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    An aurora has been spotted surrounding a comet orbiting Jupiter - the first time the glowing emissions have been seen around a cosmic snowball.  Astronomers from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) identified the shimmering phenomenon using instruments on the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft.  Rosetta was the first space mission to place a lander on the surface of a comet, the first to orbit a comet nucleus and the first to follow it into the inner solar system.  On the Earth, auroras are formed when charged particles from the Sun follow the planet's magnetic field lines to the north and south poles where they strike atoms in the atmosphere and create a shimmering curtain of colourful lights in the sky.  Similar phenomena have been seen on planets and moons in our solar system and even around a distant star - this is the first time it has been spotted around a comet. It was caused by charged particles coming on solar winds and interacting with the coma - gas and dust - surrounding the nucleus of the comet, known...
    DARMSTADT, Germany – The European space agency (ESA) signed a deal worth 129 million euros ($154 million) on Tuesday to make a spacecraft for a joint project with NASA looking at how to deflect an asteroid heading for Earth. NASA is due to launch a spacecraft in June 2021 set on a collision course with the Dimorphos asteroid to test whether it would be possible to nudge objects that might be threatening Earth onto a safer path. ESA will then launch its spacecraft — named Hera after the Greek goddess of marriage — in October 2024 to map the resulting impact crater and measure the asteroid’s mass, reaching the area in late 2026 for a six-month survey. The mission is reminiscent of the 1998 film “Armageddon,” in which actor Bruce Willis plays a member of a team sent to destroy an asteroid to save Earth. “We want to try for the first time to steer an asteroid on its potential collision course with Earth,” ESA director Rolf Densing told Reuters television. Dimorphos has a diameter of 160 metres, about...
    DARMSTADT, Germany – The European space agency (ESA) signed a deal worth 129 million euros ($154 million) on Tuesday to make a spacecraft for a joint project with NASA looking at how to deflect an asteroid heading for Earth. NASA is due to launch a spacecraft in June 2021 set on a collision course with the Dimorphos asteroid to test whether it would be possible to nudge objects that might be threatening Earth onto a safer path. ESA will then launch its spacecraft — named Hera after the Greek goddess of marriage — in October 2024 to map the resulting impact crater and measure the asteroid’s mass, reaching the area in late 2026 for a six-month survey. The mission is reminiscent of the 1998 film “Armageddon,” in which actor Bruce Willis plays a member of a team sent to destroy an asteroid to save Earth. “We want to try for the first time to steer an asteroid on its potential collision course with Earth,” ESA director Rolf Densing told Reuters television. Dimorphos has a diameter of 160 metres, about the...
    DARMSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - The European space agency (ESA) signed a deal worth 129 million euros ($154 million) on Tuesday to make a spacecraft for a joint project with NASA looking at how to deflect an asteroid heading for Earth. NASA is due to launch a spacecraft in June 2021 set on a collision course with the Dimorphos asteroid to test whether it would be possible to nudge objects that might be threatening Earth onto a safer path. ESA will then launch its spacecraft - named Hera after the Greek goddess of marriage - in October 2024 to map the resulting impact crater and measure the asteroid's mass, reaching the area in late 2026 for a six-month survey. The mission is reminiscent of the 1998 film Armageddon, in which actor Bruce Willis plays a member of a team sent to destroy an asteroid to save Earth. "We want to try for the first time to steer an asteroid on its potential collision course with Earth," ESA director Rolf Densing told Reuters television. Dimorphos has a diameter of 160 metres, about...
    Artificial intelligence will help scientists search for signs of ancient life on Mars and other planets thanks to work by NASA scientists in training the system.  The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosalind Franklin 'ExoMars' rover will be the first to have the new AI system when it leaves for the Red Planet in 2022/2023. Allowing these intelligent systems to choose both what to analyse and what to tell us back on Earth will overcome severe limits on how information is transmitted over huge distances in the search for life from distant planets.  The system is being tested on Mars but has been designed to be used in future missions to the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn where distance is more of an issue.  The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosalind Franklin 'ExoMars' rover will be the first to have the new AI system when it leaves for the Red Planet in 2022/2023 Presenting the work at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry conference, lead researcher Victoria Da Poian from NASA said this was a 'visionary step in space exploration'. Giving AI the...
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