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Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

Our solar system is huge, so let us break it down for you. Here are 5 things to know this week:

1. Letting the Air Out

Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

The atmosphere on Mars is whisper-thin and drier than bone–but it wasn’t always that way. For the past year, the MAVEN mission has been orbiting the planet, piecing together clues about what happened to all the air on Mars. At 2 p.m. EST on Nov. 5, we will hold a briefing on some new findings about the Martian atmosphere. Make sure to tune in on NASA Television.

2. How Much Juno about Jupiter?

Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

We’re all going to know a lot more about the king of planets soon, thanks to the Juno mission. Juno’s project scientist will be giving a live lecture on Nov. 5 and 6 to explain what discoveries might await and how the spacecraft is expected to survive Jupiter’s dangerous radiation environment for over a year, long enough to make over 30 close polar passes. Watch the live lecture HERE. 

3. Excitement at Enceladus 

Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

Our Cassini spacecraft has returned stunning images from its ultra-close flyby of Saturn’s active moon Enceladus on Oct. 28. The photos are providing a quick look at Enceladus and its plume of icy vapor from the moon’s geysers. But some of the most exciting science is yet to come, as scientists will be poring over data from Cassini’s instruments to see what they detected as they flew through the plume.

4. A New Dimension in Lunar Landscapes

Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter maps the moon in boulder-by-boulder detail daily. The team that operates the spacecraft’s most powerful camera has been releasing 3D versions of its high-resolution looks at the surface. You can see depth and detail in the pictures if you can get or make some red-blue glasses.

5. Pluto in Perspective

Solar System: 5 Things to Know This Week

The New Horizons spacecraft has fired its engines again as it carries out a series of four maneuvers propelling it toward an encounter with the ancient Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, a billion miles farther from the sun than Pluto. Meanwhile, it continues the ongoing download of data from the Pluto encounter, including this recent stunner. 

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