Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Ten? (day 2)

Hey Space Bloggers, welcome back!

Hope you’ve been surviving the hurricanes, droughts, heatwaves, and floods on planet Earth and are ready for a pleasant jaunt back to balmy Destination Ten.  Well, maybe balmy isn’t the right word. Make that frigid. Better yet, decide for yourself.

Here’s your day 2 limmeriddle!

Though I’m not a planet, I could be.

If  I circled the sun, then I would be!

‘Cuz I’ve oceans and dunes,

unlike all other moons,

and I’m big as an inner one should be!

And one more thing…

Credit: NASA, JPL

Know where we are yet? Go ahead, take a guess. We’re all in the same spaceboat…

Newcomers, if you’re confused, check out Space Game Rules! And everyone, come back next week for another clue to the puzzling question: Where in the Solar System is Destination Ten?

Posted in Destination Ten, Planets, Saturn, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game, Titan | 2 Comments

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Ten? (day 1)

Hey Space Bloggers, it’s picture clue day!

Take a look at our new destination.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Don’t worry about the heavy cloud cover. We’ll be able to see right through that, thanks to our friend Cassini.  But more about her later.  For this post, just enjoy Destination Ten as we prepare for landing. Anyone care to take a guess where we are yet?

Newcomers, be sure to check in at Space Game Rules! Then jump on board.

Posted in Destination Ten, Planets, Saturn, Solar System, Space, Space Game, Titan | 1 Comment

Where in the Solar System is Destination Nine? And the location is…

Congratulations Bird of the Wind, Gulfstream, and Aidoboy for figuring out that Destination Nine is indeed one of the four moons of the the gas giant Jupiter discovered in 1609 by Galileo Galilei, with a warm water sea that Earth scientists feel just might harbor life, and like a continent on Earth, was named after the mythical queen…

Europa

Thought you might be interested in the Europa Lander Mission plan once considered by NASA.

Credit: NASA

Unfortunately, budget cuts made this  mission unlikely. But not one to give up easily, NASA entered into discussions with ESA about a possible joint mission which they announced in 2009.  The Europa Jupiter System Mission [EJSM] would take a close look at Europa’s potentially life filled seas.

Credit: JPL/NASA

Pretty amazing, eh? Just hope this mission happens…I can’t wait to find out if they’re right!

I’ll keep you updated in future posts. And, as always Space Bloggers, your comments are welcome!

Posted in Destination Nine, Europa, Europa Jupiter System Mission, Galileo, Jupiter, Planets, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | Leave a comment

Where in the Solar System is Destination Nine? (day 4)

Hey Space Bloggers!

I don’t know about you, but um, lovely as Destination Nine is, I want to get back to Earth before the summer’s over — for those North Hemispherian’s anyway. And you South Hemispherian’s don’t want to miss spring, right?  So here it is.  Your final clue:

Galileo Galilei discovered Destination Nine in 1609, along with three other Jovian moons.  Looking through his homemade telescope, Galileo must have seen something very much like this.

Image acknowledgment: astronomyonline.org

Here’s what Destination Nine looked like nearly 4 centuries later when photographed by the Earth ship named after its discoverer.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

What a difference four centuries make, eh?

I’m pretty sure by now you all know where we are, so I’ll sign off until next post when we’ll wrap up our trip to Destination Nine.

Posted in Destination Nine, Europa, Galileo, Jupiter, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | 4 Comments

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Nine? (day 3)

Hey Space Bloggers!

Aidoboy has figured out what planet we are near here on our virtual visit to Destination Nine (see his comment to the last post). All you have to do now is pinpoint exactly which of that planet’s many moons we are on. Here is your next clue.

This particular moon is the focus of much attention on Earth because it may have three ingredients necessary for life:

  1. water – a huge liquid ocean covered by a layer of ice
  2. heat energy – the gravitational pull of the nearby planet probably causes tidal waves rocking and warming the ocean
  3. organic molecules – brought by comets

Credit: NASA/JPL

In fact, NASA and ESA are so curious about the possibility of carbon based life on Destination Nine that they may send a joint mission here in the next decade. So be quick. We’ve gotta get out of here before they come!

Posted in Destination Nine, Jupiter, Planets, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | Leave a comment

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Nine? (day 2)

Here you are, Space Bloggers.  Another day 2 limmer-iddle!

I was named for a Grecian god’s wife

who, like me, surely suffered much strife.

And yet hidden down deep

we both carefully keep

the ingredients needed for life!

Hmm… That’s certainly not an easy one.  But I know you space bloggers don’t solve limmer-iddles because they’re easy.  As President Kennedy said about sending humans to the moon:

Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…

Credit: NASA

See and hear President Kennedy speak these words. [requires Windows Media Player 7] Or go to this NASA site for more clips and the entire speech.

