Planetary Science

  1. A capsule containing moon rocks next to a Chinese flag with vehicles in the background
    Astronomy

    China’s lunar rock samples show lava flowed on the moon 2 billion years ago

    The first lunar rocks returned to Earth in more than 40 years show that the moon was volcanically active later than scientists thought.

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  2. illustration of planets colliding
    Astronomy

    Space rocks may have bounced off baby Earth, but slammed into Venus

    New simulations suggest a way to help explain dramatic differences between the sibling worlds.

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  3. rocks on Mars with drilled holes from NASA's Perseverance rover
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Perseverance rover snagged its first Martian rock samples

    Two tubes of stone drilled from a basalt rock nicknamed Rochette are the first from Mars slated to eventually return to Earth.

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  4. a photo of Charon behind Pluto
    Planetary Science

    50 years ago, astronomers were chipping away at Pluto’s mass

    Prior to the discovery of Pluto’s moon Charon, astronomers struggled to pin down the dwarf planet’s mass.

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  5. image of pluto
    Astronomy

    The definition of planet is still a sore point – especially among Pluto fans

    In the 15 years since Pluto lost its planet status, scientists have continued to use the definition that works for them.

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  6. A photo of the Martian landscape with part of the Perseverance rover in the foreground
    Planetary Science

    See some of the most intriguing photos from NASA’s Perseverance rover so far

    Six months ago, Perseverance landed on the Red Planet. Here’s what the rover has been observing.

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  7. illustration of magnetic fields moving charged particles to Jupiter's poles where auroras form
    Space

    Jupiter’s intense auroras superheat its upper atmosphere

    Jupiter’s hotter-than-expected upper atmosphere may be caused by high-speed charged particles slamming into the air high above the poles.

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  8. star PDS 70 surrounded by dusty ring of debris, with bright dot inside ring that may be a moon forming
    Astronomy

    The tiny dot in this image may be the first look at exomoons in the making

    New ALMA observations offer some of the strongest evidence yet that planets around other stars have moons.

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  9. image of InSight Lander on Mars
    Planetary Science

    Marsquakes reveal the Red Planet boasts a liquid core half its diameter

    Analyses of seismic waves picked up by NASA’s InSight lander shed new light on the planet’s core and give clues to the thickness of the crust.

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  10. image of Perseverance rover's robotic arm
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has begun its first science campaign

    Now about 1 kilometer south of its landing spot, the rover has spotted several promising spots in its search for hints of ancient life.

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  11. image of stars in the constellation Carina
    Planetary Science

    A century of astronomy revealed Earth’s place in the universe

    The past century of astronomy has been a series of revolutions, each one kicking Earth a bit farther to the margins.

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  12. south pole of Mars
    Planetary Science

    Lakes of liquid water at Mars’ southern ice cap may just be mirages

    In 2018, scientists found evidence for water lakes sitting beneath the southern Martian ice cap. New evidence suggests the lakes might not exist.

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