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Solar System: Top 5 Things to Know This Week

Solar System: Top 5 Things to Know This Week

1. A Ceres of Fortunate Events

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Our Dawn mission continues its exploration at Ceres, and the team is working with the data coming back to Earth, looking for explanations for the tiny world’s strange features. Follow Dawn’s expedition HERE.

2. Icy Moon Rendezvous

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One of the most interesting places in the entire solar system is Saturn’s moon Enceladus, with its underground ocean and spectacular geyser plume. This month, the Cassini spacecraft will be buzzing close by Enceladus several times, the last such encounters of the mission. On October 14, Cassini will perform a targeted flyby at a distance of just 1,142 miles (1,838 kilometers) over the moon’s northern latitudes. Ride along with Cassini HERE.

3. Make Your Own Mars Walkabout

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You can retrace Opportunity’s journey, see where the Curiosity rover is now, or even follow along with fictional astronaut Mark Watney from The Martian movie using the free online app MarsTrek. The app lets you zoom in on almost any part of the planet and see images obtained by our spacecraft, so you can plan your on Red Planet excursion. Take a hike HERE.

4. Elusive Features on Jupiter

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New imagery from our Hubble Space Telescope is capturing details never before seen on Jupiter. High-resolution maps and spinning globes, rendered in the 4K Ultra HD format, reveal an elusive wave and changes to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Explore Jupiter HERE.

5. Mr. Blue Sky

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Another week, another amazing picture from Pluto. The first color images of Pluto’s atmospheric hazes, returned by our New Horizons spacecraft last week, reveal that the hazes are blue. Who would have expected a blue sky in the Kuiper Belt? Most of the data collected during July’s Pluto flyby remains aboard the spacecraft, but the team publishes new batches of pictures and other findings on a weekly basis. Keep up with the latest HERE.

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