From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics.
Even the lander’s missteps generated valuable data
Back in February these pages discussed a newly discovered long-period comet, ISON (otherwise known as C/2012 s1), that is falling sunwards for what is probably its first passage through the inner solar system later this year – on a beautiful near parabolic orbit.
The “exocomets” swarming around Beta Pictoris mirror those seen in our own solar system, but for a few surprising differences.
Asteroid and comet impacts could have destroyed some habitats for life while also creating new ones for bacteria
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has now released the first narrow-angle color composite image of Comet 67P – taken through a set of red, green, and blue filters.
Prolific comet hunter Terry Lovejoy shares his secrets
In the Enuma Elish, a Babylonian epic that recounts the creation of the world, the heavens and the Earth emerge from a primordial abyss of brackish water.
NASA knows, and it maintains active archives of these data. Here are maps for the positions of known natural objects in the inner, outer and distant solar system in January 2016