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space

Does methane help life on Titan?

In 2034, a drone with eight propellers called Dragonfly will fly over the frozen surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. NASA will launch Dragonfly in 2026 as part of the New Frontiers research programme. The module transporting Dragonfly to Titan…

space

Curious facts about summer

If someone asks you “When does summer begin?”, very probably you would answer that it begins on the summer solstice, which this year falls on 21 June. Yet a meteorologist might say that it had already begun some time earlier,…

space

Methane lakes found on Titan

Thanks to the data collected by the Cassini probe, a number of methane lakes have been discovered on Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite. The lakes are located in the northern hemisphere of the satellite and are surprisingly deep, perched on the…

space

Here is the first image of a black hole

Located more than 50 million light years away, at the centre of a gigantic elliptical galaxy called Messier 87, the first black hole to be immortalised in a photo: this object at a distance of 55 million light years from…

space

The Prisma satellite is almost ready for launching

There are only a few days to go before the launch of the mission of the Italian Space Agency PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa - Hyperspectral Precursor of the Application Mission), the satellite that will observe planet Earth with…

space

St. Lucy’s night: a night of shooting stars

In Italy, St. Lucy’s night  is known traditionally as “the shortest night of the year”, but due to the passage of the Geminid meteor shower, it will also become the “brightest night of the year”. In fact, the night between…

space

Twinkle twinkle little star

The Christmas comet 46P/Wirtanen is crossing the sky. 46P is one of the large family of young comets: these are short-period celestial bodies affected by Jupiter’s gravitational force and for this reason their orbit passes by us frequently. 46P appears…

space

InSight arrives on Mars

A photo taken through a dusty porthole announces the success of the InSight mission. After a 458-million-kilometre journey, the NASA probe has landed on Mars. It is the fifteenth lander to touch down on the surface of the red planet…

space

World Space Week 2018

From 4 to 10 October the World Space Week (WSW) was held; it is an initiative established by the United Nations Organisation on 6 December 1999 to commemorate two important historical dates: 4 October 1957, the day of the launch…

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