the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (a $4.3B concept), an orbiter ($2B concept), and a multi-flyby spacecraft: Europa Clipper. The proposal and scope of the Europa Clipper mission are still in the conceptual stage, but the approximate cost is estimated at $2 billion. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency is already developing the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer for a proposed launch in 2022.
In March 2013, $75 million USD were authorized to expand on the formulation of mission activities, mature the proposed science goals, and fund preliminary instrument development, as suggested in 2011 by the Planetary Science Decadal Survey. In May 2014, a House bill substantially increased Europa Clipper funding budget for the 2014 fiscal year from $15 million to $100 million. The funds would be applied to pre-formulation work.It look like it could happen!!
The goals of the proposed Europa Clipper space probe are to explore Europa, investigate its habitability and aid in the selection of future landing sites. Specifically, the objectives are to study:
Ice shell and ocean: Confirm the existence, and characterize the nature, of water within or beneath the ice, and processes of surface-ice-ocean exchange.
Composition: Distribution and chemistry of key compounds and the links to ocean composition.
Geology: Characteristics and formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity.
The spacecraft, trajectory and payload are subject to change as the design matures. The eight science instruments under consideration, with a calculated total mass of 82.3 kg are:
Shortwave Infrared Spectrometer (SWIRS) can identify materials exposed on Europa's surface and map their distribution, and eventually study it with a lander.
Ice-penetrating radar (IPR) would determine the thickness of the ice, study whether bodies of water are trapped within the ice between the surface and the ocean below, study fracturing of the shell and help understand how material is transported between the ocean and the surface.
Stereo Topographical Imager (TI) to map the surface.
Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) to elucidate the chemical structures of molecules on the surface, and to analyze the moon's trace atmosphere during flybys
Magnetometer would characterize the magnetic field and gravity of Europa.
Langmuir probes would measure the plasma field around Europa.
Reconnaissance Camera (RC) to acquire surface images in the visible spectrum.
Thermal Imager (ThI) to map temperature at the surface.
The scientists proposing this mission are also considering deploying from the spacecraft several miniaturized satellites of the CubeSat type, possibly driven by xenon thrusters, to sample and analyse Europa's plumes. Europa Clipper will relay signals from the satellites with its high gain antenna back to Earth. With propulsion, some nanosatellites will be capable of entering orbit around Europa. However, including additional mass would only be possible if the Europa Clipper is launched with the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) heavy lift launch vehicle.
Europa Clipper would inherit tested technology of the Galileo and Juno Jupiter orbiters with regards to radiation protection. Shielding will be provided by 150 kilograms of material. To maximize its effectiveness, the electronics will be nested in the core of the spacecraft for additional radiation protection.
 Solar power Cell get degraded as space probe goes through Jupiter's intense magnetosphere.RTGs are the best but there are only few left.It would take cash to make more.
This mission has not be approve let,So far they are studying it!
There are two model-Solar or RTG.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cassini see sunlight being reflected by the methane lakes

This near-infrared, colour mosaic from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows the sun glinting off of Titan’s north polar seas. While Cassini has captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off of them in the past, this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.
The sunglint, also called a specular reflection, is the bright area near the 11 o’clock position at upper left. This mirror-like reflection, known as the specular point, is in the south of Titan’s largest sea, Kraken Mare, just north of an island archipelago separating two separate parts of the sea.

This particular sunglint was so bright as to saturate the detector of Cassini’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument, which captures the view. It is also the sunglint seen with the highest observation elevation so far — the sun was a full 40 degrees above the horizon as seen from Kraken Mare at this time — much higher than the 22 degrees seen earlier. Because it was so bright, this glint was visible through the haze at much lower wavelengths than before, down to 1.3 microns.

The southern portion of Kraken Mare (the area surrounding the specular feature toward upper left) displays a “bathtub ring” — a bright margin of evaporate deposits — which indicates that the sea was larger at some point in the past and has become smaller due to evaporation. The deposits are material left behind after the methane & ethane liquid evaporates, somewhat akin to the saline crust on a salt flat.

The highest resolution data from this flyby — the area seen immediately to the right of the sunglint — cover the labyrinth of channels that connect Kraken Mare to another large sea, Ligeia Mare. Ligeia Mare itself is partially covered in its northern reaches by a bright, arrow-shaped complex of clouds. The clouds are made of liquid methane droplets, and could be actively refilling the lakes with rainfall.

The view was acquired during Cassini’s August 21, 2014, flyby of Titan, also referred to as “T104″ by the Cassini team.

The view contains real colour information, although it is not the natural colour the human eye would see. Here, red in the image corresponds to 5.0 microns, green to 2.0 microns, and blue to 1.3 microns. These wavelengths correspond to atmospheric windows through which Titan’s surface is visible. The unaided human eye would see nothing but haze.

Friday, October 17, 2014

NASA Probe Zapped by Saturn Moon's Static

A spacecraft exploring the Saturn system was zapped by static electricity sent out by one of the ringed wonder's many moons in 2005, a new study suggests.
In fact, scientists have found that the Cassini spacecraft was "briefly bathed in a beam of electrons"
 coming from the moon Hyperion's surface, NASA officials said. No, this isn't proof of alien life: The particle beam was likely generated by the odd, porous moon's exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and Saturn's magnetic field.
It was rather like Cassini receiving a 200-volt electric shock from Hyperion, even though they were over 2,000 kilometers [1,200 miles] apart at the time.
The study presents some surprising results. Scientists studying Saturn and its moons didn't think that the small, sponge-looking moon Hyperion could have any major interaction with the ringed planet's magnetosphere.
Researchers have long known that static electricity is an important phenomenon on Earth's moon. However, this is the first time they have confirmation of static at play on another cosmic body. Luckily, the beam didn't seem to harm Cassini, but future robotic and crewed missions should be wary of possible electric shocks from bodies in the solar system.

"Our observations show that this is also an important effect at outer planet moons, and that we need to take this into account when studying how these moons interact with their environment," Geraint Jones, a member of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer instrument team who helped supervise the study, said in the same statement.
The $3.2 billion Cassini mission launched to space in 1997. The probe arrived at Saturn in 2004 and has been orbiting the gas giant ever since. Cassini is expected to continue studying Saturn and its moons until 2017, when the spacecraft will end its mission by intentionally plunging into the gas giant's atmosphere.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NGC 6823: Cloud Sculpting Star Cluster 
 Star cluster NGC 6823 is slowly turning gas clouds into stars. The center of the open cluster, visible on the upper right, formed only about two million years ago and is dominated in brightness by a host of bright young blue stars. Some outer parts of the cluster, visible in the featured image's center as the stars and pillars of emission nebula NGC 6820, contain even younger stars. The huge pillars of gas and dust likely get their elongated shape by erosion from hot radiation emitted from the brightest cluster stars. Striking dark globules of gas and dust are also visible across the upper left of the featured image. Open star cluster NGC 6823 spans about 50 light years and lies about 6000 light years away toward the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We Are Young

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014: A variety of cosmic objects glow in a new image by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Just above the center of the frame lies a small young stellar object (YSO) known as SSTC2D J033038.2+303212. Positioned in the constellation of Perseus, this star shows signs of forming into a fully grown star, emanating a murky chimney of material, framed by bright bursts of gas emitted by the star. At the bottom of the frame, the highly visible swirl of gas is a reflection nebula [B77] 63, a cloud of interstellar gas that reflects light from the stars within it. The area that appears like a dark stream of smoke floating outwards from [B77] 63 is actually a dark nebula called Dobashi 4173. Dark nebulas consist of very dense clouds of material that block out the sky behind them.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dracula Untold Official Trailer (2014)

A war between two religious group fight for the control over Europe.Muslims and Christianity.The Ottomans march into Romanian !
In the Dracula story the king seek out help from a supernatural source and become Dracula to defeat the Ottoman who had a large army from every land they took over they took the young people away to become part of his army and to reteach them there religion which is Muslim. They came to take the kings son away and he kill few of them which start a war.. Part real life history of this guy he impale large number of his own people plus other.He find a away to impale people and they would still be a live for a days and this was with a piece of wood that when into the anus cavity and exit through the mouth .This sicko didn't women,children was impale also.This work for a while it keep them out of the country but he was over thrown some time later on. Anyway the movie look and sound better than real history
Finally a interesting movie!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gamescom news

Rise of the Tomb Raider is only coming to Xbox! Yes you read it here! They show a trailer at last years E3 show.Come holiday 2015!The game take you Lara dealing with what happen in last Tomb Raider game 2013 the reboot.The trailer show her talking to a doctor of what happen a few years ago on island.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rosetta (spacecraft)

Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the European Space Agency to perform a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. On 6 August 2014 it approached the comet to a distance of about 100 km (62 mi) and reduced its relative velocity to 1 m/s (3.3 ft/s), thus becoming the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet (previous missions have conducted successful flybys of seven other comets). Following further manoeuvres, it will enter orbit after approaching to 30 km (19 mi) about 6 weeks later.It is part of the ESA Horizon 2000 cornerstone missions and is the first mission designed to both orbit and land on a comet.

Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 on an Ariane 5 rocket and reached the comet on 6 August 2014.The spacecraft consists of two main elements: the Rosetta space probe orbiter, which features 12 instruments, and the Philae robotic lander, with an additional nine instruments. The Rosetta mission will orbit 67P/C-G for 17 months and is designed to complete the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. The mission is controlled from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Darmstadt, Germany.
It was to be a joint mission between USA and ESA but NASA budget was cut so NASA had to drop out even after signing a contact. But there was a few instruments that the USA build for the space probe and tracking the space probe using our Deep Space network a series of radio telescope design to take with space probe was have afew of them spread though out world.
The spacecraft has already performed two asteroid flyby missions on its way to the comet.In 2007, Rosetta also performed a Mars swing-by (flyby), and returned images.The craft completed its fly-by of asteroid 2867 Šteins in September 2008 and of 21 Lutetia in July 2010.On 20 January 2014, Rosetta was taken out of a 31-month hibernation mode and continued towards the comet. Over the following months, a series of thruster burns slowed Rosetta relative to 67P/C-G, and Rosetta rendezvoused with the comet on 6 August 2014.
Instruments(on the space probe)
The investigation of the core is done by three spectroscopes, one microwave radio antenna and one radar:

    ALICE (an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph). The ultraviolet spectrograph will search for and quantify the noble gas content in the comet core, from which the temperature during the comet creation could be estimated. The detection is done by an array of potassium bromide and caesium iodide photocathodes. The 3.1 kg (6.8 lb) instrument uses 2.9 watts and was produced in the USA, and an improved version is used in the New Horizons spacecraft. It operates in the extreme and far ultraviolet spectrum, between 700 and 2,050 ångströms (70 and 205 nm).
    OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System). The camera system has a narrow-angle lens (700 mm) and a wide-angle lens (140 mm), with a 2048×2048 pixel CCD chip. The instrument was constructed in Germany.
    VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer). The Visible and IR spectrometer is able to make pictures of the core in the IR and also search for IR spectra of molecules in the coma. The detection is done by a mercury cadmium teluride array for IR and with a CCD chip for the visible wavelength range. The instrument was produced in Italy, and improved versions were used for Dawn and Venus Express.[45]
    MIRO (Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter). The abundance and temperature of volatile substances like water, ammonia and carbon dioxide can be detected by MIRO via their microwave emissions. The 30 cm (12 in) radio antenna was constructed in Germany, while the rest of the 18.5 kg (41 lb) instrument was provided by the USA.
    CONSERT (Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission). The CONSERT experiment will provide information about the deep interior of the comet using a radar. The radar will perform tomography of the nucleus by measuring electromagnetic wave propagation between the Philae lander and the Rosetta orbiter through the comet nucleus. This allows it to determine the comet's internal structure and deduce information on its composition. The electronics were developed by France and both antennas were constructed in Germany.
    RSI (Radio Science Investigation). RSI makes use of the probe's communication system for physical investigation of the nucleus and the inner coma of the comet.[47]

Gas and particles

    ROSINA (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis). The instrument consists of a double-focus magnetic mass spectrometer DFMS and a reflectron type time of flight mass spectrometer RTOF. The DFMS has a high resolution (can resolve N2 from CO) for molecules up to 300 amu. The RTOF is highly sensitive for neutral molecules and for ions.
    MIDAS (Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System). The high-resolution atomic force microscope will investigate several physical aspects of the dust particles which are deposited on a silicon plate.
    COSIMA (Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser). COSIMA analyses the composition of dust particles by secondary ion mass spectrometry, after the surface is cleaned by indium ions. It can analyse ions up to a mass of 4000 amu.
    GIADA (Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator)

Solar wind interaction

    RPC (Rosetta Plasma Consortium).
Philae is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanies the Rosetta spacecraft.It is designed to land on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in November 2014.The lander will achieve the first controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus. The lander’s instruments will obtain the first images from a comet’s surface and make the first in situ analysis to find out what it is made of.The lander is named after Philae Island in the Nile, where an obelisk was found that was used along with the Rosetta Stone to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The science payload of the lander consists of ten instruments massing 26.7 kilograms (59 lb), making up nearly one-third of the mass of the lander.

    APXS (Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer) APXS analyzes the chemical element composition of the surface below the lander. The instrument is an improved version of the APXS of the Mars Pathfinder.
    COSAC (COmetary SAmpling and Composition) The combined gas chromatograph and time-of-flight mass spectrometer perform analysis of soil samples and determine the content of volatile components.
    Ptolemy an instrument measuring stable isotopic ratios of key volatiles on the comet's nucleus
    ÇIVA (Comet Nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer)
    ROLIS (Rosetta Lander Imaging System)
    CONSERT (COmet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission). The CONSERT radar will perform the tomography of the nucleus by measuring electromagnetic wave propagation from Philae and Rosetta throughout the comet nucleus in order to determine its internal structures and to deduce information on its composition.
    (MUlti-PUrpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science)
ROMAP (Rosetta Lander Magnetometer and Plasma Monitor)
SESAME (Surface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment)
SD2 (Drill, Sample, and Distribution subsystem) Obtains soil samples from the comet at depths of 0 to 230 millimetres (0.0 to 9.1 in) and distributes them to the Ptolmy, COSAC, and Civa subsystems for analysis. The system contains four types of subsystem: drill, carousel, ovens, and volume checker.There are a total of 26 platinum ovens to heat samples—10 medium temperature 180 °C (356 °F) and 16 high temperature 800 °C (1,470 °F)—and one oven to clear the drill bit for reuse.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rosetta's Rendezvous
On August 3rd, the Rosetta spacecraft's narrow angle camera captured this stunning image of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. After 10 years and 6.5 billion kilometers of travel along gravity assist trajectories looping through interplanetary space, Rosetta had approached to within 285 kilometers of its target. The curious double-lobed shape of the nucleus is revealed in amazing detail at an image resolution of 5.3 meters per pixel. About 4 kilometers across, the comet nucleus is presently just over 400 million kilometers from Earth, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Now the first spacecraft to achieve a delicate orbit around a comet, Rosetta will swing to within 50 kilometers and closer in the coming weeks, identifiying candidate sites for landing its probe Philae later this year.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

More stuff

Friday, August 1, 2014: This view toward the bulge at the center of our Milky Way galaxy shows a large, obscuring nebula in the foreground. This nebula opens just enough to show glimpses of the galactic central bulge, which contains no gas and where no star formation is occurring--none, in fact, for billions of years. In general, the bulge of a spiral galaxy consists of a quasi-spherical, amorphous ball of old stars. Image released July 2014.
 Friday, July 25, 2014: Astrophotographer Jeff Johnson of Las Cruces, New Mexico, sent in a photo of M64, the Black Eye Galaxy, taken April 3, 2014. He writes in an email message to Space.com: "I was hoping to collect more data, but our monsoon season is now upon us here in Las Cruces, so cloudy nights are the norm. Before this part of the season arrived, however, I collected enough data to bring out the Black Eye Galaxy …. This result is much deeper than my earlier attempt with a larger scope over 6 years ago."
 Monday, July 21, 2014: Globular cluster NGC 121 lies in the constellation of Tucana (The Toucan). Globular clusters consist of old stars organized in big spherical structures that orbit the centers of their galaxies like satellites. NGC 121, discovered in 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel, exists in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of our neighboring galaxies. NGC 121 measures around 10 billion years old, making it the oldest cluster in its galaxy. The other globular clusters of the SMC have an age of 8 billion years old or younger. The reason for the age discrepancy has not been discovered yet.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Horsehead Nebula from Blue to Infrared

One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula's base are young stars just in the process of forming. Light takes about 1,500 years to reach us from the Horsehead Nebula. The above image is a digital combination of images taken in blue, green, red, and hydrogen-alpha light from the Argentina, and an image taken in infrared light by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rho Ophiuchi Wide Field

The clouds surrounding the star system Rho Ophiuchi compose one of the closest star forming regions. Rho Ophiuchi itself is a binary star system visible in the light-colored region on the image right. The star system, located only 400 light years away, is distinguished by its colorful surroundings, which include a red emission nebula and numerous light and dark brown dust lanes. Near the upper right of the Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud system is the yellow star Antares, while a distant but coincidently-superposed globular cluster of stars, M4, is visible between Antares and the red emission nebula. Near the image bottom lies IC 4592, the Blue Horsehead nebula. The blue glow that surrounds the Blue Horsehead's eye -- and other stars around the image -- is a reflection nebula composed of fine dust. On the above image left is a geometrically angled reflection nebula cataloged as Sharpless 1. Here, the bright star near the dust vortex creates the light of surrounding reflection nebula. Although most of these features are visible through a small telescope pointed toward the constellations of Ophiuchus, Scorpius, and Sagittarius, the only way to see the intricate details of the dust swirls, as featured above, is to use a long exposure camera.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NASA Spacecraft Just One Year Away from Pluto

