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E.g., 08/17/2017
E.g., 08/17/2017
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  • Mercury
  • moon
  • Saturn
Your search has returned 777 articles:
  • News

    What can we learn about Mercury’s surface during the eclipse?

    On the morning of August 21, a pair of jets will take off from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to chase the shadow of the moon. They will climb to 15 kilometers in the stratosphere and fly in the path of the total solar eclipse over Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee at 750 kilometers per hour.

    But some of the instruments the jets carry won’t be looking at the sun, or even at Earth...

    08/14/2017 - 07:00 Astronomy, Earth, Science & Society, Planetary Science
  • News

    Moon had a magnetic field for at least a billion years longer than thought

    The moon had a magnetic field for at least 2 billion years, or maybe longer.

    Analysis of a relatively young rock collected by Apollo astronauts reveals the moon had a weak magnetic field until 1 billion to 2.5 billion years ago, at least a billion years later than previous data showed. Extending this lifetime offers insights into how small bodies generate magnetic fields, researchers...

    08/09/2017 - 15:07 Planetary Science, Physics, Exoplanets
  • Television

    Nostalgic Voyager documentary relives first exploration of the solar system

    View the trailer

    A species gets only one chance to explore its solar system for the first time.

    For humans, that chance began 40 years ago this month, when the twin Voyager spacecraft embarked on their “grand tour” of the solar system. A new PBS documentary airing on August 23, The Farthest: Voyager in Space, chronicles their journey to send home the first close-ups of the giant...

    08/07/2017 - 15:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • The Science Life

    What Curiosity has yet to tell us about Mars

    View the video

    After five years on Mars, the Curiosity rover is an old pro at doing science on the Red Planet. Since sticking its landing on August 5, 2012, NASA’s Little Robot That Could has learned a lot about its environs.

    Its charge was simple: Look for signs that Gale crater, a huge impact basin with a mountain at its center, might once have been habitable (for microbes, not...

    08/04/2017 - 16:29 Planetary Science, Chemistry, Robotics
  • News

    The solar system's earliest asteroids may have all been massive

    The solar system’s first asteroids were probably born big.

    Rather than slowly amassing bulk over time, the original members of the asteroid belt rapidly formed into rocks hundreds of kilometers across, researchers propose. This finding, reported online August 3 in Science, may help resolve a long-standing debate over the origins of planetesimals — the giant space rocks that populated the...

    08/03/2017 - 14:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Evidence mounts for an ocean on early Venus

    Venus may have been all wet early on.

    New simulations suggest that if the now-hellish planet had just the right amount of cloud cover, carbon dioxide and water to start with, Venus could have formed an ocean. The result, published online July 18 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, provides a new clue to whether Venus could have ever supported life.

    The finding could...

    08/01/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Potential ingredient for alien life found on Titan

    A molecule that could help build otherworldly life is present on Saturn’s moon Titan, researchers have discovered.

    Vinyl cyanide, a compound predicted to form membranelike structures, is created in Titan’s upper atmosphere, scientists report July 28 in Science Advances. There’s enough vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN) in the moon’s liquid methane seas to make about 10 million cell-like balls per...

    07/28/2017 - 14:32 Astrobiology, Planetary Science
  • News

    More hints of Martian hot springs may hold promise for Mars 2020 mission

    Ancient hot springs may have bubbled up at a spot just south of the Martian equator. Left-behind mineral deposits described in a new study are not the first evidence of such features on Mars. But if confirmed, the discovery could affect where NASA’s Mars 2020 mission rover lands to start its hunt for signs of life.

    The spot scrutinized in the new study is called Margaritifer Terra. This...

    07/26/2017 - 11:10 Planetary Science
  • News

    Fewer big rogue planets roam the galaxy, recount shows

    Big, rogue planets — ones without parent stars — are rare.

    A new census of free-floating Jupiter-mass planets determined that these worlds are a tenth as common as previous estimates suggested. The results appear online July 24 in Nature.

    Planets can go rogue in two ways: They can get kicked out of their parent planetary systems or form when a ball of gas and dust collapses (SN: 4/...

    07/24/2017 - 11:00 Exoplanets, Planetary Science
  • Say What?

    Earth might once have resembled a hot, steamy doughnut

    Synestia\sin-es-ti-ə \ n.

    A large spinning hunk of hot, vaporized rock that forms when rocky, planet-sized objects collide

    Earth may have taken on a jelly doughnut shape early in its history. The rocky planet was spinning through space about 4.5 billion years ago when it smacked into a Mars-sized hunk of rotating rock called Theia, according to one theory (SN: 4/15/17, p. 18). That hit...

    07/21/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science