Curiosity Rover Laser rover39s laser instrument zaps first martian rock nasas Laser Rover Curiosity

Curiosity Rover Laser rover39s laser instrument zaps first martian rock nasas Laser Rover Curiosity

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Interesting facts about space.

"Since time immemorial, humanity has looked up and wondered what made the man in the Moon. We know the dark splotches are large, lava-filled, impact basins that were created by asteroid impacts about four billion years ago. GRAIL data indicate that both the near side and the far side of the Moon were bombarded by similarly large impactors, but they reacted to them much differently," noted Dr. Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, in a November 7, 2013 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Press Release. Dr. Zuber is of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The JPL is located in Pasadena, California.



and here is another

Several possibilities could provide an answer as to why the moon would have charcoal-black surface patches, even though it is circling a dwarf planet that is as bright as freshly fallen snow. One theory that has been suggested proposes that, unlike larger objects such as Makemake, its own little companion moon is so small that it cannot gravitationally keep a grip onto a bright and icy crust, which then sublimates, undergoing a sea-change from solid to gas under the melting influence of warming sunlight. This would make the little moon akin to comets and other KBOs, many of which are well-coated with very dark material.



and finally

Astronomers are still debating Titan's origin. However, its intriguing atmosphere does provide a hint. Several instruments aboard the Huygens spacecraft measured the isotopes nitrogen-14 and nitrogen-15 in Titan's atmosphere. The instruments revealed that Titan's nitrogen isotope ratio most closely resembles that seen in comets that exist in the remote Oort Cloud--which is a sphere composed of hundreds of billions of icy comet nuclei that circle our Star at the amazing distance of between 5,000 and 100,000 AU. This shell of icy objects extends half way to the nearest star beyond our own Sun.

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The paper from planetary scientists with the Cassini mission, published in the journal Science, suggests hydrogen gas, which could potentially provide a chemical energy source for living tidbits, is gushing into the subsurface global ocean of Enceladus from hydrothermal vents on the seafloor of this distant ice-world.



The hydrothermal vents on Earth's seafloor shoot out mineral-laden, hot fluid. This sustains some very unusual and unique forms of life--such as the wavy, wormish tubeworms--and other creatures that are able to thrive in this strange environment. Microbes can convert mineral-laden fluid into metabolic energy, making these ecosystems possible--both on Earth's seafloor and elsewhere.



The nitrogen that exists in Titan's atmosphere indicates that it likely formed early in our Solar System's 4.56 billion-year-old history. This means that Titan probably was born within the same cold disk of gas and dust that gave birth to our Sun (protostellar nebula), instead of forming in the warmer disk that eventually created Saturn.