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Beyond Earth Orbit

News and views from the final frontier

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End of this chapter

This site has now been archived and will no-longer be updated or monitored.  It was produced as an assessment project for ‘Science Communication and the Web’ at The Australian National University’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science.

-Ben-

XKCD offers a helping hand

 The very clever folks at XKCD have put together this map, highlighting some of the features scientists have already identified on the Plutonian surface!

[Very, very tongue-in-cheek.]

Source: http://xkcd.com/1551/

http://24live.co/6Ft

Latest image of Pluto, courtesy of New Scientist!

Here’s Pluto Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!

Great photo and post by Jason Major of the Lights in the Dark blog.

Lights in the Dark

Pluto and Charon from 7.8 million km (4.5 million miles) on July 7, 2015. (Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute. Edited by J. Major.)Pluto and Charon from 7.8 million km (4.5 million miles) on July 7, 2015. (Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute. Edited by J. Major.)

…no, really. There hasn’t been an image this detailed of Pluto and its moon Charon in pretty much EVER. (Which makes total sense since New Horizons is the FIRST spacecraft to visit it and it has less than a week and .05 AU  to go until its closest pass!) So actually everything you’ll see of Pluto and Charon from now on will be like never before.

That said, this view of the two worlds – captured by the LORRI camera on July 7 – is simply incredible! It’s hard to believe that we are now seeing such detail on a 1,430-mile-wide (2,302 km) planet that had been for so long just a point of light or, at best, a murky blob in our…

View original post 30 more words

You can’t keep a good rover down

This brilliant time-lapse video chronicles the Mars Opportunity rover’s first 11 years of service to science!

‘Opportunity’ and its sibling ‘Spirit‘ touched down on Mars in January 2004 with a planned 90-sol (about 92 Earth days) mission.  Spirit fell silent in 2010 after becoming stuck in soft soil 10 months prior.

Opportunity has exceeded its original mission duration by 40 times, and is still carrying on.

The Energizer Bunny wishes it was Opportunity!

Welcome

Hello and welcome to Beyond Earth Orbit – a blog devoted to space exploration in the Solar System and beyond.

It’s an exciting time in space exploration, with NASA’s New Horizons probe due to give us our first ever close-up look at the dwarf planet Pluto in July 2015.  The European Space Agency’s Rosetta orbiter and Philae lander are travelling with comet 67p/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it closes on its closest approach to the Sun in August.

The Mars Science Laboratory, also known as the Curiosity rover, meanwhile, continues to make amazing discoveries in Gale Crater on the red planet.

This blog will bring you news and pictures of these missions as they break.

Comments and feedback are welcomed.

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