Vesta up close (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA) It's an exciting time for solar system exploration. NASA's Dawn mission has now entered into an orbit around the minor planet known as Vesta, a 500km diameter chunk of rock and who-knows-what-else that orbits the Sun beyond Mars and in the classical asteroid belt.
These are two posts from the Life, Unbounded archives. They were written in April and May 2010. Around that time there was a lot of media noise about aliens - brought on in part by Stephen Hawking's comments about fearsome "nomadic" lifeforms that might roam the universe.
Shuttle mission STS-118 (NASA) This is not exactly the normal kind of post on Life, Unbounded , but there's good reason for it.Our species of peculiarly upright, lurching, yabbering, fidgeting, opposing thumb creatures has managed to claw its way through time to arrive at a very special point.
Storm on Saturn (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI) Oh weather; a joy, a pain, the making of a beautiful day or a miserable evening. Our planetary environment is constantly shuffling through a deck of thermodynamic cards and local conditions reflect a small part of the resultant lofting, pouring, steaming, streaming and meandering of atmospheric contents.
If there is anything that is predictable about planetary science it is the unpredictability. One of the best examples of this trait has been the remarkable story of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
On December 24th, 1968 the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to bear direct witness to our planet, the Earth, rising above the horizon of another world.
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