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E.g., 03/28/2017
E.g., 03/28/2017
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  • Pluto
  • Pluto's hazy horizon
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Your search has returned 735 articles:
  • Soapbox

    It’s time to redefine what qualifies as a planet, scientists propose

    Pluto is a planet. It always has been, and it always will be, says Will Grundy of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Now he just has to convince the world of that.

    For centuries, the word planet meant “wanderer” and included the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Eventually the moon and sun were dropped from the definition, but Pluto was included, after its...

    03/23/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    How Pluto’s haze could explain its red spots

    Pluto may get its smattering of red spots from the fallout of its hazy blue skies, researchers say.

    Haze particles from the dwarf planet’s atmosphere settle onto all of Pluto’s surfaces. But some regions may become redder and darker than others because parts of the atmosphere collapse, exposing those spots to more surface-darkening radiation from space, researchers report March 22 at the...

    03/22/2017 - 09:41 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Close pass by sun didn’t radically alter comet 67P’s landscape

    At least one of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dusty outbursts was the result of a landslide. But such changes to the surface of the comet haven’t radically altered its appearance, suggesting it has had roughly the same look for decades — or longer.

    Images from the Rosetta spacecraft taken before its demise show what happened to the comet as it passed close to the sun in 2015. Cliffs...

    03/21/2017 - 10:30 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Saturn’s ‘Death Star’ moon may not conceal an ocean after all

    An ocean of liquid water probably doesn’t lurk beneath the icy surface of Mimas, Saturn’s smallest major moon, new calculations suggest. Scientists had proposed the ocean in 2014 to help explain an odd wobble in the moon’s orbit.

    Other ocean-harboring moons, such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, are crisscrossed by fractures opened by strong tides that cause their oceans to...

    02/28/2017 - 14:07 Planetary Science, Oceans
  • News

    Europa lander mission takes another step toward reality

    BOSTON — For the first time since the Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s, NASA is making the search for evidence of life on another world the primary science goal of a space mission. The target world is Jupiter’s moon Europa, considered possibly habitable because of its subsurface ocean.

    The proposed mission, which could be operational in the next two decades, calls for a lander with...

    02/18/2017 - 11:09 Planetary Science, Technology
  • Science Ticker

    Juno spacecraft won’t go into shorter orbit around Jupiter

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft will stay in its current 53-day orbit around Jupiter instead of closing into a 14-day orbit as originally planned, the Juno team announced February 17.

    An issue with two helium check valves, which are tied to the spacecraft’s main engine, had scientists concerned. The valves took several minutes to open when the team pressurized the spacecraft’s propulsion system...

    02/17/2017 - 16:02 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Ceres harbors homegrown organic compounds

    NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected organic compounds on Ceres — the first concrete proof of organics on an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

    This material probably originated on the dwarf planet itself, the researchers report in the Feb. 17 Science. The discovery of organic compounds adds to the growing body of evidence that Ceres may have once had a habitable...

    02/16/2017 - 14:58 Planetary Science
  • News

    Red Planet’s interior may not churn much

    An enduring source of magma on Mars fueled volcanic eruptions for billions of years, clues inside a rock flung from the Red Planet reveal.

    The newfound rock belongs to a batch of meteorites called shergottites that originated from the same Martian volcanic system, researchers report February 1 in Science Advances. But the new rock is considerably older than its counterparts. While...

    02/01/2017 - 14:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Oxygen atoms from Earth bombard the moon

    Life on Earth may have made its mark on the moon billions of years before Neil Armstrong’s famous first step.

    Observations by Japan’s moon-orbiting Kaguya spacecraft suggest that oxygen atoms from Earth’s upper atmosphere bombard the moon’s surface for a few days each month. This oxygen onslaught began in earnest around 2.4 billion years ago when photosynthetic microbes first flourished...

    01/30/2017 - 11:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Asteroid barrage, ancient marine life boom not linked

    An asteroid bombardment that some say triggered an explosion of marine animal diversity around 471 million years ago actually had nothing to do with it.  

    Precisely dating meteorites from the salvo, researchers found that the space rock barrage began at least 2 million years after the start of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. So the two phenomena are unrelated, the...

    01/24/2017 - 11:00 Evolution, Planetary Science