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E.g., 02/16/2019
E.g., 02/16/2019
Your search has returned 521 images:
  • shadow of Opportunity rover on Mars
  • object striking moon during lunar eclipse
  • Kepler exoplanet
Your search has returned 905 articles:
  • News

    After 15 years on Mars, it’s the end of the road for Opportunity

    Opportunity has finally run out of, well, opportunities. After weeks of trying to revive the veteran Mars rover in the wake of a blinding dust storm, NASA has given up on ever hearing from it again.

    After one last failed attempt to reach Opportunity February 12, NASA officials announced the end on February 13. “I was there with the team as these commands went out into the deep sky,”...

    02/13/2019 - 14:16 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    A basketball-sized rock hit the moon during the last lunar eclipse

    Thousands of people were watching the total lunar eclipse on January 21 when something suddenly smacked into the moon, creating a flash of light. Now professional and amateur astronomers have used fortuitous photographs of the strike to estimate the object’s size.

    Astronomer Jorge Zuluaga and his colleagues gathered images taken by amateurs in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, plus a...

    02/05/2019 - 12:01 Planetary Science
  • News

    A space rock collision may explain how this exoplanet was born

    Cataclysmic collisions between space rocks have helped explain some of the solar system’s biggest mysteries, from how the moon formed to how Uranus got its lopsided rotation. But convincing evidence for such events happening outside of the solar system is scant.

    Now scientists think that they have found the first known example of a near head-on collision between two massive worlds in...

    02/04/2019 - 13:40 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Titan’s oddly thick atmosphere may come from cooked organic compounds

    Titan may have a home-baked atmosphere.

    Saturn’s largest moon gets some of its thick atmosphere by cooking organic molecules in a warm core, a new study suggests.

    The decay of radioactive elements may warm Titan’s core from within, splitting nitrogen and carbon off from complex organic molecules. Once free, those elements can recombine into nitrogen and methane molecules and escape...

    02/01/2019 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover weighed the mountain it’s climbing

    For the first time, a Mars rover has measured the mass of the rocks beneath its wheels. By taking gravity measurements as it climbed a Martian mountain, Curiosity discovered something surprising: Mount Sharp appears to have been built in two phases — one soggy, one dry.

    The rover found that the rocks it is driving over are less densely packed than scientists expected. That suggests the...

    01/31/2019 - 14:07 Planetary Science
  • News

    The latest picture of Ultima Thule reveals a remarkably smooth face

    Ultima Thule has a new mug shot.

    The closest-yet image of the ancient Kuiper Belt object, captured as the New Horizons spacecraft flew by January 1, shows a relatively smooth face unmarred by impact craters.  

    “The thing is just not covered in craters,” says planetary scientist Kelsi Singer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., of the image, released January 24....

    01/29/2019 - 11:17 Planetary Science
  • Editor's Note

    We spent New Year’s Eve in the Kuiper Belt

    We started 2019 at Science News with a bang, providing live coverage of discoveries more than 6.5 billion kilometers from Earth.

    NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been heading for the outer reaches of our solar system since it launched in 2006. After surveying Jupiter and Pluto, its next task was to investigate the mysterious space rock 2014 MU69, dubbed Ultima Thule, orbiting in...

    01/27/2019 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Science & Society
  • Science Stats

    Ring ripples reveal how long a day lasts on Saturn

    You can’t tell how fast Saturn is spinning by watching the clouds swirling at its surface. But ripples in its rings reveal how fast the planet rotates: Its day flies by in 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

    “That’s a really fast clip,” says astronomer Christopher Mankovich of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who reports the rotation rate in the Astrophysical Journal on January...

    01/22/2019 - 16:59 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    The moon’s craters suggest Earth hasn’t erased lots of past impacts

    A new look at the moon’s craters suggests the Earth and moon both suffered a sharp increase in impacts around 290 million years ago, and Earth has kept its biggest scars.

    Geologists long assumed that erosion and tectonic activity had erased Earth’s craters so thoroughly that “you couldn’t say anything about the craters on Earth at all,” says planetary scientist Rebecca Ghent (SN: 12/22/...

    01/17/2019 - 14:06 Planetary Science
  • Feature

    Two daring spacecraft aim to bring asteroid dust back to Earth

    Shogo Tachibana greeted asteroid Ryugu with dread.

    The cosmochemist with the University of Tokyo had spent 10 years helping to design a mission to Ryugu’s surface. To touch down safely, the spacecraft, Hayabusa2, needs to find broad, flat stretches of fine-grained dust on the asteroid. But on June 27, when Hayabusa2 finally reached its target after a three-and-a-half-year journey (SN...

    01/15/2019 - 14:42 Planetary Science, Astrobiology