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Philae Lander Touches Down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta Comet Mission Could Change Science Forever
Rosetta Fuels Debate on Origin of Earth's Oceans: The Rosetta spacecraft has found the water vapour from its target comet to be significantly different to that found on Earth. The discovery fuels the debate on the origin of our planet's oceans.
Rosetta Orbiter Continues Into Its Full Science Phase: With the Philae landerís mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer to our Sun.
Philae Completes Main Mission Before Hibernation: Just prior to depleting its batteries and falling silent, Philae returned science data from its instruments, including ROLIS, COSAC, Ptolemy, SD2 and CONSERT, completing the measurements planned for the final block of experiments on the comet's surface.
How (And Where) Is Philae?: Many of Philae's key instruments have been activated and are autonomously running while the lander is out of radio contact with the Rosetta orbiter. Collecting their precious data hinges on the state of Philae's exhausting batteries when Rosetta's orbit returns it above the comet's horizon.
Philae Lander Is Frantically Doing Improvised Science As Its Batteries Die: Less than two days after its historic landing, Rosetta's probe may be reaching its final hours, and the scientific team is racing to collect as much data as possible before Philae's batteries run out. It's do or die, and at this point there's very little to lose in terms of its lifespan.
Philae's Battery Might Die Soon: The lander isn't getting enough light to recharge its pack.
Comet Lander Stuck against Bottom of Shady Cliff: Philae's solar panels will get just three hours of light per day, hindering Philae's science goals.
Rosetta: Concerns For Comet Lander After Uneven Landing: After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life. After two bounces, the first one about 1km back out into space, the lander settled in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its target site.
Three Touchdowns For Rosetta's Lander: The lander remains unanchored to the surface at an as yet undetermined orientation. The science instruments are running and are delivering images and data, helping the team to learn more about the final landing site.
Rosetta: Waiting Game After Comet Lander Glitch: Data indicates that the Philae lander may have bounced twice, taking a full two hours to come to a rest.
Philae Lander Stable on Comet, for Now: Philae seems to have landed, bounced and then settled back down again, even though its harpoons apparently failed to secure the craft to the surface.
Philae Lander Touches Down On Comet 67P: Philae has landed. The Rosetta orbiter on Wednesday 11.12.14 dropped a spidery, three-legged robot the size of a small refrigerator and watched as it tentatively set down on a comet - the first time that the surface of these primordial balls of dust and ice has ever been explored.
- Alone No More
- Martian Meteorite ALH84001 Harbinger of Extraterrestrial Life
- Check out Bob's Martian Touchdown - A Rockhound's Cosmic Encounter with Three Extraterrestrials
- Curiosity on Mars
- The Landing: Another Small Step for Man - A Giant Leap for Robot Kind
- The Landing Site: The Geological Jackpot at Gale Crater
- Curiosity: The Escalade of Mars Rovers
- The Science Payload: Rock Zappers and the Search for Biosignatures
- Want to Know More? References and Further Reading
Picture Perfect Proof That Mars Once Had Wet Seasons: Curiosity has imaged cross-bedded sandstones at the edge of a location called Hidden Valley, providing compelling photographic evidence there were regular cycles of water carrying plumes of river sediments flowing into the lake which once filled Gale crater.
Curiosity Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars: Curiosity has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory's drill. This temporary increase in methane - sharply up and then back down - indicates there must be some relatively localized source.
NASA Goddard Instrument Makes First Detection of Organic Matter on Mars: The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Curiosity rover has made the first definitive detection of organic molecules at Mars. The organic molecules were detected in a drilled sample of the Sheepbed mudstone in Gale crater, the landing site for the Curiosity rover.
Curiosity Finds Clues to How Water Helped Shape Martian Landscape: Observations by Curiosity indicate Mars' Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years. This interpretation of Curiosity's finds in Gale Crater suggests ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the Red Planet.
Second Time Through, Curiosity Examines Chosen Rocks: Curiosity has completed a reconnaissance "walkabout" of the first outcrop it reached at the base of Mount Sharp and has begun a second pass examining selected rocks in the outcrop in more detail.
Curiosity Finds Mineral Match: Reddish rock powder from the first hole drilled into Mount Sharp by Curiosity has yielded the mission's first confirmation of hematite mapped from orbit. The sample is only partially oxidized, and preservation of magnetite and olivine indicates a gradient of oxidation levels which could have provided a chemical energy source for microbes.
Rover Drill Pulls First Taste From Mount Sharp: Curiosity has collected its first taste of the layered mountain whose scientific allure drew the mission to choose this part of Mars as a landing site. The rover's hammering drill chewed about 2.6 inches deep into a basal-layer outcrop on Mount Sharp and collected a powdered-rock sample.
