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1 May 2018

Old data, new tricks: Fresh results from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft 20 years on

Far across the solar system, from where Earth appears merely as a pale blue dot, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft spent eight years orbiting Jupiter. During that time, the hearty spacecraft — slightly larger than a full-grown giraffe — sent back spates of discoveries on the gas giant’s moons, including the observation of a magnetic environment around Ganymede that was distinct from Jupiter’s own magnetic field. The mission ended in 2003, but newly resurrected data from Galileo’s first flyby of Ganymede is yielding new insights about the moon’s environment — which is unlike any other in the solar system.


18 November 2011

Mapping the Moon

As a reader of this blog, you’re probably at least passingly familiar with the progression of maps of Mars, from the first fuzzy sketches, to the intricate maps of “canals” to today’s exquisite data. But maps of our closest neighbor – the Moon – have also evolved quite a bit. For a nice pictorial history of moon maps, and an explanation for the names of some of the lunar features, go check out this post over on The Awl.