@NASANewHorizons will flyby Pluto tomorrow! Already sending amazing images of PLUTO!!

Who’s excited for the NASA spacecraft New Horizons Pluto flyby??? CauseScience is!!!!

[tweet https://twitter.com/NASA/status/620656430601895936] [tweet https://twitter.com/NASA/status/620641204653420546] [tweet https://twitter.com/NASANewHorizons/status/620638853360017410]

Picture of PLUTO from @NASANewHorizons spacecraft – get ready for flyby next Tuesday!! #science

The NASA spacecraft New Horizons has sent back some early pictures of PLUTO (Image Credit: New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), July 8, NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI), and will fly by PLUTO next Tuesday – July 14th!!

After a more than nine-year, three-billion-mile journey to Pluto, it’s show time for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, as the flyby sequence of science observations is officially underway.

In the early morning hours of July 8, mission scientists received this new view of Pluto—the most detailed yet returned by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard New Horizons. The image was taken on July 7, when the spacecraft was just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto, and is the first to be received since the July 4 anomaly that sent the spacecraft into safe mode.

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Messenger Spacecraft crashes into Mercury as final act of successful mission!! Farewell @MESSENGER2011!!

[tweet https://twitter.com/MESSENGER2011/status/593858249146900481]

Sad, but cool, farewell to NASA’s Messenger Spacecraft today as it crashes into Mercury. Messenger left its mark both scientifically, and on Mercury!!! Info on the Messenger mission here.

To become the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, MESSENGER followed a path through the inner solar system, including one flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three flybys of Mercury. This impressive journey yielded the first return of new spacecraft data from Mercury since the Mariner 10 mission more than 30 years ago. Here you can find details about that journey, the MESSENGER spacecraft, and the instrument payload.

[tweet https://twitter.com/MESSENGER2011/status/593856241878839296] [tweet https://twitter.com/NASA/status/593851716950429697]

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft approaches dwarf planet Ceres – sends beautiful and surprising images!

Ceres rotates in this sped-up movie comprised of images taken by NASA’s Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). Dawn observed Ceres for a full rotation of the dwarf planet, which lasts about nine hours. The images have a resolution of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) per pixel. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA spacecraft Dawn is approaching the dwarf planet Ceres and sending back amazing images of the planet.

Recent images show numerous craters and unusual bright spots that scientists believe tell how Ceres, the first object discovered in our solar system’s asteroid belt, formed and whether its surface is changing. As the spacecraft spirals into closer and closer orbits around the dwarf planet, researchers will be looking for signs that these strange features are changing, which would suggest current geological activity.

Astronomy pic of the day – Jupiter close-up with 3 moons!!

Jupiter Triple-Moon Conjunction 
Image Credit: NASAESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Courtesy of the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Hit the link for more info on the picture and also labels for the 3 moons and their shadows!!

Explanation: Our solar system’s ruling giant planet Jupiter and 3 of its 4 large Galilean moons are captured in this single Hubble snapshot from January 24. Crossing in front of Jupiter’s banded cloud tops Europa, Callisto, and Io are framed from lower left to upper right in a rare triple-moon conjunction. Distinguishable by colors alone icy Europa is almost white, Callisto’s ancient cratered surface looks dark brown, and volcanic Io appears yellowish. The transiting moons and moon shadows can be identified by sliding your cursor over the image, or following this link. Remarkably, two small, inner Jovian moons, Amalthea and Thebe, along with their shadows, can also be found in the sharp Hubble view. The Galilean moons have diameters of 3,000 to 5,000 kilometers or so, comparable in size to Earth’s moon. But odd-shaped Amalthea and Thebe are only about 260 and 100 kilometers across respectively.