Less than a year from now, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will make the first-ever visit to Pluto, potentially revolutionizing scientists' understanding of the dwarf planet.
Because Pluto is so far away — it orbits the sun at an average distance of 3.65 billion miles (5.87 billion kilometers) — many questions about the dwarf planet's composition and activity remain unanswered. Researchers hope New Horizons will lay some of those questions to rest when it flies by Pluto on July 15, 2015.
Many predictions have been made by the science community, including possible rings, geyser eruptions, and even lakes,"  Adriana Ocampo, program executive for NASA's New Frontiers program, said in a statement. "Whatever we find, I believe Pluto and its satellites will surpass all our expectations and surprise us beyond our imagination.
Orbiting the sun once every 248 years, Pluto lies outside the reach of most visible instruments. The best images from NASA's famous Hubble Space Telescope simply show Pluto's spherical shape and reddish color. Changes in the dwarf planet's color patterns over the years hint that something is happening there, but no one knows exactly what.
 By late April 2015, New Horizons will be close enough to Pluto and its moons to capture pictures rivaling those of Hubble. On July 14, 2015, the craft will make a close flyby of the icy world, ultimately zooming within about 6,200 miles (10,000 kilometers) of its surface. If it cruised past Earth at that range, New Horizons would be able to recognize individual buildings and their shapes.
 Because Pluto has never been visited up-close by a spacecraft from Earth, everything we see will be a first," Ocampo said. "I know this will be an astonishing experience full of history-making moments." New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, likened the upcoming visit to the way Mariner 4revolutionized understanding of Marsin July 1965. At the time, many people thought the Red Planet was a life-friendly world possibly harboring liquid water and even plants. The New Horizons flyby could change perceptions of Pluto just as dramatically, Stern said

The flight in won't be without its challenges. Since New Horizons launched in 2006, two new moons have been discovered orbiting Pluto, upping the total known satellite countto five: Charon, Nix, Kerberos, Styxand Hydra. As many as 10 other moonscould still await detection in the system, one study suggested.
According to simulations, meteorites striking Pluto's moons could send tiny rocks flying into space, where many of them would enter orbit around the dwarf planet. The debris field likely changes with time as it orbits, growing larger as new material is added. As the New Horizons probe gets closer and closer to Pluto, the mission team will need to keep watch on the system in case evasive maneuvers are required.
"The New Horizons team continues to do a magnificent job in keeping the spacecraft healthy and ready for this incredible rendezvous," said Ocampo. "The spacecraft is in good hands."

Sunday, July 20, 2014


What a powerful sight!
Nothing very unusual -- it just threw a filament. Toward the middle of 2012, a long standing solar filament suddenly erupted into space producing an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The filament had been held up for days by the Sun's ever changing magnetic field and the timing of the eruption was unexpected. Watched closely by the Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the resulting explosion shot electrons and ions into the Solar System, some of which arrived at Earth three days later and impacted Earth's magnetosphere, causing visible aurorae. Loops of plasma surrounding an active region can be seen above the erupting filament in the ultraviolet image. Over the past week the number of sunspots visible on the Sun unexpectedly dropped to zero, causing speculation that the Sun has now passed a very unusual solar maximum, the time in the Sun's 11-year cycle when it is most active. Sun spot are areas of very strong magnetic field it so strong it causes that area of the Sun to be cooler than its surrounding,so they appear dark! If you could move one away from the sun it would be very bright.Here is a pic that show what the sun magnetic field look like.It very crazy!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bright Center

Monday, July 14, 2014: Nearby spiral galaxy NGC 1433 shines in a view obtained by NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies about 32 million light-years from Earth, and researchers place in a class of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy, which represents 10% of all galaxies. These deep-sky objects possess very bright, luminous centers comparable to that of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Hubble Space Telescope obtained the image using a combination of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light. NGC 1433 makes up part of a survey of 50 nearby galaxies known as the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS). Image released July 7, 2014.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The subsurface ocean inside Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, could be as salty as any body of water here on Earth

Gravity data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggest that Titan’s ocean must have an extremely high density. Salt water has a higher density than fresh water because the presence of salt adds more mass to a given amount of water.
Researchers think the ocean could be as salty as the Dead Sea of Israel and Jordan, with a high concentration of dissolved salts made of sulfur, sodium and potassium.
The average salt concentration in Earth’s oceans is around 3.5 percent, but parts of the Dead Sea can reach 40 percent salinity.
Titan is surrounded by an ice shell, but below the surface, scientists believe there is an ocean of liquid water that could be just as salty as the Dead Sea.

Cassini collected gravity and topography data during its flybys of Titan over the past 10 years, allowing researchers to create a new model of the structure of the moon’s outer icy shell.
The new model suggests that the thickness of the icy crust varies across the moon’s surface. This means that the ocean underneath is probably in the process of freezing, too. If the ocean is freezing, it would decrease the chances that the ocean could support life, since freezing would limit the exchange of materials between the water and the surface!!!

The new data could also provide some insight into Titan’s unique atmosphere, which is  consistently around 5 percent methane. It is still a mystery how Titan maintains methane in its atmosphere since sunlight quickly breaks up the gas.
Scientists believe some kind of natural process must be cycling the methane into the atmosphere; from there, it falls back down to the surface as methane rain, similar to the water cycle on Earth. Since Titan’s surface is mostly frozen, researchers think any methane rising into the atmosphere must be coming from a few scattered unfrozen "hot spots."
 The $3.2 billion Cassini mission launched in 1997 and arrived in orbit around Saturn in 2004. The mission also dropped a probe named Huygens onto the surface of Titan in January 2005.

 How the surface look like in this art photo.The Water is methane  which on Earth its a gas but the temp on the surface is very cold.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Doomed Star Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae may be about to explode. But no one knows when - it may be next year, it may be one million years from now. Eta Carinae's mass - about 100 times greater than our Sun - makes it an excellent candidate for a full blown supernova. Historical records do show that about 150 years ago Eta Carinae underwent an unusual outburst that made it one of the brightest stars in the southern sky. Eta Carinae, in the Keyhole Nebula, is the only star currently thought to emit natural LASER light. This image, taken in 1996, brought out new details in the unusual nebula that surrounds this rogue star. Now clearly visible are two distinct lobes, a hot central region, and strange radial streaks. The lobes are filled with lanes of gas and dust which absorb the blue and ultraviolet light emitted near the center. The streaks remain unexplained.(NGC 3372 )

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

NGC 4651: The Umbrella Galaxy

Spiral galaxy NGC 4651 is a mere 62 million light-years distant, toward the well-groomed northern constellation Coma Berenices. About the size of our Milky Way, this island universe is seen to have a faint umbrella-shaped structure that seems to extend (left) some 100 thousand light-years beyond the bright galactic disk. The giant cosmic umbrella is now known to be composed of tidal star streams - extensive trails of stars gravitationally stripped from a smaller satellite galaxy. The small galaxy was eventually torn apart in repeated encounters as it swept back and forth on eccentric orbits through NGC 4651. In fact, the picture insert zooms in on the smaller galaxy's remnant core, identified in an extensive exploration of the system, using data from the large Subaru and Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea. Work begun by a remarkable collaboration of amateur and professional astronomers to image faint structures around bright galaxies suggests that even in nearby galaxies, tidal star streams are common markers of such galactic mergers. The result is explained by models of galaxy formation that also apply to our own Milky Way.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Peculiar Elliptical Galaxy Centaurus A

Unusual and dramatic dust lanes run across the center of elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. These dust lanes are so thick they almost completely obscure the galaxy's center in visible light. This is particularly unusual as Cen A's red stars and round shape are characteristic of a giant elliptical galaxy, a galaxy type usually low in dark dust. Cen A, also known as NGC 5128, is also unusual compared to an average elliptical galaxy because it contains a higher proportion of young blue stars and is a very strong source of radio emission. Evidence indicates that Cen A is likely the result of the collision of two normal galaxies. During the collision, many young stars were formed, but details of the creation of Cen A's unusual dust belts are still being researched. Cen A lies only 13 million light years away, making it the closest active galaxy. Cen A, pictured above, spans 60,000 light years and can be seen with binoculars toward the constellation of Centaurus.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Hercules Cluster of Galaxies

