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'Spot the difference' to help reveal Rosetta image secrets

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Rosetta Zoo comparison image

Today, ESA and the Zooniverse launch Rosetta Zoo, a citizen science project that invites volunteers to engage in a cosmic game of 'spot the difference'. By browsing through pictures collected by ESA's Rosetta mission, you can help scientists figure out how a comet's surface evolves as it swings around the Sun.

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      The first CubeSat in NASA’s Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment (PREFIRE) mission launched from New Zealand on Saturday, May 25. The second PREFIRE CubeSat is targeted to lift off on Saturday, June 1, with a launch window opening at 3 p.m. NZST (11 p.m. EDT, Friday, May 31).
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      Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
      818-354-0307 / 626-379-6874
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      On November 1, 2023, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft flew by the main-belt asteroid Dinkinesh. Now, the mission has released pictures from Lucy’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager taken over a roughly three-hour period, providing the best views of the asteroid to date. During the flyby, Lucy discovered that Dinkinesh has a small moon, which the mission named “Selam,” a greeting in the Amharic language meaning “peace.” Lucy is the first mission designed to visit the Jupiter Trojans, two swarms of asteroids trapped in Jupiter’s orbit that may be “fossils” from the era of planet formation. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Download this video and more at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/14596/ Researchers think that Dinkinesh is revealing its internal structure by how it has responded to stress. Over millions of years rotating in the sunlight, the tiny forces coming from the thermal radiation emitted from the asteroid’s warm surface generated a small torque that caused Dinkinesh to gradually rotate faster, building up centrifugal stresses until part of the asteroid shifted into a more elongated shape. This event likely caused debris to enter into a close orbit, which became the raw material that produced the ridge and satellite.
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      The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure instrument (SEIS) aboard NASA’s Mars InSight is within the copper-colored hexagonal enclosure in this photo taken by a camera on the lander’s robotic arm on Dec. 4, 2018. The SEIS technology is being used on Farside Seismic Suite, bound for the Moon.NASA/JPL-Caltech Up to 30 times more sensitive than its Apollo predecessors, the suite will record the Moon’s seismic “background” vibration, which is driven by micrometeorites the size of small pebbles that pelt the surface. This will help NASA better understand the current impact environment as the agency prepares to send Artemis astronauts to explore the lunar surface.
      Planetary scientists are eager to see what FSS tells them about the Moon’s internal activity and structure. What they learn will offer insights into how the Moon — as well as rocky planets like Mars and Earth — formed and evolved.
      It will also answer a lingering question about moonquakes: Why did the Apollo instruments on the lunar near side detect little far-side seismic activity? One possible explanation is that something in the Moon’s deep structure essentially absorbs far-side quakes, making them harder for Apollo’s seismometers to have sensed. Another is that there are fewer quakes on the far side, which on the surface looks very different from the side that faces Earth.
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      The suite’s smaller seismometer, called the Short Period sensor, or SP, was built by Kinemetrics in Pasadena, California, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Imperial College, London. The puck-shaped device measures motion in three directions using sensors etched into a trio of square silicon chips each about 1 inch (25 millimeters) wide.
      Assembled and Tested
      The FSS payload came together at JPL over the last year. In recent weeks, it survived rigorous environmental testing in vacuum and extreme temperatures that simulate space, along with severe shaking that mimics the rocket’s motion during launch.
      “The JPL team has been excited from the beginning that we’re going to the Moon with our French colleagues,” said JPL’s Ed Miller, FSS project manager and, like Panning and Lognonné, a veteran of the InSight mission. “We went to Mars together, and now we’ll be able to look up at the Moon and know we built something up there. It’ll make us so proud.”
      More About the Mission
      A division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, JPL manages, designed, assembled, and tested Farside Seismic Suite. The French space agency, CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales), and IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris) provided the suite’s Very Broadband seismometer with support from Université Paris Cité and the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). Imperial College, London and the University of Oxford collaborated to provide the Short Period sensor, managed by Kinemetrics in Pasadena. The University of Michigan provided the flight computer, power electronics, and associated software.
      A selection of NASA’s PRISM (Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon), FSS is funded by the Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office within the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. The Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center provides program management. FSS will land on the Moon as part of an upcoming lunar delivery under NASA’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative.
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      News Media Contact
      Melissa Pamer
      Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
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