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Philae Lander Touches Down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta Comet Mission Could Change Science Forever
Philae Lander Photos Show There Is More To Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Than Soft Dust: Comet lander Philae may be uncommunicative at the moment, but the pictures and measurements it took after it touched down on a comet have shown scientists the comet is covered with coarse material, rather than dust, and is harder than expected.
Philae Wakes Up From Hibernation: Rosetta's lander Philae has woken up after seven months in hibernation on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Comet 67P Shows No Sign of Magnetism: If astronauts ever go on a walkabout around a comet, they can leave their compasses at home.
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.
More Rosetta in the News
- 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 Moves Onward After 'Marias Pass' Studies: Curiosity is driving toward the southwest after departing a region where for several weeks it investigated a geological contact zone and rocks that are unexpectedly high in silica and hydrogen content. The hydrogen indicates water bound to minerals in the ground.
Curiosity Inspects Unusual Bedrock: Curiosity has found a target unlike anything it has studied before - bedrock with surprisingly high levels of silica. Silica is a rock-forming compound containing silicon and oxygen, commonly found on Earth as quartz. High levels of silica in the rock could indicate ideal conditions for preserving ancient organic material, if present, so the science team wants to take a closer look.
Curiosity Tracks Sunspots: Curiosity is monitoring sunspots on the side of the sun facing away from Earth, during weeks when sun-monitoring spacecraft can't provide that information.
Curiosity Studies Rock-Layer Contact Zone: At the rover's current location near "Marias Pass" on Mount Sharp, Curiosity has found a zone where different types of bedrock neighbor each other. One is pale mudstone, like bedrock the mission examined previously at "Pahump Hills." Another is the "Stimson unit" a darker, finely bedded sandstone above the Pahrump-like mudstone.
Mars Conjunction: The teams running NASA's three active Mars orbiters and two Mars rovers will refrain from sending commands to their spacecraft from about June 7 to June 21, 2015. During that period, the sun will be within two degrees of Mars in Earth's sky and radio communications with the orbiters and rovers will be impaired.
Curiosity's Laser-zapping Instrument Gets Sharper Vision: Tests have confirmed success of a repair to the autonomous focusing capability of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on Curiosity. This instrument provides information about the chemical composition of targets by zapping them with laser pulses and taking spectrometer readings of the induced sparks.
Curiosity Adjusts Route Up Martian Mountain: Curiosity has just climbed a hill on slopes as steep as 21 degrees to approach an alternative site for investigating a geological boundary, after a comparable site proved hard to reach.
Curiosity Views Serene Sundown on Mars: Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to record the sunset during an evening of skywatching. The sunset observations help researchers assess the vertical distribution of dust in the atmosphere.
Quick Detour by Curiosity Checks Ancient Valley: Curiosity made observations and measurements there to address questions about how the channel formed and filled. Curiosity then resumed driving up Mount Sharp, where the mission is studying the rock layers.
Curiosity Making Tracks and Observations: Curiosity is approaching a new geological formation with high-standing buttes called the Washboard unit, and has surpassed 10 kilometers in total distance driven on Mars.
More Curiosity in the News
|Opportunity Rover Mission Updates:
|August 31, 2015:
|| Clay-Mineral Rocks Get Closer Inspection
|August 11, 2015:
|| The Challenges of RAM Mode
|August 05, 2015:
|| Looking Forward to Contact Science in 'Marathon Valley'
|July 30, 2015:
|| Beginning to Explore 'Marathon Valley'
|July 20, 2015:
|| Experimenting with Flash Memory
|July 15, 2015:
|| A Week of Imaging and Driving
|July 02, 2015:
|| Opportunity Gets Back to Work
|June 25, 2015:
|| Opportunity In Good Health After Communication Blackout
|June 19, 2015:
|| Opportunity Remains in Solar Conjunction Communication Blackout
|June 07, 2015:
|| For Next Three Weeks, Opportunity in Quiet Period of Operations
|June 05, 2015:
|| Opportunity Ready for Solar Conjunction and Period of Curtailed Operations
Rocks in the News
Searching For Life In Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky: The easiest way to find life on Mars, it turns out, may be to import bacteria from Cape Canaveral - contamination that could sabotage the search for native Martians. The need to protect any possible Martian biosphere from Earthly contamination could prevent humans from landing in or entering areas where Martian life might thrive.
NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows On Todayís Mars: New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet.
Volcanic Lightning Turns Ash Into Glass: Within the ash plumes of explosive volcanic eruptions, collisions among countless pyroclastic particles sometimes lead to the buildup of static charges that discharge dramatically as volcanic lightning. In a new study, researchers have found that this lightning can, in turn, melt and fuse ash particles into distinctive glassy grains called spherules.
American Volcanoes: Complacency, Uncertainty Contribute To Risks: Today, volcanoes rarely make the news in the United States, even though the western half of the country is dotted with volcanic systems that could unleash eruptions many times more powerful than the Mount St. Helens disaster.
Meet Pentecopterus, A Giant Sea Scorpion: You don't name a sea creature after an ancient Greek warship unless it's built like a predator. That's certainly true of Pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion with the features of a penteconter, one of the first Greek galley ships. Researchers say Pentecopterus lived 467 million years ago and could grow to nearly six feet. It is the oldest described eurypterid - a group of aquatic arthropods that are ancestors of modern spiders and ticks.
Earth's First Mass Extinction Was Caused By Critters Not Catastrophe: The Earth's first mass extinction event 540 million years ago was caused not by a meteorite impact or volcanic super-eruption but by the rise of early animals that dramatically changed the prehistoric environment.
The Wait For More Pluto Data Is Almost Over: Get ready, we're about to be inundated with postcards from Pluto. On September 5, the New Horizons spacecraft, now more than 62 million kilometers beyond Pluto, will begin a roughly year-long download of all the data it acquired during its brief visit with the dwarf planet in July.
Images of Pluto: 'Houston, We Have Geology': Pluto is being revealed as an intriguing new world with distinct surface features in images captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it flies by.
Discovery Of Ancient Stone Tools Challenges Story Of Mankind: Found in desert badlands near Lake Turkana in Kenya, the 3.3 million year old tools include sharp-edged flakes that could have been used for cutting meat from animal carcasses and rudimentary hammers perhaps used to pound open nuts or tubers. They are 700,000 years older than any other such stone tools ever found.
Deciphering Clues To Prehistoric Climate Changes Locked In Cave Deposits: It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above.
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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- Anyone Can Carve
- A Day in the Life of a Gemologist
- Into the Caves - "California's Underground" at the Oakland, California Museum
- 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
- Faceting by Hand: Jack Lahr's Lap-Lap Relies on Primitive Power
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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
- Freeware Mars Map: High Resolution Orbiter Camera Global Mosaic
- 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: Rose Egg 168a-96 - A Rose Cut Egg
- 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
- A Club President's Perspective on the Decline of Rockhounding
- 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
- Collecting at the Red River Floodway in Winnipeg, Canada
- 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
- Anatomy of a Three-Headed Sphere Machine
- Interested in Rolling Your Own?
- Cabochon Making 101
- Cabbing with Tucson's Old Pueblo Lapidary Club
- An Introduction to the Feldspar Minerals by Anita D. Westlake
- Purple Passion Prospect
- Wulfenite Collecting near Wickenburg, Arizona
- Rock and Fossil Stamps of the United States
- A Preview Page of the Shop's Topical Stamp Catalog for Rockhounds
- Mineralogical Meanderings
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- Streaking Minerals - Streak Testing
- Collecting Micrometeorites
- Identifying True Amber
- Some Surefire Signs You're a Rockhound
- Collecting Rock Stamps
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- The Mysterious Power of Gemstones and Crystals
- Bob's Rock Shop 1st WWW Specimen Image Contest Results!
- Do You Take Pictures of Rocks? If So, You'll Appreciate These - Check Out the Winning Entries!
- 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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