Planetary Science

  1. Astronaut on Mars illustration
    Space

    ‘Spacefarers’ predicts how space colonization will happen

    In Spacefarers, Christopher Wanjek provides an optimistic yet realistic view on how humans might colonize the rest of our solar system.

    By
  2. Saturn’s northern aurora
    Space

    Saturn’s auroras may explain the planet’s weirdly hot upper atmosphere

    Data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could help solve Saturn’s mysterious “energy crisis.”

    By
  3. Pluto
    Planetary Science

    If Pluto has a subsurface ocean, it may be old and deep

    New analyses of images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft suggest that Pluto may have had a sea beneath its icy shell for roughly 4.5 billion years.

    By
  4. Planetary Science

    The asteroid Ryugu has a texture like freeze-dried coffee

    Only about half of the asteroid Ryugu is rock; the rest is airy holes, a finding that could help reveal details of how the planets formed.

    By
  5. Planetary Science

    Coronavirus and technical issues delay a Mars mission’s launch

    The joint European-Russian ExoMars rover’s launch was postponed from July to 2022 so technicians could resolve issues with the landing equipment.

    By
  6. illustration of the surface of a dark, rainy exoplanet
    Astronomy

    Heavy metal may rain from the skies of planet WASP 76b

    Astronomers saw hints of iron rain on an ultrahot gas giant, an exoplanet where starlike atmospheric temperatures drive weird weather.

    By
  7. Planetary Science

    Some ‘superpuff’ exoplanets may actually be ringed worlds like Saturn

    “Superpuff” planets look fluffy and light. But for some of the worlds, the effect could instead be explained by large, rocky rings, a study suggests.

    By
  8. Planetary Science

    Meet Perseverance, NASA’s newest Mars rover

    NASA’s next Mars rover will be called Perseverance.

    By
  9. Earth's magnetic field
    Planetary Science

    An ancient magma ocean may have once driven Earth’s magnetic field

    Computer simulations of molten silicate under extreme temperatures and pressures may have just filled in a gap in the history of Earth’s magnetism.

    By
  10. solar eclipse
    Space

    50 years ago, scientists were studying why the sun’s corona is so hot

    In 1970, scientists were hoping to learn why the sun’s corona is so hot during an eclipse. Fifty years later, the corona’s magnetic field may hold some answers.

    By
  11. Planetary Science

    China’s moon rover revealed what lies beneath the lunar farside

    China’s Yutu-2 rover found layers of fine sand and coarse gravel under the surface of the moon’s farside.

    By
  12. NASA InSight lander selfie
    Space

    What NASA’s InSight lander has learned about Mars’ magnetism and quakes

    In its first 10 months, the InSight lander detected Marsquakes and an unexpectedly strong magnetic field at its landing site on the Red Planet.

    By