Planetary systems

FILE- This Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, file image made available by NASA shows the Kuiper belt object Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, encountered by the New Horizons spacecraft. New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away. Scientists say the object is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP, File)
February 11, 2019 - 1:36 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a surprisingly flat — not round — behind. New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away. The two-lobed object, nicknamed...
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In this photo provided Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.(China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
January 03, 2019 - 12:13 pm
BEIJING (AP) — China's burgeoning space program achieved a lunar milestone on Thursday: landing a probe on the mysterious and misnamed "dark" side of the moon. Exploring the cosmos from that far side of the moon, which people can't see from Earth, could eventually help scientists learn more about...
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This image made available by NASA on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 shows images with separate color and detail information, and a composited image of both, showing Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. The New Horizons spacecraft encountered it on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (NASA via AP)
January 03, 2019 - 12:25 am
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft 4 billion miles from Earth yielded its first close-up pictures Wednesday of the most distant celestial object ever explored, depicting what looks like a reddish snowman. Ultima Thule, as the small, icy object has been dubbed, was found to consist of two fused-...
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In this photo provided by NASA, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., center, celebrates with school children at the exact moment that the New Horizons spacecraft made the closest approach of Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, early Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
January 01, 2019 - 1:03 pm
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has survived the most distant exploration of another world, a tiny, icy object 4 billion miles away that looks to be shaped like a peanut or bowling pin. Word of success came 10 hours after the middle-of-the-night encounter, once flight controllers...
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December 17, 2018 - 1:23 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have spotted the farthest known object in our solar system — and they've nicknamed the pink cosmic body "Farout." The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center announced the discovery Monday. "Farout" (pronounced far-out) is about 120...
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FILE - This is a handout photo from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Passadena, Calif., showing the Voyager spacecraft. NASA's Voyager 2 has become only the second human-made object to reach the space between stars. NASA said Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 that Voyager 2 exited the region of the sun's influence last month. The spacecraft is now beyond the outer boundary of the heliosphere, some 11 billion miles from Earth. . (Jet Propulsion Lab via AP, File)
December 10, 2018 - 11:17 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA's Voyager 2 has become only the second human-made object to reach the space between stars. NASA said Monday that Voyager 2 exited the region of the sun's influence last month. The spacecraft is now beyond the outer boundary of the heliosphere, some 11 billion miles from Earth...
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FILE - This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. This composite photo was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. In our solar system family, Mars is Earth’s next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow on Monday, Nov. 26 with the arrival of a NASA lander named InSight. (NASA via AP, File)
November 24, 2018 - 2:36 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — In our solar system family, Mars is Earth's next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow with Monday's arrival of a NASA lander named InSight. InSight should provide our best look yet at Mars' deep interior...
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This illustration made available by NASA shows the Kepler Space Telescope. As of October 2018, the planet-hunting spacecraft has been in space for nearly a decade. (NASA via AP)
October 30, 2018 - 2:16 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope's demise Tuesday. Already well past its expected lifetime, the 9 1/2-year-old Kepler had been running low on fuel...
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This Oct. 3, 2018 image taken at an altitude of about 25 meter by Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCAT)'s camera and provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The dot at top right is the silhouette of MASCAT. Japan’s space agency is delaying a spacecraft touchdown on an asteroid as scientists need more time to find a safe landing site on the extremely rocky surface. (MASCOT, DLR, JAXA via AP)
October 12, 2018 - 10:39 am
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency is delaying a spacecraft touchdown on an asteroid because scientists need more time to find a safe landing site on the extremely rocky surface. The spacecraft Hayabusa2 left Earth in 2014 and traveled 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) to the area of...
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FILE - This April 3, 2017 image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter. A team of astronomers is reporting the recent discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet. That brings the number of moons at Jupiter to 79, the most of any planet. The astronomers were looking for objects on the fringes of the solar system when they spotted the Jupiter moons. They found a dozen small moons. The confirmation of 10 was announced Tuesday, July 17, 2018; two were confirmed earlier. They’re calling one moon an ‘oddball’ because of its unusual orbit. (NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (GSFC) via AP, File)
July 17, 2018 - 9:47 am
NEW YORK (AP) — It's getting more crowded around Jupiter. A team of astronomers is reporting the discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet. That brings the number of moons at Jupiter to 79, the most of any planet. Saturn is next with 61. The astronomers were looking for objects...
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