These are galaxies of the Hercules Cluster, an archipelago of island universes a mere 500 million light-years away. Also known as Abell 2151, this cluster is loaded with gas and dust rich, star-forming spiral galaxies but has relatively few elliptical galaxies, which lack gas and dust and the associated newborn stars. The colors in this remarkably deep composite image clearly show the star forming galaxies with a blue tint and galaxies with older stellar populations with a yellowish cast. The sharp picture spans about 3/4 degree across the cluster center, corresponding to over 6 million light-years at the cluster's estimated distance. Diffraction spikes around brighter foreground stars in our own Milky Way galaxy are produced by the imaging telescope's mirror support vanes. In the cosmic vista many galaxies seem to be colliding or merging while others seem distorted - clear evidence that cluster galaxies commonly interact. In fact, the Hercules Cluster itself may be seen as the result of ongoing mergers of smaller galaxy clusters and is thought to be similar to young galaxy clusters in the much more distant, early Universe.
Some maps of the sky

The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust

The Iris Nebula. The striking blue color of the Iris Nebula is created by light from the bright star SAO 19158 reflecting off of a dense patch of normally dark dust. Not only is the star itself mostly blue, but blue light from the star is preferentially reflected by the dust -- the same affect that makes Earth's sky blue. The brown tint of the pervasive dust comes partly from photoluminescence -- dust converting ultraviolet radiation to red light. Cataloged as NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula is studied frequently because of the unusual prevalence there of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), complex molecules that are also released on Earth during the incomplete combustion of wood fires. The bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula spans about six light years. The Iris Nebula, lies about 1300 light years distant and can be found with a small telescope toward the constellation of Cepheus.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014: Planetary nebula Abell 36 lies 780 light years away in the constellation of Virgo. The object is an emission nebula, and while called a “planetary nebula,” that term misleads, as it refers to something that has nothing to do with planets. Early observations by astronomer William Herschel led him to coin the term as this class of objects resembled planets in his early telescope. Image obtained by Adam Block and guests of the April 2014 Astrophotography with Adam Block Experience, at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter. The facility stands on Steward Observatory's "sky island" observing site just north of Tucson, Arizona.
 Cosmic Egg
 Monday, June 16, 2014: Herschel Space Observatory spotted a ring of dusty material while observing a huge cloud of gas and dust called NGC 7538 with the sharpest resolution to date. The gigantic ring structure sits at the center-top of this image. The roughly egg-shaped ring contains the mass of 500 suns, with a long axis stretching about 35 light-years and its short axis about 25 light-years. Possibly an O-type star created the expanding puff with strong winds or by dying in a supernova, but no trace of an O-type star exists in the center of the ring. Perhaps a big star blew the bubble and moved away from the scene.
Friday, June 13, 2014: On June 11, 2004, Cassini passed Phoebe, the largest of Saturn's outer moons, at an altitude of 1,285 miles (2,068 kilometers), the only close flyby of one of the outer moons of Saturn in the entire Cassini mission. The Cassini team published this montage of two views to mark the 10th anniversary of the Phoebe flyby. The image on the left side shows Cassini's view on approach to Phoebe, while the right side shows the spacecraft's departing perspective. Most of the left-side view was previously released except an area on the upper right side. Most of the view on the right side remained unreleased until now, although the crater at upper left appeared in another published image. Image released June 11, 2014.
Monday, June 9, 2014: A new Hubble image shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star cloaked in a haze of gas and dust. An area of dark sky appears to contain the young star. This dark region is Circinus molecular cloud, which has a mass around 250,000 times that of the sun, filled with gas, dust and young stars. Two areas within the cloud, Circinus-West and Circinus-East, each have a mass of around 5000 times that of the sun, making them the most prominent star-forming sites in the Circinus cloud. IRAS 14568-6304 has special qualities because it is driving a protostellar jet, which appears here as the "tail" below the star. This jet formed from the leftover gas and dust that the star took from its parent cloud in order to form.
 Friday, June 6, 2014: A still image from a video taken by Solar Dynamics Observatory showed tight, bright loops and much longer, softer loops swaying above an active region on the sun, while a darker blob of plasma in their midst was pulled in different directions on May 13-14, 2014. Frames taken in the 171 Angstroms wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light are usually colorized with a bronze tone, but in this case were colored red.

Persistent Saturnian Auroras

Are Saturn's auroras like Earth's? To help answer this question, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Cassini spacecraft monitored Saturn's South Pole simultaneously as Cassini closed in on the gas giant in January 2004. Hubble snapped images in ultraviolet light, while Cassini recorded radio emissions and monitored the solar wind. Like on Earth, Saturn's auroras make total or partial rings around magnetic poles. Unlike on Earth, however, Saturn's auroras persist for days, as opposed to only minutes on Earth. Although surely created by charged particles entering the atmosphere, Saturn's auroras also appear to be more closely modulated by the solar wind than either Earth's or Jupiter's auroras. The above sequence shows three Hubble images of Saturn each taken two days apart.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Horizon

 Before New Horizon there was many space probe plan to flyby Pluto but they wasn't funded. The last one plan was to be two space probe send to Pluto so they could take photos and other spectrum of both hemispheres of Pluto and its moons. It was to get to Pluto in 2010 but it was cancel by congress and than New Horizon was pick and they just move the instruments from the Pluto Kuiper Express
 to New Horizons is a space probe launched by NASA on 19 January 2006 to study the dwarf planet Pluto and the Kuiper belt. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, with an estimated arrival date at the Pluto–Charon system of 14 July 2015. As of 21 January 2014, its distance from Pluto is about 4.29 AU (about 29.33 AU from Earth), with radio signals taking 4 hours to travel to the spacecraft from Earth (an 8 hour round trip).

Launched directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative velocity of about 36,373 mph it set the record for the highest velocity of a human-made object from Earth. Using a combination of monopropellant and gravity assist, it flew by the orbit of Mars on 7 April 2006, Jupiter on 28 February 2007, the orbit of Saturn on 8 June 2008; and the orbit of Uranus on 18 March 2011. Its secondary mission is to fly by one or more other Kuiper belt objects (should a suitable target be available) then the heliosphere. It is expected to become the fifth interstellar probe and second fastest in the history of space exploration.But it wouldn't reach the two Voyagers 1 and 2.
About an ounce of Clyde Tombaugh's ashes are aboard the spacecraft, to commemorate his discovery of Pluto in 1930.
On its was to Pluto it fly by Jupiter with better cameras that was on Voyager.New Horizons used LORRI to take its first photographs of Jupiter on 4 September 2006 from a distance of 291 million kilometres (181 million miles). More detailed exploration of the system began in January 2007 with an infrared image of the moon Callisto as well as several black and white images of the planet itself. New Horizons received a Jupiter gravity assist with a closest approach on 28 February 2007 when it was 1.4 million miles) from the planet. The flyby increased New Horizons' speed by 9,000 miles per hour accelerating the probe 52,000 miles per hour relative to the Sun and shortening its voyage to Pluto by three years.

The flyby was the center of a 4-month intensive observation campaign lasting from January to June. Being an ever-changing scientific target, Jupiter was observed intermittently since the end of the Galileo mission. Knowledge about the planet benefited from the fact that New Horizons instruments were built using the latest technology, especially in the area of cameras, representing a significant improvement over Galileo's cameras, which were evolved versions of Voyager cameras which, in turn, were evolved Mariner cameras. The Jupiter encounter also served as a shakedown and dress rehearsal for the Pluto encounter. Because of the much shorter distance from Jupiter to Earth, the communications link can transmit multiple loadings of the memory buffer; thus the mission actually returned more data from the Jovian system than it is expected to transmit from Pluto.
One of the main goals during the Jupiter encounter was observing the planets atmospheric conditions and analyzing the structure and composition of its clouds. Heat induced lightning strikes in the polar regions and "waves" that indicate violent storm activity were observed and measured. The Little Red Spot, spanning up to 70% of Earth's diameter, was imaged from up close for the first time.
Observing from different angles and illumination conditions New Horizons took detailed images of Jupiter's faint ring system discovering debris left over from recent collisions within the rings or from some other unexplained phenomena. The search for undiscovered moons within the rings showed no results. Travelling through the planet's magnetosphere New Horizons collected valuable particle readings. "Bubbles" of plasma which are believed to be formed from material ejected by the moon Io were noticed in the magnetotail.
After passing bu Jupiter the space probe was place in Hibernation since there wasn't anything to see except Pluto which was many years away. Redundant components as well as guidance and control systems will be shut down in order to extend their life cycle, decrease operational costs and free the Deep Space Network for other missions. During hibernation mode, the onboard computer monitors the probe's systems and transmits a signal back to Earth: a "green" code if everything is functioning as expected or a "red" code if the mission control's assistance is needed. The probe will be activated for about two months a year so that the instruments can be calibrated and the systems checked. New Horizons first hibernation mode cycle started on 28 June 2007.
After astronomers announced the discovery of two new moons in the Pluto system, Kerberos and Styx, mission planners started contemplating the possibility of the probe running into unseen debris and dust left over from earlier collisions with the moons. A study based on 18 months of computer simulations, Earth-based telescope observations and occultations of the Pluto system revealed that the possibility of a catastrophic collision with debris or dust is less than 0.3% if the probe is to continue on its present course. If the hazard increases, New Horizons will utilize one of two possible contingency plans, the so-called SHBOTs (Safe Haven by Other Trajectories): the probe could continue on its present trajectory with the antenna facing the incoming particles so the more vital systems would be protected, or, it could position its antenna and make a course correction that would take it just 3000 km from the surface of Pluto where it's expected that the atmospheric drag cleaned the surrounding space of possible debris.
The spacecraft carries seven scientific instruments. Total mass is 31 kg (68 lb) and rated power is 21 watts (though not all instruments operate simultaneously).

