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E.g., 06/25/2017
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  • Jupiter
  • TRAPPIST 1 system
  • Saturn's ring system
Your search has returned 751 articles:
  • News

    Juno spacecraft reveals a more complex Jupiter

    Jupiter’s scientific portrait is getting repainted.

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft swooped within about 5,000 kilometers of Jupiter’s cloud tops on August 27, 2016, giving scientists their first intimate look at the gas giant. The data are revealing surprising details about Jupiter’s gravity, powerful magnetic field and ammonia-rich weather system. The findings, which appear in two studies in...

    05/25/2017 - 14:14 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    TRAPPIST-1’s seventh planet is a chilly world

    When astronomers in February announced the discovery of seven planets orbiting a supercool star, details about the outermost planet were sketchy. No more. The seventh planet is chilly and definitely no place for life, the international team reports May 22 in Nature Astronomy.

    The seven-planet system, TRAPPIST-1, is 39 light-years from Earth in the constellation Aquarius. Follow-up...

    05/23/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • 50 Years Ago

    50 years ago, an Earth-based telescope spotted Saturn’s fourth ring

    Saturn: Four Rings

    Walter A. Feibelman of the University of Pittsburgh … has found evidence indicating a fourth ring [of Saturn].… Every 14.78 years, the rings of Saturn can be seen edge-on from Earth, and the past winter marked one of these opportunities.… The thin ring “extends to more than twice the known ring diameter” (or a total of 340,000 miles), and is so faint it cannot be...

    05/18/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder the randomness of DNA errors

    At random

    As cells divide and grow, mutations may crop up in cancer-associated genes. A recent study found that more cancer mutations are caused by these random mistakes than other factors, such as environment or inheritance, Tina Hesman Saey reported in “DNA errors play big role in cancer” (SN: 4/15/17, p. 6).

    John Day wondered if replication errors are truly random, not just...

    05/17/2017 - 10:49 Cancer, Planetary Science
  • News

    Watery exoplanet’s skies suggest unexpected origin story

    A watery world about 430 light-years from Earth may have had a relatively calm origin.

    The Neptune-mass exoplanet, HAT-P-26b, has surprisingly low levels of heavy elements in its atmosphere, suggesting that it formed close to its star, researchers report in the May 12 Science. That’s different from how the ice giants in Earth’s solar system, Neptune and Uranus, formed, suggesting...

    05/11/2017 - 14:45 Planetary Science, Exoplanets
  • News

    Oxygen on comet 67P might not be ancient after all

    Oxygen on comets might not date all the way back to the birth of the solar system.

    Instead, interactions between water, particles streaming from the sun and grains of sand or rust on the comet’s surface could generate the gas. Those interactions could explain the surprising abundance of O2 detected in the fuzzy envelope of gas around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2015 (SN: 11/28/15...

    05/08/2017 - 12:28 Planetary Science
  • News

    Mars may not have been born alongside the other rocky planets

    Mars may have had a far-out birthplace.

    Simulating the assembly of the solar system around 4.56 billion years ago, researchers propose that the Red Planet didn’t form in the inner solar system alongside the other terrestrial planets as previously thought. Mars instead may have formed around where the asteroid belt is now and migrated inward to its present-day orbit, the scientists report...

    05/05/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Here’s how an asteroid impact would kill you

    It won’t be a tsunami. Nor an earthquake. Not even the crushing impact of the space rock. No, if an asteroid kills you, gusting winds and shock waves from falling and exploding space rocks will most likely be to blame. That’s one of the conclusions of a recent computer simulation effort that investigated the fatality risks of more than a million possible asteroid impacts.

    In one extreme...

    05/02/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Cassini’s ring dive offers first close-up of Saturn’s cloud tops

    Cassini has beamed back stunning images from the spacecraft’s daring dive between Saturn and its rings.

    The first closeup pictures of the planet’s atmosphere reveal peculiar threadlike clouds and puffy cumulus ones, plus the giant hurricane first spotted on Saturn in 2008 (SN: 11/8/08, p. 9). Released April 27, the images of Saturn’s cloud tops are a “big step forward” for understanding...

    04/27/2017 - 17:49 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    In ‘grand finale,’ Cassini spacecraft sets off on collision course with Saturn

    View the animation

    Cassini is bravely going where no spacecraft has gone before — between Saturn and its rings.

    The probe, which launched in 1997 and has orbited Saturn since 2004, starts this daring expedition April 22. It will fly through the 2,400-kilometer-wide gap between Saturn and its rings 22 times before plunging into the planet’s atmosphere and burning up on Sept. 15....

    04/21/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science