Close encounters of the stellar kind

The movements of more than 300 000 stars surveyed by ESA's Gaia satellite reveal that rare close encounters with our sun might disturb the cloud of comets at the far reaches of our solar system, sending some towards Earth ...

A close-up with a comet

Even as Tom Economou approached retirement age in 1994, he began planning an instrument for the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to a comet. He still remembers the reaction of Riccardo Levi-Setti, then director of ...

Deep Impact spacecraft completes rocket burn

(Phys.org)—NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft completed a firing of its onboard rocket motors earlier today. The maneuver began at 1 p.m. PDT (4 p.m. EDT), lasted 71 seconds, and changed its velocity by 4.5 mph (2 meters per ...

Two-timing spacecraft has date with another comet (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Stardust spacecraft, equipped with the University of Chicago's Dust Flux Monitor Instrument (DFMI), is hurtling at more than 24,000 miles an hour toward a Valentine's Day encounter with comet Tempel ...

Space radar provides taste of Comet Hartley 2

Exactly one week before the world gets a new look at comet Hartley 2 via NASA's EPOXI mission, observations of the comet by the Arecibo Planetary Radar in Puerto Rico have offered scientists a tantalizing preview.