Curiosity Arrives at Mount Sharp: Curiosity has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination. Curiosity is starting this process at an entry point near an outcrop called Pahrump Hills, rather than continuing on to the previously-planned, further entry point known as Murray Buttes.
More Curiosity in the News
|Opportunity Rover Mission Updates:
|December 19, 2014:
|| Rover No-Flash Mode
|December 11, 2014:
|| Flash-Memory Resets Continue
|December 03, 2014:
|| Flash-Memory Reformat Planned
|November 27, 2014:
|| Giving Thanks for Opportunity's Great Work!
|November 19, 2014:
|| Marathon Driving to Marathon Valley
|November 11, 2014:
|| Several Drives Push Opportunity Over 41-Kilometer Mark!
|November 07, 2014:
|| Dust Levels Back to Normal
|October 30, 2014:
|| Dust Storm Watch
|October 27, 2014:
|| Opportunity Snaps Images of Comet Siding Spring
|October 02, 2014:
|| Opportunity Preps for Comet Siding Spring Encounter
Rocks in the News
Moon's Magnetic Heart Still A Mystery: Today, the Moon has no global magnetic field. But billions of years ago the Moon had a magnetic field much stronger than the Earth does now.
Prehistoric Platypus-like Reptile Uncovered: A bizarre 248-million-year-old fossil of a prehistoric platypus-like species of marine reptile with a short neck and duck-like beak has been discovered by paleontologists in China. Although it's a very different animal, Eohupehsuchus brevicollis had a skull and beak like a duck without teeth, a very heavily built body with thick bones, and paddles to swim through the water.
Researchers Confirm That Fracking Caused Ohio's Earthquake Swarm: Poland Township, in northeastern Ohio, never used to experience any seismic activity. But that was before the fracking started.
The Geology Of Middle-Earth: Since the release of "The Fellowship of the Ring" in 2001, millions of tourists have flocked to the Southern Hemisphere to see "The Lord of the Rings" movie backdrops for themselves. Just as enthralling as Tolkienís mythical prehistory is another, considerably longer epic tale of the geology of New Zealand's landscape, which formed over hundreds of millions of years.
New, Tighter Timeline Confirms Ancient Volcanism Aligned With Dinosaurs' Extinction: A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive eruptions 66 million years ago in a primeval volcanic range in western India known as the Deccan Traps played a role in the extinction event that claimed Earth's non-avian dinosaurs, and challenges the dominant theory that a meteorite impact was the sole cause of the extinction.
Where In the World Are The Fossil Fuels That Cannot Be Burned To Restrain Global Warming?: Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. cannot burn much of the coal, oil and gas located within their national territories if the world wants to restrain global warming.
Which Fossil Fuel Reserves Must Stay In The Ground To Avoid Dangerous Climate Change?: According to new research, a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2įC target agreed by policy makers.
Study Casts Doubt On Mammoth-killing Cosmic Impact: New research indicates that rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago. A study of soil from Syria is the latest to discredit the controversial theory that a cosmic impact triggered the Younger Dryas cold period.
Eight New Planets Found In 'Goldilocks' Zone: Astronomers have announced the discovery of eight new planets in the "Goldilocks" zone of their stars, orbiting at a distance where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface, doubling the number of small planets believed to be in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Among these eight, two are the most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.
Fly-By View Of Europa's Stunning Surface: Located deep under the frozen crust of Jupiter's moon Europa is a global ocean containing more water than on all of Earth. On Earth whereever there's water there is life, and the question that fascinates scientists is whether the same could be true on Europa.
More Rocks in the News
Utah Goblin Topplers Sentenced To Probation : Glenn Tuck Taylor and David Benjamin Hall may have to shell out thousands to pay for warning signs telling future visitors to Goblin Valley State Park to leave the rocks alone. The men were sentenced to a year of probation without jail time and payment of restitution after pleading guilty to knocking over an ancient rock formation in the state park.
Ex-Boy Scout Leaders Charged With Felonies: It just took a little push to topple the delicately perched boulder - millions of years in the making - in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park. Then the man who did it laughed, high-fived his son, and flexed his muscles while being cheered on by a fellow Boy Scout leader. He is not likely celebrating now, nor is his friend who videotaped then publicized the episode, after both were charged with third-degree felonies.
Boy Scouts Toss 2 Leaders Who Knocked Over Goblin: A northern Utah Boy Scouts council has announced that former Boy Scout leaders Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall will no longer be allowed to lead scouting troops as a result of their vandalism of Goblin Valley State Park.
Boy Scout Leaders Destroy Ancient Formation In Utah's Goblin Valley: Boy Scout and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth leaders Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor are potentially facing felony charges for destroying a rock formation nearly 200 million years old. The trio of vandals was adventuring in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park when they decided to film themselves knocking over one of the formations, known as "Goblins."
