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France on Mars aboard NASA’s Perseverance Rover

NASA’s next Mars rover has a new name: “Perseverance”. This name is reminiscent of its wheeled predecessors: Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. Long live Perseverance, which will be launched this summer from Cape Canaveral towards the red planet! “Perseverance” has a piercing eye, the laser of the SuperCam instrument that was specially built by the […]

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Multiple rings in protoplanetary disks: one planet to govern them all

Recent observations of protoplanetary disks, these planetary systems in formation, frequently reveal sequences of dark and bright rings. While these structures are often attributed to multiple planets, numerical simulations show that they can be generated by a single Saturn moving jerkily towards its star. These results published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society […]

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France on Mars with MARS2020, the American rover

This summer, NASA will send a new laser-equipped rover to the surface of Mars. Unlike science fiction lasers, the laser on the Mars2020 rover is used to study the geology of the ground from a distance of seven metres and will be able to help scientists in their search for early signs of fossilized microbial […]

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First year of the Insight Mars mission, surprising scientific results

A new understanding of Mars is emerging in light of the first year of NASA’s InSight mission. Results described in a set of six papers published today, five in Nature Geoscience and one in Nature Communications, reveal a living planet that is the scene of earthquakes, dust devils and strange magnetic impulses. Several CNRS laboratories […]

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ESO Telescope Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star’s surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing. Betelgeuse has been a beacon in the night sky […]

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Successful launch for Solar Orbiter!

The European probe begins its journey towards the centre of our Solar System, with French science in the spotlight. On Monday, February 10, 2020, at 05:03 a.m. French time, Solar Orbiter left the Earth on board an Atlas V 411 launcher from Cape Canaveral, Florida, heading towards the Sun. Its cruise will last just under […]

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Europe’s Solar Orbiter will leave the Earth for the Sun on February 10, 2020

On the night of February 9-10, 2020, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Solar Orbiter probe will depart towards the Sun on board an Atlas V 411. Its cruise will last a little less than two years and its scientific mission between 5 and 9 years. Dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics, it […]

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Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a Uranus-at-equinox type rotating magnetosphere

Within the Solar System all the planets, with the exception of Venus and Mars, have an intrinsic magnetic field strong enough to interact with the solar wind and form a complex magnetosphere. The structure of the magnetosphere depends greatly on the speed of rotation of the planet and the orientation of its two remarkable axes: […]

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Finally a realistic model for Altaïr, a star with extreme rotation!

Altaïr, a bright star in the summer sky, is known for its very fast rotation. The centrifugal effect is such that its polar radius is 20% smaller than its equatorial radius. This large deviation from the sphere has made the modelling of Altaïr impossible by classical approaches in stellar physics. For the first time, its […]