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What's Up for December
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What's Up Blog: Thoughts about our solar system by Jane Houston Jones
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MESSENGER
MESSENGER Team Launches "Name a Crater" Competition   17 Dec 2014
The MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach Team is holding a competition to name five impact craters on Mercury. The contest, open to all Earth citizens except for members of the mission's EPO team, runs from December 15, 2014, to January 15, 2015. Read More
MESSENGER Data Suggest Recurring Meteor Shower on Mercury
MESSENGER Data Suggest Recurring Meteor Shower on Mercury   17 Dec 2014
The closest planet to the sun appears to get hit by a periodic meteor shower, possibly associated with a comet that produces multiple events annually on Earth. Read More
Rosetta
Rosetta Orbiter to Swoop Down On Comet in February   17 Dec 2014
The European Space Agency's orbiting Rosetta spacecraft is expected to come within four miles (six kilometers) of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in February of next year. The flyby will be the closest the comet explorer will come ... Read More
Venus Express Goes Gently Into the Night
Venus Express Goes Gently Into the Night   16 Dec 2014
ESA's Venus Express has ended its eight-year mission after far exceeding its planned life. The spacecraft exhausted its propellant during a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit following the low-altitude aerobraking earlier this year. Read More
Calendars: Solar System Launches & Events
20 Dec 2014 75th Birthday, Ames Research Center (1939)
20 Dec 2014 110th Birthday, Mt. Wilson Observatory (1904)
21 Dec 2014 Winter Solstice
21 Dec 2014 30th Anniversary, Vega 2: Launch
23 Dec 2014 15th Anniversary, NEAR Shoemaker: Asteroid Eros Flyby
24 Dec 2014 10th Anniversary, Cassini: Huygens Probe Release
28 Dec 2014 5th Anniversary, Deep Impact (EPOXI): Distant Earth Flyby 2
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Last Updated: 17 Dec 2014