Fundamental physics-Pioneer Anomaly
It was shown that New Horizons may be used to test the Pioneer Anomaly issue.

Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI)
LORRI is a long focal length imager designed for high resolution and responsivity at visible wavelengths. The instrument is equipped with a high-resolution 1024×1024 monochromatic CCD imager with a 208.3 mm (8.20 in) aperture giving a resolution of 5 μrad (~1 asec). The CCD is chilled far below freezing by a passive radiator on the antisolar face of the spacecraft. This temperature differential requires insulation, and isolation from the rest of the structure. The Ritchey-Chretien mirrors and metering structure are made of silicon carbide, to boost stiffness, reduce weight, and prevent warping at low temperatures. The optical elements sit in a composite light shield, and mount with titanium and fibreglass for thermal isolation. Overall mass is 8.6 kg (19 lb), with the Optical tube assembly (OTA) weighing about 5.6 kg (12 lb), for one of the largest silicon-carbide telescopes yet flown

Pluto Exploration Remote Sensing Investigation (PERSI)
This consists of two instruments: The Ralph telescope, 6 cm (2.4 in) in aperture, with two separate channels: a visible-light CCD imager (MVIC- Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera) with broadband and color channels, and a near-infrared imaging spectrometer, LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array). LEISA is derived from a similar instrument on the EO-1 mission. The second instrument is an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer, Alice. Alice resolves 1,024 wavelength bands in the far and extreme ultraviolet (from 50–180 nm), over 32 view fields. Its goal is to view the atmospheric makeup of Pluto. This Alice is derived from an Alice on the Rosetta mission. Ralph, designed afterwards, was named after Alice's husband on The Honeymooners. Ralph and Alice are names, not acronyms.

Plasma and high energy particle spectrometer suite (PAM)
PAM consists of two instruments: SWAP (Solar Wind At Pluto), a toroidal electrostatic analyzer and retarding potential analyzer, and PEPSSI (Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation), a time of flight ion and electron sensor. SWAP measures particles of up to 6.5 keV, PEPSSI goes up to 1 MeV. Because of the tenuous solar wind at Pluto's distance, the SWAP instrument has the largest aperture of any such instrument ever flown.

Radio Science Experiment (REX)
REX will use an ultrastable crystal oscillator (essentially a calibrated crystal in a miniature oven) and some additional electronics to conduct radio science investigations using the communications channels. These are small enough to fit on a single card. Since there are two redundant communications subsystems, there are two, identical REX circuit boards.
Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter (VBSDC)
Built by students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Student Dust Counter will operate continuously through the trajectory to make dust measurements. It consists of a detector panel, about 18 by 12 inches (460 mm × 300 mm), mounted on the antisolar face of the spacecraft (the ram direction), and an electronics box within the spacecraft. The detector contains fourteen polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) panels, twelve science and two reference, which generate voltage when impacted. Effective collecting area is 0.125 m2 (1.35 sq ft). No dust counter has operated past the orbit of Uranus; models of dust in the outer Solar System, especially the Kuiper belt, are speculative. VBSDC is always turned on measuring the masses of the interplanetary and interstellar dust particles (in the range of nano- and picograms) as they collide with the PVDF panels mounted on the New Horizons spacecraft. The measured data shall greatly contribute to the understanding of the dust spectra of the Solar System. The dust spectra can then be compared with those observed via telescope of other stars, giving new clues as to where earthlike planets can be found in our universe. The dust counter is named for Venetia Burney, who first suggested the name "Pluto" at the age of 11. An interesting thirteen-minute short film about VBSDC garnered an Emmy award for student achievement in 2006
The main Flyby 2015!
Observations of Pluto, with the onboard LORRI imager plus Ralph telescope, will begin about 6 months prior to closest approach. The targets will be only a few pixels across. 70 days out, resolution will exceed the Hubble Space Telescope's resolution, lasting another two weeks after the flyby. This should detect any rings or any additional moons (eventually down to 2 km diameter), for avoidance and targeting maneuvers, and observation scheduling. Long-range imaging will include 40 km (25 mi) mapping of Pluto and Charon 3.2 days out. This is half the rotation period of Pluto–Charon and will allow imaging of the side of both bodies that will be facing away from the spacecraft at closest approach. Coverage will repeat twice per day, to search for changes due to snows or cryovolcanism. Still, due to Pluto's tilt and rotation, a portion of the northern hemisphere will be in shadow at all times.

During the flyby, LORRI should be able to obtain select images with resolution as high as 50 m/px (if closest distance is around 10,000 km), and MVIC should obtain 4-color global dayside maps at 1.6 km resolution. LORRI and MVIC will attempt to overlap their respective coverage areas to form stereo pairs. LEISA will obtain hyperspectral near-infrared maps at 7 km/px globally and 0.6 km/pixel for selected areas. Meanwhile, Alice will characterize the atmosphere, both by emissions of atmospheric molecules (airglow), and by dimming of background stars as they pass behind Pluto (occultation).

During and after closest approach, SWAP and PEPSSI will sample the high atmosphere and its effects on the solar wind. VBSDC will search for dust, inferring meteoroid collision rates and any invisible rings. REX will perform active and passive radio science. Ground stations on Earth will transmit a powerful radio signal as New Horizons passes behind Pluto's disk, then emerges on the other side. The communications dish will measure the disappearance and reappearance of the radio occultation signal. The results will resolve Pluto's diameter (by their timing) and atmospheric density and composition (by their weakening and strengthening pattern). (Alice can perform similar occultations, using sunlight instead of radio beacons.) Previous missions had the spacecraft transmit through the atmosphere, to Earth ("downlink"). Low power and extreme distance means New Horizons will be the first such "uplink" mission. Pluto's mass and mass distribution will be evaluated by their tug on the spacecraft. As the spacecraft speeds up and slows down, the radio signal will experience a Doppler shift. The Doppler shift will be measured by comparison with the ultrastable oscillator in the communications electronics.

Reflected sunlight from Charon will allow some imaging observations of the nightside. Backlighting by the Sun will highlight any rings or atmospheric hazes. REX will perform radiometry of the nightside.

Initial, highly-compressed images will be transmitted within days. The science team will select the best images for public release. Uncompressed images will take about nine months[citation needed] to transmit, depending on Deep Space Network traffic. It may turn out, however, that fewer months will be needed. The spacecraft link is proving stronger than expected, and it is possible that both downlink channels may be ganged together to nearly double the data rate.
To bad its just a flyby but a orbiter would take to long to get there,they was dealing with nature.Pluto was moving away from the Sun this means that there would be no atmosphere to study if a orbiter was send plus with a travel time of about 38 years. During Pluto lifetime ,it lost up to 14 feet of it surface during these close approaches to the Sun.AT time Pluto get closer to the Sun than Neptune( here its distance from our sun-4.4–7.4 billion km) Pluto act more like a comet than a planet. They think during the formation of our solar system that Neptune and Uranus form between Jupiter ans Saturn and when Neptune and Uranus shift their position with in the solar system to their current position they send many Pluto size object toward the inner solar system and since they thing these pluto and Kuiper belt objects are made out of 80%water this give the Earth,Venus,Mars, Mercury with large amount of water. Mercury water was gone in no time and Venus,Mars during this time to the current time lost their water (Most of it for Mars and all of it for Venus) Earth was the only one that keep all of time!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pluto! Planet or not!?

