Planetary Science

  1. Venus
    Planetary Science

    Doubts over a ‘possible sign of life’ on Venus show how science works

    Detecting phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere made headlines, but reanalyses and new searches call into question the original discovery of the molecule.

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  2. illuminated moon
    Space

    Water exists on sunny parts of the moon, scientists confirm

    New observations of the moon, made by a telescope flying onboard a Boeing 747-SP jet, have confirmed the presence of water on sunlit areas of the moon.

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  3. OSIRIS-REx spacecraft illustration
    Space

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx survived its risky mission to grab a piece of an asteroid

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft just tried to grab a piece of asteroid Bennu. If successful, the spacecraft will return the sample to Earth in 2023.

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  4. Bennu
    Space

    The asteroid Bennu’s brittle boulders may make grabbing a sample easier

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is about to collect a bit of asteroid Bennu. Here’s why it’s good that new research suggests its boulders are brittle.

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  5. Mars south pole
    Space

    A ‘lake’ on Mars may be surrounded by more pools of water

    Radar data hint at patches of liquid water beneath Martian polar ice, but some urge caution in interpreting results.

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  6. photograph of China’s Chang'e-4 lunar lander on the moon
    Space

    A new moon radiation measurement may help determine health risks to astronauts

    China's lunar lander measured radiation at the moon’s surface, finding the daily dose is 2.6 times as high as inside the International Space Station.

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  7. Comet 67P's aurora
    Planetary Science

    Rosetta data reveal an invisible ultraviolet aurora around comet 67P

    Solar wind electrons smash water molecules in the comet’s coma to make the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s version of the northern lights.

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  8. astronaut on moon
    Space

    How do you clean up clingy space dust? Zap it with an electron beam

    An electron beam is the newest addition to a suite of technologies for cleaning sticky and damaging lunar dust off surfaces.

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  9. Akatsuki spacecraft
    Space

    Phosphine gas found in Venus’ atmosphere may be ‘a possible sign of life’

    Astronomers have detected a stinky, toxic gas in Venus’ clouds that could be a sign of life, or some strange unknown chemistry.

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  10. enstatite chondrite
    Planetary Science

    Earth’s building blocks may have had far more water than previously thought

    Space rocks and dust from the inner solar system could have delivered enough water to account for all the H2O in the planet’s mantle.

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  11. comet
    Astronomy

    In a first, astronomers spotted a space rock turning into a comet

    Scientists have caught a space rock in the act of shifting from a Kuiper Belt object to a comet. That process won’t be complete until 2063.

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  12. Hubble Space Telescope during total lunar eclipse
    Astronomy

    Hubble watched a lunar eclipse to see Earth from an alien’s perspective

    Hubble observed sunlight filtering through Earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse to see what a habitable exoplanet’s atmosphere might look like.

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