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E.g., 03/21/2018
E.g., 03/21/2018
Your search has returned 452 images:
  • Cassini image of Saturn
  • TRAPPIST-1 planets
  • moon craters
Your search has returned 830 articles:
  • News

    5 things we’ve learned about Saturn since Cassini died

    THE WOODLANDS, Texas — It’s been six months since NASA’s Cassini spacecraft plunged to its doom in the atmosphere of Saturn, but scientists didn’t spend much time mourning. They got busy, analyzing the spacecraft’s final data.

    The Cassini mission ended September 15, 2017, after more than 13 years orbiting Saturn (SN Online: 9/15/17). The spacecraft’s final 22 orbits, dubbed the Grand...

    03/20/2018 - 15:30 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Some TRAPPIST-1 planets may be water worlds

    There’s so much water on some of TRAPPIST-1’s seven Earth-sized planets that any life lurking there might be difficult to detect.

    New estimates of the makeup of these potentially habitable worlds suggests that two of them are more than half water, by mass, researchers report March 19 in Nature Astronomy. Earth, by comparison, is less than 0.1 percent water.

    TRAPPIST-1’s planets are...

    03/19/2018 - 17:53 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    AI bests humans at mapping the moon

    Artificial intelligence is helping draw a more detailed map of the moon.

    An AI that studied lunar images to learn what craters look like has discovered thousands of new pockmarks on the moon’s surface. This program could also be used to catalog impact scars on other moons or planets, which might improve scientists’ understanding of how various objects roamed our solar system in the past...

    03/15/2018 - 15:53 Artificial Intelligence, Planetary Science
  • News

    Dwarf planet Ceres may store underground brine that still gushes up today

    Ceres may be regularly coughing up briny water or slush onto its surface.

    The discovery of waterlogged minerals and a growing ice wall suggests that the dwarf planet could harbor underground liquid water or slushy brine, which has escaped through cracks and craters in the recent past and may still be seeping out today. The findings, reported in two papers published online March 14 in...

    03/14/2018 - 18:38 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • The Name Game

    New Horizons’ next target has been dubbed Ultima Thule

    And the winner is in. Of the roughly 34,000 submissions sent in by the public, NASA has finally chosen an official nickname for the New Horizons spacecraft’s next destination: Ultima Thule.

    New Horizons is scheduled to visit the tiny Kuiper Belt object on New Year’s Day 2019. NASA announced in November that it was seeking public input for a catchier name than the object’s existing...

    03/14/2018 - 15:52 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Cosmic dust may create Mars’ wispy clouds

    The seeds for Martian clouds may come from the dusty tails of comets.

    Charged particles, or ions, of magnesium from the cosmic dust can trigger the formation of tiny ice crystals that help form clouds, a new analysis of Mars’ atmosphere suggests.

    For more than a decade, rovers and orbiters have captured images of Martian skies with wispy clouds made of carbon dioxide ice. But “it...

    03/13/2018 - 17:08 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    4 surprising things we just learned about Jupiter

    Bit by bit, Jupiter is revealing its deepest, darkest secrets.

    The latest findings are in from the Juno spacecraft. And they unveil the roots of the planet’s storms, what lies beneath the opaque atmosphere and a striking geometric layout of cyclones parked around the gas giant’s north and south poles.

    “We’re at the beginning of dissecting Jupiter,” says Juno mission leader Scott...

    03/07/2018 - 13:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    How a vaporized Earth might have cooked up the moon

    The moon might have formed from the filling during Earth’s jelly doughnut phase.

    Around 4.5 billion years ago, something hit Earth, and the moon appeared shortly after. A new simulation of how the moon formed suggests it took shape in the midst of a hot cloud of rotating rock and vapor, which (in theory) forms when big planetary objects smash into each other at high speeds and energies....

    03/02/2018 - 10:36 Planetary Science
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers weigh in on human gene editing and more

    Mission: Mars

    The possibility that human visitors could carry Earth-based microbes to the Red Planet has roiled the Mars research community, Lisa Grossman reported in “How to keep humans from ruining the search for life on Mars” (SN: 1/20/18, p. 22).

    Reader Bruce Merchant speculated that Mars would need a protective global magnetic field to sustain a life-friendly environment. But...

    02/22/2018 - 10:39 Planetary Science, Exoplanets, Science & Society
  • News

    What will it take to go to Venus?

    There’s a planet just next door that could explain the origins of life in the universe. It was probably once covered in oceans (SN Online: 8/1/17). It may have been habitable for billions of years (SN Online: 8/26/16). Astronomers are desperate to land spacecraft there.

    No, not Mars. That tantalizing planet is Venus. But despite all its appeal, Venus is one of the hardest places in the...

    02/13/2018 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Exoplanets