NASA Announces Two New Exploration Missions

Happy New Year! Just four days into 2017 NASA announced its pick for two new Discovery missions to explore our solar system: one to investigate a few of the “Trojan” asteroids that Jupiter has gathered into its orbit with its mighty gravity, and another to visit the remains of an ancient planet’s metallic core! “These are true…

And the Award for Leading Trojan Moon Goes To…

Drumroll please… the little moon Telesto! (You like it, you really like it!) This image, captured by Cassini on Jan. 14, 2016, shows Saturn’s moon Telesto – a “leading trojan” of the much larger satellite Tethys. A trojan moon is one that orbits a parent body within the same path as a more massive satellite,…

Say Hello To Our Little Friend

On July 27, 2011, scientists announced the discovery of a small asteroid that shares its orbit with Earth: 2010 TK7, a  1,000-foot-wide asteroid, precedes our planet within the same path we take around the Sun. It’s currently located about 50 million miles away in a position known as a Lagrange point (L4, to be exact) where…

Textured Trojan

First of all, get your mind out of the gutter. 😉 21-mile (35 km) -wide Helene is a “Trojan” moon of the much larger Dione, so called because it orbits Saturn within the path of Dione, 60º ahead of it. (Its little sister Trojan, 3-mile-wide Polydeuces, trails Dione at the rear 60º mark.) The Homeric…