Solar System

NASA's Juno Preps For Fifth Jupiter Flyby, All Science Instruments To Be Switched On

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is being prepped for its fifth close flyby of Jupiter. The solar-powered spacecraft, at the time of its closest approach of …


Photos Reveal More Than 200 Bright Blue Arctic Lakes Have Started Bubbling With Methane Gas

Not good.<p>Satellite images have revealed more than 200 strange, bright blue lakes in Russia's Arctic regions that are bubbling "like jacuzzis" as a …

Earth Science

Curiosity captures gravity wave shaped clouds on Mars

This week, from March 20th to 24th, the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be taking place in The Woodlands, Texas. Every year, this …


These Mars sand dunes look like a bunch of worms

A fresh look at the Martian landscape shows a collection of wormy-looking curved dark sand dunes.<p>Not to be outdone by Pluto's space slug formation, Mars is offering up its own oddball landscape features in a NASA photo showing a series of sand dunes. The dunes might look like a herd of wriggling …


Scientists are working on a new definition that could add 102 planets to the solar system

Is Pluto a planet?<p>It’s not a question scientists ask in polite company.<p>“It’s like religion and politics,” says Kirby Runyon, a planetary scientist at …


Curiosity's Battered Wheels Show First Breaks

Since it landed on August 6th, 2012, the <i>Curiosity</i> rover has spent a total of 1644 Sols (or 1689 Earth days) on Mars. And as of March 2017, it has …

Space Exploration

Ice in Ceres' Shadowed Craters Linked to Tilt History

The tilt of Ceres' rotation axis could be related to ice in shadowed regions, research from NASA's Dawn mission suggests.


Busted moon could put rings around Mars

Mars may have had rings about 4 billion years ago, say researchers. And it could have them again if its moon, Phobos, breaks apart.


Massive Martian Slopes May Harbor Ice

Strange surface features sprawled around the bases of steep slopes on Mars point to the presence of ice on the planet's surface, according to new …


New definition of planet would make Pluto, 100 celestial bodies into planets

Will Pluto have the last laugh? A group of NASA scientists hopes so.<p>A group of members of the New Horizons mission to Pluto are making the case to redefine what constitutes as a planet to be more inclusive. The proposed definition would reinstate Pluto as a planet, and grant planetary status to the …


Missouri will be prime viewing spot for summer's solar eclipse

“It is the most spectacular thing you will ever see. Once you see it, you will never forget it,” Astronomy magazine senior editor Michael Bakich promises viewers of the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States in 38 years.<p>To celebrate, Bakich is planning “the biggest event on Earth” in …


Cassini’s Grand Finale

This view shows Saturn's northern hemisphere in 2016. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute<p>The Cassini spacecraft has spent almost 13 years …


The Fight For Pluto's Fate As A Planet Continues

About a decade ago Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet. Now scientists are arguing that because of shape and surface features, Pluto and 110 bodies in our solar system deserve to be planets.


How Scientists Simulated Jupiter's Wild Winds With a Giant Table and a Garbage Can

For a gaseous planet, Jupiter's weather has surprising depth.<p>Jupiter is intimidating on several levels, not the least of which are the storms swirling on its surface, punctuated by the Giant Red Spot. Now scientists simulating these jets have concluded that they're far from skin deep. Rather, the …


Juno Mission Collects 'Out Of The Box' Data On Jupiter

The NASA mission, which is now orbiting around Jupiter, is sending back data that is upending what we thought we knew about the gas giant.


Mars May Once Have Had Rings, And It Will Again ... Eventually

Mars may once have had a ring and would probably have them again sometime in the future, according to a theory put forward by two scientists from …


See Earth’s Lithospheric Magnetic Field In Highest Resolution Yet | Video

The magnetized rocks of Earth’s crust and mantle, also known as the upper lithosphere, accounts for generating 6 percent of the planet’s magnetic …


Mars Volcano Died at Same Time As Dinosaurs

Around the same time that the dinosaurs became extinct on Earth, a volcano on Mars went dormant, NASA researchers have learned.<p>Arsia Mons is the …

Cool Stuff

A Resolution

Photojournal: PIA20526<p>March 20, 2017<p>NASA's Cassini spacecraft zoomed in on Saturn's A ring, revealing narrow, detailed structures that get even finer …


European Space Agency's Jupiter mission set to launch in 2022

ESA is scheduled to launch its Jupiter exploring spacecraft in 2022 on a mission to examine the giant planet's turbulent atmosphere, enormous …


Gorgeous video takes you on a trip above Mars

At the moment, NASA and other space agencies are operating satellites in orbit around Mars. The spacecraft are continuing to beam amazing images of the red planet's surface back to Earth, and some of the probes have even solved Martian mysteries in the process.<p>But what would it look like if you …


Flyby Mars from Phobos - The Big Picture

Astonishing:<p>The anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface. There are hundreds of …


Mysterious water-like streaks on Mars might be sand flows instead

We thought the dark lines that appear on Martian slopes each summer were flowing salt water, but tumbling dust might be to blame

Space Exploration

Why Scientists Are So Excited About This Solar Eclipse

Darkness settles in. The soft colors of morning quickly dampen and shadows sharpen. As you look up, the sun transforms into a black hole, winter constellations appear, and the seldom-seen corona — that ghostly halo of light that wraps around the sun's surface — becomes visible. The temperature …


Here Comes the Sun: Spring Equinox Arrives Today in the Northern Hemisphere

In mid-March, snow and ice still frost the ground and winter's grip feels as strong as ever in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere.<p>But an annual …


Mercury Is Joining 2017's Evening Sky: How to See It

Venus will leave the evening sky this week as it passes through inferior conjunction on March 25 and transitions into a morning object. But as Venus …


Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status

Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: Regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the …


Fejokoo Crater

NASA's Dawn mission has found that craters on Ceres show a diversity of shapes that provide important clues about the structure of Ceres' …


A chance for the Pluto-huggers? Hopkins scientist leads effort to restore underdog's planetary stature

Ejected a decade ago from its place among the planets, the distant, icy world of Pluto still has its admirers.<p>The runt of the litter and ninth in …


See our solar system like you've never seen it before

Book Excerpt: Otherworlds<p><i>The following is an excerpt from Otherworlds by Michael Benson.</i><p><i>Editors note: to see all of the incredible, otherworldly details in these photos, click on the arrows at the top right of each image to enlarge.</i><p><i>Excerpted from Otherworlds by Michael Benson, published by Abrams</i> …