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E.g., 11/15/2018
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  • Ceres, as seen by Dawn spacecraft
  • Dione
  • Europa icy spires
Your search has returned 881 articles:
  • Science Visualized

    The ghosts of nearly two dozen icy volcanoes haunt dwarf planet Ceres

    Scientists have spotted the ghosts of nearly two dozen ice volcanoes on dwarf planet Ceres.

    Found using topographic maps from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the slumped remains of once-grand cones suggest that Ceres has experienced continual eruptions for billions of years, the researchers report September 17 in Nature Astronomy.

    When Dawn arrived at Ceres in 2015, scientists noticed just...

    09/17/2018 - 11:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Saturn has two hexagons, not one, swirling around its north pole

    A new hexagon has emerged high in the skies over Saturn’s north pole.

    As spring turned to summer in the planet’s northern hemisphere, a six-sided vortex appeared in the stratosphere. Surprisingly, the polar polygon seems to mirror the famous hexagonal cyclone that swirls in the clouds hundreds of kilometers below, researchers report online September 3 in Nature Communications.


    09/06/2018 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Jupiter’s magnetic field is surprisingly weird

    If Earth’s magnetic field resembles that of a bar magnet, Jupiter’s field looks like someone took a bar magnet, bent it in half and splayed it at both ends. 

    The field emerges in a broad swath across Jupiter’s northern hemisphere and re-enters the planet both around the south pole and in a concentrated spot just south of the equator, researchers report in the Sept. 6 Nature.


    09/05/2018 - 13:04 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    The massive Mars dust storm is waning. Now, will Opportunity wake?

    With Martian skies finally clearing after a massive dust storm, NASA engineers have their fingers crossed that the Opportunity rover will soon phone home.

    Opportunity has been hunkered down in Mars’ Perseverance Valley since early June, caught in a storm that has grown to envelop the entire Red Planet. Since so little sunlight can reach the rover’s solar panels through the haze,...

    08/31/2018 - 12:51 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    New Horizons has sent back the first images of Ultima Thule, its next target

    New Horizons has its next destination in sight.

    The spacecraft, which buzzed Pluto in 2015, captured its first images on August 16 of the remote icy world nicknamed Ultima Thule, confirming that New Horizons is on track for its January 1 flyby. With about 160 million kilometers to go — roughly the same distance as Earth is from the sun — the tiny world appears as no more than a faint...

    08/29/2018 - 14:39 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    OSIRIS-REx snaps first images of asteroid Bennu

    The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has its destination in its sights. On August 17, the probe took its first images of the asteroid 101955 Bennu, marking the beginning of the spacecraft’s approach after a nearly two-year space voyage.

    “I can’t explain enough how much it meant to this team,” mission principal investigator Dante Lauretta, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson...

    08/24/2018 - 17:12 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Here’s where the Hayabusa2 spacecraft will land on the asteroid Ryugu

    Landing sites on the asteroid Ryugu for the Hayabusa2 spacecraft and its hitchhiking landers have been picked out, scientists with Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency announced in a news conference on August 23.

    Hayabusa2 arrived at the 1,000-meter-wide asteroid on June 27, and has been scanning the surface since. More than 100 mission team members met on August 17 to choose the first...

    08/23/2018 - 15:48 Planetary Science
  • News

    New Horizons may have seen a glow at the solar system’s edge

    The New Horizons spacecraft has spotted an ultraviolet glow that seems to emanate from near the edge of the solar system. That glow may come from a long-sought wall of hydrogen that represents where the sun’s influence wanes, the New Horizons team reports online August 7 in Geophysical Research Letters.

    “We’re seeing the threshold between being in the solar neighborhood and being in the...

    08/09/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    What does Mars’ lake mean for the search for life on the Red Planet?

    The search for life on Mars just got a lot more interesting.

    For decades, scientists have looked at the dry and dusty planet and focused on finding regions where life could have taken root billions of years ago, when the Martian climate was warmer and wetter. But on July 25, researchers announced they had spotted signs of a large lake of liquid water hiding beneath thick layers of ice...

    07/27/2018 - 13:56 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News

    Mars (probably) has a lake of liquid water

    A Mars orbiter has detected a wide lake of liquid water hidden below the planet’s southern ice sheets. There have been much-debated hints of tiny, ephemeral amounts of water on Mars before. But if confirmed, this lake marks the first discovery of a long-lasting cache of the liquid.

    “This is potentially a really big deal,” says planetary scientist Briony Horgan of Purdue University in...

    07/25/2018 - 10:00 Planetary Science, Astrobiology