- Drilling Down Into The Deepwater Horizon Disaster
- What Happens When British Petroleum Executives Spill Coffee
- What Happens When British Petroleum Funds Congressional Election Campaigns
- Why This Is Going To Happen Again...
- Letters to the Editor
- Say NO to Akaka Governed Public Land: A bitter legislative battle is raging over collecting fossils on public lands.
- Chambers Fit For A Queen - A Quest For English Ammonites
- Rock&Gem Feature Article
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- Bingham Canyon Copper - Finding Chalcopyrite at "The Richest Hole on Earth"
- Rockhound in Greece - A Great Destination for Geology... and Humanity
- Honoring Mr. Jones - Our Senior Editor Gets What He Deserves
- Faceting Fascinates - With an Experienced Guide, You, Too, Can Bring Gemstones to Life!
- Tonopah and Goldfield - They Were the Hub of Nevada's Gold Rush
- Agates from the Land of Pumas and Craters
- Mexico's Mystery Stone
- A Lesson in Channel Work
- New England Pegmatites: They Have Been Mined Since America's Earliest Days
- Turquoise: Blue Sky...Blue Stone
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- Software for Rockhounds
- Mineral Database and Identification Software: Photo Atlas of Minerals - Lithos - MinSearch - MDI Mineral Database - Geolib - Topaz - Minrls - Digital Rockhound's Companion
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- GemCad: Gemstone Design Software
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- RockWare Freeware: Erupt - GeoTrig - Mineral Mastery - Seismic - Magnetic
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- Rock Identification Key
- A Beginner's Guide and Key to Help You Identify and Put a Name on That Rock!
- Learn to ID and Distinguish Basalt, Diabase, Diorite, Gabbro, Granite, Obsidian, Pumice, Rhyolite, Scoria, Gneiss, Marble, Quartzite, Schist, Serpentinite, Slate, Breccia, Conglomerate, Limestone, Sandstone, Shale...
- Mineral Identification Key
- An Online Guide and Key to Aid in the Identification of Field Collected Mineral Specimens
- Covering Several Hundred of the Most Commonly Occurring and Collected Species
- Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems
- An Illustrated, Nine-Part Primer on Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems
- Mineral Nomenclature: Naming New Minerals
- So You've Discovered a New Mineral and Want to Name It "Spottite" After Your Dog...
- Changes In Mineralogical Nomenclature: Varieties
- Why Rock Scientists Won't Understand the Question When You Ask "What mineral is amethyst a variety of"?
- Grand Hikes
- A Virtual Tour and Rockhound's Hiking Guide for the Grand Canyon
- Stromatolite Fossils in the Hakatai Shale - A Day Hike from Phantom Ranch
- Comanche Point Vicinity - An Overnight Hike to Spectacular Grand Canyon Supergroup Views
- Genesis V2.0 - God's Grand Work Week - A Grand Canyon Geology Primer
- The 1869 Expedition - An Account of the First Grand Canyon Float Trip
- Grand Hikes Screen Saver V1.0 - A Complimentary Grand Canyon Screen Saver
- Bob's Grand Canyon Backcountry Equipment Checklist - Don't Leave Home Without It!
- A Faceted Gemstone Design for CZ Inspired by the Pleiadians - Designed by Bob Keller
- Perfect Transfer
- Interested in Faceting? Check Out this Feature for Faceters!
- Featured Cut: Defibrillator I - A Heart for Your Sweetheart
- Gateway to Gemstone Designs on the Internet - Download Over 300 Faceting Diagrams with Cutting Instructions!
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- Currently Featured Article: A Graphical Presentation of Brightness in the Standard Round Brilliant
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- Sworn to Fun
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- Featured Articles by John Betts
||Advice for Beginners
Anthony's Nose, New York
A Field Guide to Mineral Collectors
Mineral Prices: Why so High?
|Dealing with Dealers
Largest Mineral Crystals on Record
Display Lighting of Minerals
- The Great Fresnoite Discovery of 1998
- Scott's Big Score in California's San Benito Mountains
- Rockhounding Graves Mountain
- Collecting Rutile and Other Minerals at this Famous Georgia Locality
- Collecting at the Bunker Hill Mine
- Ron and Rose-Marie's Most Excellent Bunker Hill Mine Adventure
- Gypsum Rosettes
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- Micromounter's Mecca
- A Visit to the Micromounter's Swap Room at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
- Check Out Tim Jokela's The Top Ten Reasons to Get Into Micromounting
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- Interested in Rolling Your Own?
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- An Introduction to the Feldspar Minerals by Anita D. Westlake
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- Winners competed for custom specimen mounting, mineral specimens, rockhound magazine and newsletter subscriptions, specimen labeling and mineral database software and more... These and other outstanding entries will also be featured in a new version of the Shop's ever popular freeware specimen image screen saver!
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