Planetary Science

  1. image of Jupiter
    Planetary Science

    Laser experiments suggest helium rain falls on Jupiter

    Compressing a hydrogen and helium mixture with lasers shows that the two elements separate at pressures found within gas giant planets.

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  2. image of Martian surface from China’s Zhurong rover
    Space

    China’s first Mars rover has landed and is sending its first pictures

    The country just became the second nation, after the United States, to successfully land a rover on Mars. Its rover will search for subsurface ice.

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  3. planet Saturn
    Astronomy

    Saturn has a fuzzy core, spread over more than half the planet’s diameter

    Analysis of a wave in one of Saturn’s rings has revealed that the planet’s core is diffuse and bloated with lots of hydrogen and helium.

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  4. Ingenuity helicopter on Mars
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter’s mission with Perseverance has been extended

    NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has passed all its tests and is ready to support the Perseverance rover in looking for ancient Martian life.

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  5. a person in a clean suit maneuvers a gold-colored cube
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Perseverance rover split CO2 to make breathable air on Mars

    An oxygen-making experiment on Perseverance shows that astronauts will one day be able to make air to breathe and, better yet, rocket fuel.

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  6. image of Ingenuity flight next to image of ingenuity landed
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter made history by flying on Mars

    An autonomous helicopter just lifted itself into the air on Mars, marking the first time a vehicle has flown on a planet other than Earth.

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  7. clouds of Jupiter
    Planetary Science

    How the laws of physics constrain the size of alien raindrops

    Physics limits the size of raindrops, no matter what they’re made of or what planet they fall on.

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  8. 5 micrometeorites found in Antarctica
    Planetary Science

    Earth sweeps up 5,200 tons of extraterrestrial dust each year

    Thousands of micrometeorites collected from Antarctica come from both comets and asteroids, a new study suggests.

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  9. illustration of an asteroid hitting Antarctica
    Planetary Science

    A meteor may have exploded over Antarctica 430,000 years ago

    Tiny spherules recovered from a mountaintop suggest a space rock broke apart midflight and sprayed debris across thousands of kilometers.

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  10. Perseverance parachuting down to Mars
    Space

    50 years ago, experiments hinted at the possibility of life on Mars

    In 1971, lab experiments suggested organic molecules could be made on Mars. Fifty years later, robots are searching for such signs of life on the planet itself.

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  11. illustration of ‘Oumuamua
    Space

    ‘Oumuamua may be a chip knocked off an icy, Pluto-like exoplanet

    If the first interstellar visitor were a shard of nitrogen ice, it would explain some of its unusual behavior when it passed through our solar system.

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  12. illustration of mars if it had surface water
    Space

    Most of Mars’ missing water may lurk in its crust

    Computer simulations of the fate of Mars’ water may explain why the Red Planet turned into a desert, when so little of its water has escaped into space.

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