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Pluto Might Have Ice Volcanoes On Its Surface

Erupting slush instead of lava<p>Soon after the New Horizons spacecraft whizzed by Pluto earlier this year, scientists noticed young, icy mountains in the southern part of the planet. Now NASA scientists have noticed evidence that these mountains might be cryovolcanoes--volcanoes that spew ice and …

Data From New Horizons Mission Reveals Extremely ‘Unusual’ Characteristic of Pluto’s Moons

The moons orbiting Pluto spin and don’t keep one face pointed toward the dwarf planet they orbit, NASA announced Monday.<p>The space agency said that data from the New Horizons mission revealed that four of Pluto’s largest moons fail to rotate in sync with the planet.<p>“The New Horizons mission also is …

NASA has figured out how Mars was stripped clean of water

What happened to Mars’ atmosphere? NASA thinks it knows.<p>Around 3.7 to 4.2 billion years ago, the red planet’s atmosphere was the same size or bigger than the Earth’s, but today it’s about 100 times thinner than on our planet. The answer, it turns out, is blowing in the wind.<p>Solar winds, to be …

Particles

NASA developing plan for broken Kepler space telescope

NASA launched the Kepler telescope back in 2009 with a directive to search for Earth-like extrasolar planets. The mission was supposed to last at …

Universe

Searching the Sky for the Wobbles of Gravity

Our ears are now open to gravity’s faint symphony. On September 18, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or Advanced …

Is "Protecting" Mars from Contamination a Half-Baked Idea?

Imagine sending paleontologists to the Olduvai Gorge to find evidence of hominin habitation, but to avoid at all costs venturing too close to any …

Mars

NASA unveiled a new prototype of the crowdsourced spacesuit astronauts will wear on Mars

It’s not as sleek or form-fitting as the spacesuit worn by Matt Damon in <i>The Martian</i>, but it’s certainly something. NASA has released the latest photos of its Z-2 spacesuit prototype—an early model of what astronauts will ultimately wear as they traverse the dusty surface of Mars (and, perhaps, …

Space Science

Chris Hadfield on the great space discoveries of 2015

It has been an astonishing 12 months for space exploration. Chris Hadfield, the astronaut, discusses the awe-inspiring discoveries on Pluto, Mars and Saturn.<p>A year ago – almost to the day – Philae, a spacecraft the size of a washing machine, landed on Rosetta, a comet 316 million miles from home. …

Weird Object: Milky Way Antimatter Fountain

In 1928, the shy, brilliant physicist Paul Dirac predicted the existence of antimatter. When it was actually discovered 7 years later, Dirac should …