Good luck you intrepid space bloggers. Make as many guesses as you want. I have no doubt that, if you keep trying, you will achieve your noble goal. Destination 9 awaits!

Newcomers, to join the game, check Space Game Rules!

Posted in Destination Nine, Earth-Moon System, President Kennedy, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | 5 Comments

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Nine? (day 1)

Hey Space Bloggers!

Ready for another heart stopping lift-off? Too late. It was so smooth you missed it!  We’re there!  Take a look.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Pretty cool, eh! You’re looking at a 44 by 19 mile swath of Destination Nine, one of the most propitious places in the solar system.  Want to know how much of Destination Nine you can see?  It’s bigger than snowflake, bigger than a leaf, bigger even than a football field. The swath pictured is 19 MILES wide and 47 MILES long!

What? Still not big enough for you? Never fear! Check back next post for your fun and fact-filled day 2 limmer-iddle!

Newcomers, to join the game, check Space Game Rules!

Posted in Destination Nine, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | 2 Comments

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Eight? And the location is…

You guessed it, Erin Ivy. Congratulations! That destination with the icy white cap and the cozy lap for visiting roverstwo  moons whizzing across its night sky, the highest mountain and longest canyon in the solar system, and dunes the size of a football field, is our second closest neighbor, the fourth planet from the sun…

MARS

One more thing that just may be important. There’s water on Mars. Scientists believe there were once ancient seas covering part of the Martian surface.  But it’s not there now – at least not that we can see. Perhaps as the atmosphere thinned, much of the water evaporated into space. But not all.  Some water remains frozen at the Martian poles (that’s what makes that polar ice cap white).  And more water may be trapped underground.  In fact, the rover Spirit accidentally uncovered evidence of liquid H2O activity just inches beneath the surface. And NASA photographs show signs that water flowed on the surface of Mars very recently.  Since 1999.  Look.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

And where there’s water, there may be LIFE!

So keep your eyes and ears open as we continue to explore Mars.  There may be some lively discoveries!

And come back next post for your day 1 picture clue to get you started on the puzzling question: Where in the Solar System is Destination Nine?

Newcomers: To join in, check out Space Game Rules!

Posted in Destination Eight, Mars, Mars Rover, Mars Science Laboratory, Planets, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | 4 Comments

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Eight? (day 4)

Hey Space Bloggers!  Before we leave Destination 8 there’s one more thing (well, two) that I’ve just got to show you. Don’t wait another second. Look down now!

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Not impressed? Not even if I said you’re looking down on the biggest, tallest, widest known volcano in the solar system? Because it is.  Still means nothing? How about if I showed you this…

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

That’s right. This mountain is as big as Arizona. The state!

Now that I’ve got you’re attention, you might want to know the specifics. Olympus Mons is a shield volcanoe like the Hawaiian Islands.  It’s 16 miles high – that’s three times taller than Mt. Everest. It’s 374 miles wide, and covers about 114,000 square miles – like Arizona.

But that’s nothing compared to this! Go ahead. Look again.

Credit: Viking Project, USGS, NASA

See that scar stretching across about a third of the globe?  That’s the longest, deepest, widest canyon in the solar system. Its 2000 miles long – more than 3 Grand Canyons linked end to end.  It was worth the trip, right!

There you go Space Bloggers.  Have fun exploring Destination Eight, and I’ll be back to congratulate all you good guessers on the next post!

Newcomers, be sure to check in at Space Game Rules!

Posted in Destination Eight, Solar System, Space, Space Exploration, Space Game | 2 Comments

Space Game! Where in the Solar System is Destination Eight? (day 3)

Phobos: Harumph…I may be smallish for a moon, but I’m no baked potato!

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

[Hey Space Bloggers, sounds like one of the moons took offense when D8 called him ‘potato shaped’ in last post’s limmer-iddle.  Let’s listen in.]

D8: Now Phobos, you know I would never call you ‘baked’, at least not fully. Your night side is much too cold for that.

Phobos: Oh, I see. Now you’re calling me ‘half-baked’. Nice.

D8: You’re taking this all wrong. Your little brother Deimos didn’t mind–

Phobos: No, he wouldn’t.  Deimos is too perfect- so smooth and shiny. Besides, you always liked him best!

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

D8: Don’t be silly, Phobos.  You know I love you both equally.  Why watching you zip through the sky while Deimos dawdles along behind you–well, it just lights up my world!

Phobos: Aww gee. Really? I didn’t know. I mean, we actually just reflect the light…

[I think they’re working it out, Space Bloggers.  Let’s just step back and take a look for ourselves…]

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M

So this is what you can see from the surface of Destination Eight. Two moons in the night sky. At the same time. Wow. Hope that answers your question Erin Ivy. Thanks for asking!

Check back next post day for the exciting answer to the nagging question: Where in the Solar System is Destination Eight?

Posted in Destination Eight, Mars Rover, Space Exploration, Space Game | Leave a comment