Raining Rocks

Impact ejecta is material that is thrown up and out of the surface of a planet as a result of the impact of an meteorite, asteroid or comet. The material that was originally beneath the surface of the planet then rains down onto the environs of the newly formed impact crater. Some of this material is deposited close to the crater, folding over itself to form the crater rim, visible here as a yellowish ring. Other material is ejected faster and falls down further from the crater rim creating two types of ejecta: a “continuous ejecta blanket” and “discontinuous ejecta.” Both are shown in this image. The blocky area at the center of the image close to the yellowish crater rim is the “continuous” ejecta. The discontinuous ejecta is further from the crater rim, streaking away from the crater like spokes on a bicycle. (Note: North is to the right.) http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11180

Silicate Crystal Formation in the Disk of an Erupting Star Artist Concept

This artist’s concept illustrates how silicate crystals like those found in comets can be created by an outburst from a growing star. The image shows a young sun-like star encircled by its planet-forming disk of gas and dust. The silicate that makes up most of the dust would have begun as non-crystallized, amorphous particles. Streams of material are seen spiraling from the disk onto the star increasing its mass and causing the star to brighten and heat up dramatically. The outburst causes temperatures to rise in the star’s surrounding disk. The animation (figure 1) zooms into the disk to show close-ups of silicate particles. When the disk warms from the star’s outburst, the amorphous particles of silicate melt. As they cool off, they transform into forsterite (figure 2), a type of silicate crystal often found in comets in our solar system. In April 2008, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope detected evidence of this process taking place on the disk of a young sun-like star called EX Lupi. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12008

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In the Payload Hazardous Service Facility, workers check the placement of the Stardust spacecraft’s workstand in the high bay. The spacecraft will undergo installation and testing of the solar arrays, plus final installation and testing of spacecraft instruments followed by an overall spacecraft functional test. Built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics near Denver, Colo., for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA, the spacecraft Stardust will use a unique medium called aerogel to capture comet particles flying off the nucleus of comet Wild 2 in January 20004, plus collect interstellar dust for later analysis. Stardust will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7426 rocket from Complex 17, Cape Canaveral Air Station, targeted for Feb. 6, 1999. The collected samples will return to Earth in a re-entry capsule to be jettisoned from Stardust as it swings by Earth in January 2006

John Bolton reportedly kept secret notes about his encounters with the president

John Bolton reportedly kept secret notes about his encounters with the president

Denis Balibouse/Reuters John Bolton is said to have been the most prolific note-taker at the top level of the White House. Current and former senior administration officials told Axios that the former national security adviser probably has more details than a…

Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill’s impeachment testimony paints damning picture of pressure put on Ukraine

The transcript from the testimony of President Donald Trump’s former top adviser on Russia was released on Friday by House investigators leading the impeachment inquiry into the president. Fiona Hill’s testimony presented a damning picture of a shadow effort …

Angelina Jolie On How Diversity Makes Us Stronger

The actor shared how important it is for children to experience cultural differences.

Rising Ocean Temperatures Shut Down Shrimp in Maine

Maine’s shrimp population has declined as its gulf waters have warmed, causing a shrimp fishing ban that may threaten the fishing industry indefinitely.

Day Of The Dead Fills The Streets Of Mexico City

“Dia de los Muertos,” or Day of the Dead, is a vibrant, annual celebration of life after death. Take a look at some of the beautiful scenes from this year’s Mexico City parade.

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In the Payload Hazardous Service Facility, workers lower the Stardust spacecraft onto a workstand. The spacecraft will undergo installation and testing of the solar arrays, plus final installation and testing of spacecraft instruments followed by an overall spacecraft functional test. Built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics near Denver, Colo., for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA, the spacecraft Stardust will use a unique medium called aerogel to capture comet particles flying off the nucleus of comet Wild 2 in January 2004, plus collect interstellar dust for later analysis. Stardust will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7426 rocket from Complex 17, Cape Canaveral Air Station, targeted for Feb. 6, 1999. The collected samples will return to Earth in a re-entry capsule to be jettisoned from Stardust as it swings by Earth in January 2006

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The Stardust spacecraft sits in the Payload Hazardous Service Facility waiting to undergo installation and testing of the solar arrays, plus final installation and testing of spacecraft instruments followed by an overall spacecraft functional test. At the top is the re-entry capsule. Built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics near Denver, Colo., for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA, the spacecraft Stardust will use a unique medium called aerogel to capture comet particles flying off the nucleus of comet Wild 2 in January 2004, plus collect interstellar dust for later analysis. Stardust will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7426 rocket from Complex 17, Cape Canaveral Air Station, targeted for Feb. 6, 1999. The collected samples will return to Earth in the re-entry capsule to be jettisoned from Stardust as it swings by Earth in January 2006

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. – Workers in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility 2 check the attachment of an overhead crane to the CONTOUR spacecraft. The crane will move it over to the apogee kick motor nearby where it will be attached. CONTOUR will provide the first detailed look into the heart of a comet — the nucleus. The spacecraft will fly close to at least two comets, Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, taking pictures of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system. The Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., built CONTOUR and will also be in control of the spacecraft after launch, scheduled for July 1, 2002, from LC 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. – Emerging through the smoke and steam, the Boeing Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft lifts off at 1:47 p.m. EST from Launch Pad 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. A NASA Discovery mission, Deep Impact is heading for space and a rendezvous 83 million miles from Earth with Comet Tempel 1. After releasing a 3- by 3-foot projectile (impactor) to crash onto the surface July 4, 2005, Deep Impact’s flyby spacecraft will reveal the secrets of the comet’s interior by collecting pictures and data of how the crater forms, measuring the crater’s depth and diameter as well as the composition of the interior of the crater and any material thrown out, and determining the changes in natural outgassing produced by the impact. It will send the data back to Earth through the antennas of the Deep Space Network.