It would be must-see TV for space geeks everywhere — two big-name scientists debating whether or not Pluto should be reinstated as the solar system's ninth "true" planet.
Alan Stern, the principal investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, has challenged astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to just such a debate, NBCNews reported last week.
"I am challenging him to the equivalent of the 'Thrilla in Manila,'" Stern told NBCNews. "Before New Horizons gets to Pluto, I want him to accept the debate."
That gives Tyson — the host of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," a TV series that aired this spring on Fox and the National Geographic Channel — about a year to work the proposed debate into his schedule, if he so chooses. New Horizons is scheduled to fly by the Pluto system in July 2015, giving astronomers their first-ever up-close look at the frigid world and its five known moons.
Pluto was regarded as the solar system's ninth planet for more than 75 years after its 1930 discovery. But in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) — the organization responsible for giving "official" scientific names to celestial objects — came up with a new definiton of "planet," and Pluto didn't make the cut. (It hasn't sufficiently "cleared its neighborhood" of other objects, IAU officials said.)
So Pluto was demoted to the newly created category of "dwarf planet," a status it shares with several other large bodies in the frigid, faraway Kuiper Belt. Some scientists, such as Tyson, have expressed support for the decision, while others are not at all happy about it.
Stern is perhaps the most prominent and passionate of the dissenters. He has no problem with the "dwarf planet" designation but believes that dwarfs should enjoy the same status as rocky worlds like Earth and gas giants such as Jupiter.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Voyager 1 and 2

Voyager 2 is a 722 kg (1,592 lb) space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. It was actually launched before Voyager 1, but Voyager 1 moved faster and eventually passed it. Voyager 2 has been operating for 36 years, 9 months and 11 days as of 31 May 2014, and the Deep Space Network is still receiving its data transmissions.
At a distance of 104.44 AU (1.562×1010 km) as of 31 May 2014 from Earth, it is one of the most distant human made objects (along with Voyager 1, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11). Voyager 2 is part of the Voyager program with its identical sister craft Voyager 1, and is in extended mission, tasked with locating and studying the boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper belt, the heliosphere and interstellar space.
 The primary mission ended December 31, 1989 after encountering the Jovian system in 1979, Saturnian system in 1981, Uranian system in 1986, and the Neptunian system in 1989. It is still the only spacecraft to have visited the two outer giant planets Uranus and Neptune. The probe is now moving at a velocity of 15.428 km/s relative to the Sun.
Some history
 Conceived in the 1960s, a Grand tour proposal to study the outer planets, prompted NASA to begin work on a mission in the early 1970s. The development of the interplanetary probes coincided with an alignment of the planets, making possible a mission to the outer Solar System by taking advantage of the then-new technique of gravity assist.
It was determined that utilizing gravity assists would enable a single probe to visit the four gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) while requiring a minimal amount of propellant and a shorter transit duration between planets. Originally, Voyager 2 was planned as Mariner 12 of the Mariner program; however, due to congressional budget cuts(a lot of short sight people), the mission was scaled back to be a flyby of Jupiter and Saturn, and renamed the Mariner Jupiter-Saturn probes. As the program progressed, the name was later changed to Voyager as the probe designs began to differ greatly from previous Mariner missions.
Upon a successful flyby of the Saturnian moon Titan, by Voyager 1, Voyager 2 would get a mission extension to send the probe on towards Uranus and Neptune, ultimately realizing the vision of the Planetary Grand Tour. This could happen because one time time history of human all the planet would be on the same side of the Sun. This happen once every 200 to 300 years!(when jupiter and Saturn Uranus and Neptune)
Each space probe has a record with sounds of the Earth and some photos.
Each of them is power by RTGs( radioisotope thermoelectric generators).Each RTG includes 24 pressed plutonium oxide spheres and provides enough heat to generate approximately 157 watts of power at launch. Collectively, the RTGs supply the spacecraft with 470 watts at launch and will allow operations to continue until at least 2020.
 It flyby Planet Jupiter
The closest approach to Jupiter occurred on July 9, 1979. It came within 570,000 km (350,000 mi) of the planet's cloud tops. It discovered a few rings around Jupiter, as well as volcanic activity on the moon Io.
The Great Red Spot was revealed as a complex storm moving in a counterclockwise direction. An array of other smaller storms and eddies were found throughout the banded clouds.
Discovery of active volcanism on Io was easily the greatest unexpected discovery at Jupiter. It was the first time active volcanoes had been seen on another body in the Solar System. Together, the Voyagers observed the eruption of nine volcanoes on Io, and there is evidence that other eruptions occurred between the two Voyager fly-bys.
The moon Europa displayed a large number of intersecting linear features in the low-resolution photos from Voyager 1. At first, scientists believed the features might be deep cracks, caused by crustal rifting or tectonic processes. The closer high-resolution photos from Voyager 2, however, left scientists puzzled: The features were so lacking in topographic relief that as one scientist described them, they "might have been painted on with a felt marker." Europa is internally active due to tidal heating at a level about one-tenth that of Io. Europa is thought to have a thin crust (less than 30 km (19 mi) thick) of water ice, possibly floating on a 50-kilometer-deep (30 mile) ocean.
Two new, small satellites, Adrastea and Metis, were found orbiting just outside the ring. A third new satellite, Thebe, was discovered between the orbits of Amalthea and Io.
Flyby of Saturn

The closest approach to Saturn occurred on August 26, 1981.
While passing behind Saturn (as viewed from Earth), Voyager 2 probed Saturn's upper atmosphere with its radio link to gather information on atmospheric temperature and density profiles. Voyager 2 found that at the uppermost pressure levels (seven kilopascals of pressure), Saturn's temperature was 70 kelvins (−203 °C), while at the deepest levels measured (120 kilopascals) the temperature increased to 143 K (−130 °C). The north pole was found to be 10 kelvins cooler, although this may be seasonal 
After the fly-by of Saturn, the camera platform of Voyager 2 locked up briefly, putting plans to officially extend the mission to Uranus and Neptune in jeopardy. Fortunately, the mission's engineers were able to fix the problem (caused by an overuse that temporarily depleted its lubricant), and the Voyager 2 probe was given the go-ahead to explore the Uranian system.It because of this the camera platform screw up most new space probe they done away from and place the camera on the body of the space probe it self in one location and away from any other thing it could get in the way! and the whole space probe turns, this would be used on new Horizon space probe when it get to Pluto. This would be the first and last time a space probe would flyby Pluto ! Would you take a chance on a platform that might fuck up? Plus there are back up to the PC that would control the probe.
Flyby of Uranus(the only space probe to flyby)
The closest approach to Uranus occurred on January 24, 1986, when Voyager 2 came within 81,500 kilometers (50,600 mi) of the planet's cloud tops. Voyager 2 also discovered the moons Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Cressida, Desdemona, Juliet, Portia, Rosalind, Belinda, Perdita and Puck; studied the planet's unique atmosphere, caused by its axial tilt of 97.8°; and examined the Uranian ring system.
Uranus is the third largest (Neptune has a larger mass, but a smaller volume) planet in the Solar System. It orbits the Sun at a distance of about 2.8 billion kilometers (1.7 billion miles), and it completes one orbit every 84 Earth years. The length of a day on Uranus as measured by Voyager 2 is 17 hours, 14 minutes. Uranus is unique among the planets in that its axial tilt is about 90°, meaning that its axis is roughly parallel with, not perpendicular to, the plane of the ecliptic. This extremely large tilt of its axis is thought to be the result of a collision between the accumulating planet Uranus with another planet-sized body early in the history of the Solar System. Given the unusual orientation of its axis, with the polar regions of Uranus exposed for periods of many years to either continuous sunlight or darkness, planetary scientists were not at all sure what to expect when observing Uranus.
Voyager 2 found that one of the most striking effects of the sideways orientation of Uranus is the effect on the tail of the planetary magnetic field. This is itself tilted about 60° from the Uranian axis of rotation. The planet's magneto tail was shown to be twisted by the rotation of Uranus into a long corkscrew shape following the planet. The presence of a significant magnetic field for Uranus was not at all known until Voyager's 2 arrival.
The radiation belts of Uranus were found to be of an intensity similar to those of Saturn. The intensity of radiation within the Uranian belts is such that irradiation would "quickly" darken — within 100,000 years — any methane that is trapped in the icy surfaces of the inner moons and ring particles. This kind of darkening might have contributed to the darkened surfaces of the moons and the ring particles, which are almost uniformly dark gray in color.
A high layer of haze was detected around the sunlit pole of Uranus. This area was also found to radiate large amounts of ultraviolet light, a phenomenon that is called "dayglow." The average atmospheric temperature is about 60 K (−350°F/−213°C). Surprisingly, the illuminated and dark poles, and most of the planet, exhibit nearly the same temperatures at the cloud tops.
The Uranian moon Miranda, the innermost of the five large moons, was discovered to be one of the strangest bodies yet seen in the Solar System. Detailed images from Voyager 2's flyby of Miranda showed huge canyons made from geological faults as deep as 20 kilometers (12 mi), terraced layers, and a mixture of old and young surfaces. One hypothesis suggests that Miranda might consist of a reaggregation of material following an earlier event when Miranda was shattered into pieces by a violent impact.
All nine of the previously known Uranian rings were studied by the instruments of Voyager 2. These measurements showed that the Uranian rings are distinctly different from those at Jupiter and Saturn. The Uranian ring system might be relatively young, and it did not form at the same time that Uranus did. The particles that make up the rings might be the remnants of a moon that was broken up by either a high-velocity impact or torn up by tidal effects.
 Very little detail was show,This could because at one time in Uranus history it was hit by a large object knock the planet on the side. This could had shut down the power source at the core.

