Images from MESSENGER Enable Sky & Telescope to Build the First Complete Globe of the Planet Mercury

Rachmaninoff Crater

The first complete globe of Mercury, our solar system's mysterious innermost planet, has been pieced together by Sky & Telescope using the latest images taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft.

MESSENGER, short for Mercury, Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging, is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. It followed a path through the inner solar system, including one flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus and three flybys of Mercury and ended in its final orbit circling Mercury in March 2011. Since then, MESSENGER has taken thousands of images of Mercury's surface from different distances and illumination conditions to indicate the many different types of depressions scattering its landscape.


Long Lost Moon of Jupiter Found

Scott Sheppard

These three images show the rediscovery of S/2000 J11 from the Magellan telescope at Las Campanas, Chile. Each image was taken about 30 minutes apart, which allows the Jupiter moon S/2000 J11, marked by a green box, to be seen moving relative to the steady-state of background stars. Jupiter is out of the field-of-view but Jupiter's bright glare can be seen on the left side of the images.

Now, Scott S. Sheppard has solved the puzzle by rediscovering S/2000 J11 in images obtained at the Magellan Telescope in 2010 and 2011. What was originally to be a new moon of Jupiter was linked to the lost Jupiter moon S/2000 J11 by Marina Brozovic and Robert Jacobson at NASAs JPL and Gareth Williams at the Minor Planet Center.


Postdoc Spotlight - Timothy J. Rodigas

Magellan Clay Telescope

Like most kids, Timothy J. Rodigas (he goes by T.J. informally) did not enjoy his math and science classes growing up. And like most parents, his tried to get him to enjoy his studies more by giving him his own copy of Eyewitness: Astronomy, a children’s science book packed full of colorful prints and fun facts about the Universe. Reading this book, T.J. began his first exploration of the planets, stars, and long-unsolved scientific mysteries. Little did he know he’d eventually make this new passion his career.


Linda Elkins-Tanton's Proposal to Visit the Core of Proto-planet 16 Psyche is Featured in Several Online Publications

asteroid Psyche

The huge metallic asteroid Psyche, thought to be the exposed iron core of a battered and stripped protoplanet, is now the center of a proposed mission from DTM Director, Linda Elkins-Tanton. and NewScientist have both highlighted this far-out mission.


Erik H. Hauri's Work on the Moon's Water Source is one of Discover Magazine's Top 100 Best Science of 2013

Eric Hauri Discover Magazine

Where does the Moon's water originate from? Turns out it actually came from the same place as the Earth: ancient asteroids. An article on DTM Staff Scientist Erik H. Hauri's research about the existence of water on the Moon has been highlighted as #47 in Discover Magazine's Best Science of 2013. This story is accompanied by the latest and most intriguing developments in space exploration, medicine, technology, paleontology and the environment.

To read the full story from Discover Magazine, click here. 


John Chambers & Jacqueline Mitton's New Book on the Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System is Published

John Chambers From Dust to Life

DTM Staff Scientist John Chambers, has published a new book entitled, "From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System" with coauthor Jacqueline Mitton, a writer, editor, and media consultant in astronomy.

From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more about how the solar system came to be. This enticing book takes readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.

To purchase your copy of the book, click here