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E.g., 11/20/2017
E.g., 11/20/2017
Your search has returned 426 images:
  • Pluto's haze
  • Illustration of New Horizons' next target
  • cutaway illustration of Enceladus
Your search has returned 803 articles:
  • News

    Haze keeps Pluto cool by kicking heat out to space

    Blame Pluto’s haze for the dwarf planet’s unexpected chilliness. Clusters of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere radiate heat back into space, keeping the dwarf planet cool, a new study suggests. Pluto may be the only world in the solar system whose atmospheric temperature is controlled by solid particles, rather than gas, researchers report in the Nov. 16 Nature.

    Most planets’ temperatures...

    11/15/2017 - 13:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    NASA wants your help naming New Horizons’ next destination

    NASA’s New Horizons mission needs a catchier nickname for its next destination. The bar isn’t exactly high.

    On New Year’s Day 2019, the spacecraft will fly by the tiny Kuiper Belt world that bears the official designation of (486958) 2014 MU69. NASA announced Monday that it is asking the public for an easier-to-remember nickname. The SETI Institute is hosting the contest.

    As with...

    11/07/2017 - 14:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    A sandy core may have kept Enceladus’ ocean warm

    A soft heart keeps Enceladus warm from the inside. Friction within its porous core could help Saturn’s icy moon maintain a liquid ocean for billions of years and explain why it sprays plumes from its south pole, astronomers report November 6 in Nature Astronomy.

    Observations in 2015 showed that Enceladus’ icy surface is a shell that’s completely detached from its rocky core, meaning the...

    11/06/2017 - 11:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Science Visualized

    See a new mosaic of images of comet 67P from the Rosetta mission

    A year after the Rosetta spacecraft’s rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko came to an end, the views are still stunning. This montage, released in September by the European Space Agency, includes 210 of the thousands of images taken by Rosetta and the Philae lander and recaps the daring mission to explore the space rock. The images are arranged chronologically (starting at the top...

    11/03/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Dino-dooming asteroid impact created a chilling sulfur cloud

    The asteroid collision that may have doomed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago really stank. A new analysis of gases released from vaporized rocks at the impact site in modern-day Mexico suggests that the smashup released up to three times more smelly, climate-cooling sulfur than previously believed.

    The Chicxulub impact spewed about 325 billion tons of sulfur and 425 billion tons of...

    11/02/2017 - 06:00 Earth, Planetary Science, Animals
  • News in Brief

    An interstellar asteroid might have just been spotted for the first time

    Astronomers may have just spotted the first asteroid caught visiting the solar system from another star.

    The Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii discovered the object, initially dubbed A/2017 U1 and later named 'Oumuamua, on October 18. More observations from other telescopes around the world suggest the object’s trajectory is at an unusually steep angle to the plane on which all the...

    10/27/2017 - 11:47 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Dawn spacecraft will keep orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres indefinitely

    It’s a new day for the Dawn spacecraft. The NASA spacecraft, which has been orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres since 2015, just got its final marching orders: Keep orbiting Ceres indefinitely.

    The extension, which NASA announced October 19, will be the second time Dawn’s mission at Ceres has been renewed. It means Dawn will still be in orbit when Ceres makes its closest approach to the sun...

    10/20/2017 - 15:15 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • How Bizarre

    Here’s what space toilets can teach us about finding signs of alien life

    The search for life may get an assist from the call of nature. Astronomers can learn how to study the plumes of subsurface ocean water spewing from icy moons like Saturn’s Enceladus from an unlikely source: Space toilets.

    Future spacecraft might scoop up samples of Enceladus’ plumes. Figuring out what to expect is tricky: It’s hard to replicate the plumes in Earth-based labs. But...

    10/17/2017 - 17:38 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Oddball dwarf planet Haumea has a ring

    Haumea can do the hula-hoop. The egg-shaped dwarf planet is the first object beyond Neptune to be spotted sporting a ring of particles.

    “It now appears that rings can be common in the outer solar system,” says Jose-Luis Ortiz of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Granada, Spain.

    On January 21, Ortiz and colleagues used 12 telescopes at 10 observatories to peer into the...

    10/11/2017 - 13:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Why it’s good news that Pluto doesn’t have rings

    Pluto has no rings — New Horizons triple-checked. An exhaustive search for rings and dust particles around the dwarf planet before, during and after the spacecraft flew past Pluto in 2015 has come up empty.

    “It’s a very long paper to say we didn’t find anything,” says team member Tod Lauer of the analysis, posted online September 23 at But the nonresult could help scientists...

    10/04/2017 - 11:30 Astronomy, Planetary Science