Flyby Neptune
Sense very little detail was show on Uranus NASA thought Neptune wouldn't show much detail but boy was they wrong Neptune unlike Uranus was a active planet.
Voyager 2's closest approach to Neptune occurred on August 25, 1989. Since this was the last planet of our Solar System that Voyager 2 could visit, the Chief Project Scientist, his staff members, and the flight controllers decided to also perform a close fly-by of Triton(the only moon except Titan to have a atmosphere) , the larger of Neptune's two originally known moons, so as to gather as much information on Neptune and Triton as possible, regardless of Voyager 2's departure angle from the planet. This was just like the case of Voyager 1's encounters with Saturn and its massive moon Titan.
Through repeated computerized test simulations of trajectories through the Neptunian system conducted in advance, flight controllers determined the best way to route Voyager 2 through the Neptune-Triton system. Since the plane of the orbit of Triton is tilted significantly with respect to the plane of the ecliptic, through mid-course corrections, Voyager 2 was directed into a path several thousand miles over the north pole of Neptune. At that time, Triton was behind and below (south of) Neptune (at an angle of about 25 degrees below the ecliptic), close to the apoapsis of its elliptical orbit. The gravitational pull of Neptune bent the trajectory of Voyager 2 down in the direction of Triton. In less than 24 hours, Voyager 2 traversed the distance between Neptune and Triton, and then observed Triton's northern hemisphere as it passed over its north pole.
The net and final effect on the trajectory of Voyager 2 was to bend its trajectory south below the plane of the ecliptic by about 30 degrees. Voyager 2 is on this path permanently, and hence, it is exploring space south of the plane of the ecliptic, measuring magnetic fields, charged particles, etc., there, and sending the measurements back to the Earth via telemetry.
While in the neighborhood of Neptune, Voyager 2 discovered the "Great Dark Spot", which has since disappeared, according to observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. Originally thought to be a large cloud itself, the "Great Dark Spot" was later hypothesized to be a hole in the visible cloud deck of Neptune.
Neptune's atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium, and methane. The methane in Neptune's upper atmosphere absorbs the red light from the Sun, but it reflects the blue light from the Sun back into space. This is why Neptune looks blue.
Voyager 1 is the same but it flyby only Jupiter and Saturn. Both space probe are still working and had pass through the Sun magnetic field and now in interstellar space.They are except to keep on work until 2020 than it power source would stop working.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hubble shows that Jupiter Red Spot is smaller than every messure!

Recent observations confirm that the Great Red Spot now is approximately 10,250 miles across!
 Jupiter’s trademark Great Red Spot — a swirling anti-cyclonic storm larger than Earth — has shrunk to its smallest size ever measured.

According to Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, recent NASA Hubble Space Telescope observations confirm that the Great Red Spot now is approximately 10,250 miles (16,500 kilometers) across. Astronomers have followed this downsizing since the 1930s.

Historic observations as far back as the late 1800s gauged the storm to be as large as 25,500 miles (41,000km) on its long axis. NASA Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 flybys of Jupiter in 1979 measured it to be 14,500 miles (23,300km) across. In 1995, a Hubble photo showed the long axis of the spot at an estimated 13,020 miles (21,000km) across. And in a 2009 photo, it was measured at 11,130 miles (17,900km) across.
 Beginning in 2012, amateur observations revealed a noticeable increase in the rate at which the spot is shrinking — by 580 miles (930km) per year — changing the shape of the Great Red Spot from an oval to a circle.

“In our new observations, it is apparent very small eddies are feeding into the storm,” said Simon. “We hypothesized these may be responsible for the accelerated change by altering the internal dynamics and energy of the Great Red Spot.”

Simon’s team plans to study the motions of the small eddies and the internal dynamics of the storm to determine whether these eddies can feed or sap momentum entering the upwelling vortex, resulting in this yet unexplained shrinkage.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The planet Mercury distance from the Sun at Perihelion 28583820mi and at Aphelion  43382210mi
It take just about 88 days for it to orbit the Sun.

File:Mercury Globe-MESSENGER mosaic centered at 0degN-0degE.jpg

Mercury is gravitationally locked and rotates in a way that is unique in the Solar System. As seen relative to the fixed stars, it rotates exactly three times for every two revolutions it makes around its orbit. As seen from the Sun, in a frame of reference that rotates with the orbital motion, it appears to rotate only once every two Mercurian years. An observer on Mercury would therefore see only one day every two years. Because  of it hard to get a space probe to Mercury because of the speed,to get the speed of the space probe fast enough to reach Mercury but  you would need a rocket to go into orbit which would add weight making it impossible to launch the space probe. There for you need to do a few flyby of Venus and a few of Mercury to slow the space probe down and for it to go into orbit around Mercury.
 Mercury was visited by 2 space probes one was called  Mariner 10 the first space probe to use gravitational "slingshot"  it was also the 1st probe to visit 2 planet,first was Venus and than 3 flyby of Mercury. Mariner 10 provided the first close-up images of Mercury's surface, which immediately showed its heavily cratered nature, and revealed many other types of geological features, such as the giant scarps which were later ascribed to the effect of the planet shrinking slightly as its iron core cools. Unfortunately, due to the length of Mariner 10's orbital period, the same face of the planet was lit at each of Mariner 10's close approaches. This made observation of both sides of the planet impossible,and resulted in the mapping of less than 45% of the planet's surface

File:Mariner 10.jpg

On March 27, 1974, two days before its first flyby of Mercury, Mariner 10's instruments began registering large amounts of unexpected ultraviolet radiation near Mercury. This led to the tentative identification of Mercury's moon. Shortly afterward, the source of the excess UV was identified as the star 31 Crateris, and Mercury's moon passed into astronomy's history books as a footnote.
The spacecraft made three close approaches to Mercury, the closest of which took it to within 327 km of the surface. At the first close approach, instruments detected a magnetic field, to the great surprise of planetary geologists—Mercury's rotation was expected to be much too slow to generate a significant dynamo effect. The second close approach was primarily used for imaging, but at the third approach, extensive magnetic data were obtained. The data revealed that the planet's magnetic field is much like the Earth's, which deflects the solar wind around the planet. The origin of Mercury's magnetic field is still the subject of several competing theories.
On March 24, 1975, just eight days after its final close approach, Mariner 10 ran out of fuel. Because its orbit could no longer be accurately controlled, mission controllers instructed the probe to shut down. Mariner 10 is thought to be still orbiting the Sun, passing close to Mercury every few months.
The next space probe is called Messenger( MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging)
 File:MESSENGER - spacecraft at mercury - atmercury lg.jpg
 A second NASA mission to Mercury, named MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging), was launched on August 3, 2004, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket. It made a fly-by of the Earth in August 2005, and of Venus in October 2006 and June 2007 to place it onto the correct trajectory to reach an orbit around Mercury. A first fly-by of Mercury occurred on January 14, 2008, a second on October 6, 2008, and a third on September 29, 2009. Most of the hemisphere not imaged by Mariner 10 has been mapped during these fly-bys. The probe successfully entered an elliptical orbit around the planet on March 18, 2011. The first orbital image of Mercury was obtained on March 29, 2011. The probe finished a one-year mapping mission,and then entered a one-year extended mission into 2013. In addition to continued observations and mapping of Mercury, MESSENGER observed the 2012 solar maximum.
The mission is designed to clear up six key issues: Mercury's high density, its geological history, the nature of its magnetic field, the structure of its core, whether it has ice at its poles, and where its tenuous atmosphere comes from. To this end, the probe is carrying imaging devices which will gather much higher resolution images of much more of the planet than Mariner 10, assorted spectrometers to determine abundances of elements in the crust, and magnetometers and devices to measure velocities of charged particles. Detailed measurements of tiny changes in the probe's velocity as it orbits will be used to infer details of the planet's interior structure.
In November 2011, NASA announced that the MESSENGER mission would be extended by one year, allowing the spacecraft to observe the 2012 solar maximum. Its extended mission began on March 17, 2012, and continued until March 17, 2013. Between April 16 and April 20, 2012, MESSENGER carried out a series of thruster manoeuvres, placing it in an eight-hour orbit to conduct further scans of Mercury.
In November 2012, NASA reported that MESSENGER had discovered both water ice and organic compounds in permanently shadowed craters in Mercury's north pole. In February 2013, NASA published the most detailed and accurate 3D map of Mercury to date, assembled from thousands of images taken by MESSENGER. MESSENGER completed its extended mission on March 17, 2013, and is now awaiting approval for a second mission extension.In November 2013, MESSENGER imaged both Comet Encke (2P/Encke) and Comet ISON (C/2012 S1).A fleet of space assets collected data on Comet ISON.

