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Miniature spacecraft open more access to space, a strange crater on Charon may point to a liquid past, and has the last lake on Mars been found?....

31 Oct 2015, 19:00 UTC
Miniature spacecraft open more access to space, a strange crater on Charon may point to a liquid past, and has the last lake on Mars been found?....
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Masses of data from the Rosetta mission released:Astronomy and Astrophysics magazine has dedicated a whole issue to a slew of new papers based on ESA's Rosetta mission. A fair few of them are open access, and even the abstracts of the rest make for interesting reading. Some of them are on quite obscure and technical topics, but there's some very interesting stuff there. I've only had time to skim through them today, but here are a few that really caught my eye:Water ice on the surface of 67-PGeomorphology of the Imhotep region on comet 67PVolatiles on comet 67-PThe last was particularly interesting to me as it showed that complex organic molecules were probably present from the very earliest days of the solar system - possibly including the seeds of life's chemistryAbove: The gigantic chunk of frozen volatiles and organic molecules that is comet 67-P. courtesy of ESA.The last lake on Mars...Mars today can fairly be described as what Antarctica would be like if you took away 99% of the air: A freeze dried landscape where tiny trickles of brine water are the only liquids, the radiation and UV are intense and only a robot could feel at home. but it was not ...

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