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Tom's Astronomy Blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:05:25 +0000


Two New Moons?

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:05:25 +0000

Could the data from the Voyager spacecraft still be providing discoveries?  Yes indeed! Credits: NASA/Erich Karkoschka (Univ. Arizona) From NASA: NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus 30 years ago, but researchers are still making discoveries from the data it gathered then. A new study led by University of Idaho researchers suggests there could be […]

Summer Skies on Saturn

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 05:06:40 +0000

Be sure the click the image to get the larger version. The original caption: These two natural color images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft show the changing appearance of Saturn’s north polar region between 2012 and 2016. Scientists are investigating potential causes for the change in color of the region inside the north-polar hexagon on Saturn. […]

Expedition Docks to ISS

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:14:01 +0000

A busy week in space. Video

Schiaparelli Found?

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 13:45:14 +0000

These “before and after” images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probably show Schiaparelli test lander. Initial reports show the thrusters did activate but failed at some point. We will know quite a lot more fairly soon. The decent data has been downlinked and is being studied. I am hearing reports the lander fell from 2 […]

Juno’s Latest

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 05:05:04 +0000

NASA’s caption: This composite image depicts Jupiter’s cloud formations as seen through the eyes of Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) instrument as compared to the top layer, a Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem image of the planet. The MWR can see a couple of hundred miles (kilometers) into Jupiter’s atmosphere with its largest antenna. The belts and […]


Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:05:48 +0000

Yes another launch to the International Space Station, this one from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Two very quick flights to the ISS, but there was another (3rd launch) in the past few days. China launched Tiangong-2 and is well on the path to having a manned space station. AND by the way, along with […]

Where’s Schiaparelli?

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:41:28 +0000

I don’t want to even consider the worst. I’m not encouraged by the latest news.

Juno Update

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:04:43 +0000

The Juno spacecraft is about to make a close pass at Jupiter (19 Oct) and there was scheduled a engine burn in order to change the spacecraft’s orbit. The burn is not going to happen as scheduled.  There is an issue involving the engine being investigated and more time is needed for evaluation. The “burn” […]

Fireball Sighting

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:30:10 +0000

No I did not see the fireball in the image which actually comes from NASA and the Astronomy Picture of the Day in 2009. I picked this image because it is quite similar to the one I did see this morning (05:48 EDT). I was traveling north in a very foggy New England, and all […]

Orbital ATK CRS-5 Launch Retry

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:00:49 +0000

The launch delayed due to an Atlantic storm is on for later today. The Cygnus cargoship loaded with 5,100 lbs / 2,313 kg of materials for the ISS will hopefully launch at 19:40 EDT / 23:40 UTC. I will try to post a live link about an hour or so before launch. If you miss […]