Mercury's surface is very similar in appearance to that of the Moon, showing extensive mare-like plains and heavy cratering, indicating that it has been geologically inactive for billions of years. Because our knowledge of Mercury's geology has been based on the 1975 Mariner flyby and terrestrial observations, it is the least understood of the terrestrial planets. As data from the recent MESSENGER flyby is processed this knowledge will increase. For example, an unusual crater with radiating troughs has been discovered that scientists called "the spider". It later received the name Apollodorus.
Albedo features are areas of markedly different reflectivity, as seen by telescopic observation. Mercury possesses dorsa (also called "wrinkle-ridges"), Moon-like highlands, montes (mountains), planitiae (plains), rupes (escarpments), and valles (valleys).
Names for features on Mercury come from a variety of sources. Names coming from people are limited to the deceased. Craters are named for artists, musicians, painters, and authors who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field. Ridges, or dorsa, are named for scientists who have contributed to the study of Mercury. Depressions or fossae are named for works of architecture. Montes are named for the word "hot" in a variety of languages. Plains or planitiae are named for Mercury in various languages. Escarpments or rupēs are named for ships of scientific expeditions. Valleys or valles are named for radio telescope facilities.
Mercury was heavily bombarded by comets and asteroids during and shortly following its formation 4.6 billion years ago, as well as during a possibly separate subsequent episode called the late heavy bombardment that came to an end 3.8 billion years ago. During this period of intense crater formation, the planet received impacts over its entire surface,facilitated by the lack of any atmosphere to slow impactors down. During this time the planet was volcanically active; basins such as the Caloris Basin were filled by magma, producing smooth plains similar to the maria found on the Moon.
Data from the October 2008 flyby of MESSENGER gave researchers a greater appreciation for the jumbled nature of Mercury's surface. Mercury's surface is more heterogeneous than either Mars or the Moon, both of which contain significant stretches of similar geology, such as maria and plateaus. 
Craters on Mercury range in diameter from small bowl-shaped cavities to multi-ringed impact basins hundreds of kilometers across. They appear in all states of degradation, from relatively fresh rayed craters to highly degraded crater remnants. Mercurian craters differ subtly from lunar craters in that the area blanketed by their ejecta is much smaller, a consequence of Mercury's stronger surface gravity. According to IAU rules, each new crater must be named after an artist that was famous for more than fifty years, and dead for more than three years, before the date the crater is named.
The largest known crater is Caloris Basin, with a diameter of 1,550 km. The impact that created the Caloris Basin was so powerful that it caused lava eruptions and left a concentric ring over 2 km tall surrounding the impact crater. At the antipode of the Caloris Basin is a large region of unusual, hilly terrain known as the "Weird Terrain". One hypothesis for its origin is that shock waves generated during the Caloris impact traveled around the planet, converging at the basin's antipode (180 degrees away). The resulting high stresses fractured the surface. Alternatively, it has been suggested that this terrain formed as a result of the convergence of ejecta at this basin's antipode.Overall, about 15 impact basins have been identified on the imaged part of Mercury. A notable basin is the 400 km wide, multi-ring Tolstoj Basin that has an ejecta blanket extending up to 500 km from its rim and a floor that has been filled by smooth plains materials. Beethoven Basin has a similar-sized ejecta blanket and a 625 km diameter rim. Like the Moon, the surface of Mercury has likely incurred the effects of space weathering processes, including Solar wind and micrometeorite impacts.
There are two geologically distinct plains regions on Mercury. Gently rolling, hilly plains in the regions between craters are Mercury's oldest visible surfaces, predating the heavily cratered terrain. These inter-crater plains appear to have obliterated many earlier craters, and show a general paucity of smaller craters below about 30 km in diameter. It is not clear whether they are of volcanic or impact origin.The inter-crater plains are distributed roughly uniformly over the entire surface of the planet.
Smooth plains are widespread flat areas that fill depressions of various sizes and bear a strong resemblance to the lunar maria. Notably, they fill a wide ring surrounding the Caloris Basin. Unlike lunar maria, the smooth plains of Mercury have the same albedo as the older inter-crater plains. Despite a lack of unequivocally volcanic characteristics, the localization and rounded, lobate shape of these plains strongly support volcanic origins.All the Mercurian smooth plains formed significantly later than the Caloris basin, as evidenced by appreciably smaller crater densities than on the Caloris ejecta blanket. The floor of the Caloris Basin is filled by a geologically distinct flat plain, broken up by ridges and fractures in a roughly polygonal pattern. It is not clear whether they are volcanic lavas induced by the impact, or a large sheet of impact melt.
One unusual feature of the planet's surface is the numerous compression folds, or rupes, that crisscross the plains. As the planet's interior cooled, it may have contracted and its surface began to deform, creating these features. The folds can be seen on top of other features, such as craters and smoother plains, indicating that the folds are more recent. Mercury's surface is flexed by significant tidal bulges raised by the Sun—the Sun's tides on Mercury are about 17 times stronger than the Moon's on Earth. Exosphere of Mercury
Mercury is too small and hot for its gravity to retain any significant atmosphere over long periods of time; it does have a "tenuous surface-bounded exosphere" containing hydrogen, helium, oxygen, sodium, calcium, potassium and others. This exosphere is not stable—atoms are continuously lost and replenished from a variety of sources. Hydrogen and helium atoms probably come from the solar wind, diffusing into Mercury's magnetosphere before later escaping back into space. Radioactive decay of elements within Mercury's crust is another source of helium, as well as sodium and potassium. MESSENGER found high proportions of calcium, helium, hydroxide, magnesium, oxygen, potassium, silicon and sodium. Water vapor is present, released by a combination of processes such as: comets striking its surface, sputtering creating water out of hydrogen from the solar wind and oxygen from rock, and sublimation from reservoirs of water ice in the permanently shadowed polar craters. The detection of high amounts of water-related ions like O+, OH, and H2O+ was a surprise. Because of the quantities of these ions that were detected in Mercury's space environment, scientists surmise that these molecules were blasted from the surface or exosphere by the solar wind.
Sodium, potassium and calcium were discovered in the atmosphere during the 1980–1990s, and are believed to result primarily from the vaporization of surface rock struck by micrometeorite impacts.]In 2008 magnesium was discovered by MESSENGER probe.Studies indicate that, at times, sodium emissions are localized at points that correspond to the planet's magnetic poles. This would indicate an interaction between the magnetosphere and the planet's surface.
On November 29, 2012, NASA confirmed that images from MESSENGER had detected that craters at the north pole contained water ice. Sean C. Solomon was quoted in the New York Times as estimating the volume of the ice as large enough to "encase Washington, D.C., in a frozen block two and a half miles deep. Mercury has a significant, and apparently global, magnetic field. According to measurements taken by Mariner 10, it is about 1.1% as strong as the Earth's.Unlike Earth, Mercury's poles are nearly aligned with the planet's spin axis.Measurements from both the Mariner 10 and MESSENGER space probes have indicated that the strength and shape of the magnetic field are stable.
It is likely that this magnetic field is generated by way of a dynamo effect, in a manner similar to the magnetic field of Earth.This dynamo effect would result from the circulation of the planet's iron-rich liquid core. Particularly strong tidal effects caused by the planet's high orbital eccentricity would serve to keep the core in the liquid state necessary for this dynamo effect.
Mercury's magnetic field is strong enough to deflect the solar wind around the planet, creating a magnetosphere. The planet's magnetosphere, though small enough to fit within the Earth, is strong enough to trap solar wind plasma. This contributes to the space weathering of the planet's surface.Observations taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft detected this low energy plasma in the magnetosphere of the planet's nightside. Bursts of energetic particles were detected in the planet's magnetotail, which indicates a dynamic quality to the planet's magnetosphere.
During its second flyby of the planet on October 6, 2008, MESSENGER discovered that Mercury's magnetic field can be extremely "leaky". The spacecraft encountered magnetic "tornadoes" – twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting the planetary magnetic field to interplanetary space – that were up to 800 km wide or a third of the radius of the planet. These "tornadoes" form when magnetic fields carried by the solar wind connect to Mercury's magnetic field. As the solar wind blows past Mercury's field, these joined magnetic fields are carried with it and twist up into vortex-like structures. These twisted magnetic flux tubes, technically known as flux transfer events, form open windows in the planet's magnetic shield through which the solar wind may enter and directly impact Mercury's surface.
The process of linking interplanetary and planetary magnetic fields, called magnetic reconnection, is common throughout the cosmos. It occurs in Earth's magnetic field, where it generates magnetic tornadoes as well. The MESSENGER observations show the reconnection rate is ten times higher at Mercury. Mercury's proximity to the Sun only accounts for about a third of the reconnection rate observed by MESSENGER.