Planetary Science

  1. scientists in the Nevada desert
    Space

    To rehearse Perseverance’s mission, scientists pretended to be a Mars rover

    Seven Mars scientists pretended to be the Mars Perseverance rover on a training exercise in the Nevada desert.

    By
  2. Image of the Perseverance rover
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Perseverance rover will seek signs of past life on Mars

    NASA’s Perseverance rover will collect rocks and search for past life on Mars using lasers and zoomable cameras among other instruments.

    By
  3. aerial photo of a dome on Mauna Loa
    Space

    Two new books explore Mars — and what it means to be human

    ‘Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars’ and ‘The Sirens of Mars’ are surprisingly apt reads during the pandemic.

    By
  4. Dust storm on Mars
    Planetary Science

    How upcoming missions to Mars will help predict its wild dust storms

    Predicting the weather on Mars is essential for landing and keeping rovers — or astronauts — safe on the surface. The next Mars missions will give forecasts a boost.

    By
  5. Planetary Science

    Some exoplanets may be covered in weird water that’s between liquid and gas

    “Supercritical” water, a corrosive substance used to break down toxic waste on Earth, coats some small worlds around other stars, simulations suggest.

    By
  6. Gas giant core planet illustration
    Space

    A newfound exoplanet may be the exposed core of a gas giant

    A planet about 734 light-years away could be a former gas giant that lost its atmosphere or a failed giant that never finished growing.

    By
  7. illustration of moonlet asteroid
    Planetary Science

    An asteroid’s moon got a name so NASA can bump it off its course

    A tiny moon orbiting an asteroid finally got a name because NASA plans to crash a spacecraft into it.

    By
  8. Titan lakes
    Space

    Flat spots on Saturn’s moon Titan may be the floors of ancient lake beds

    Bright radio signals from Titan indicate the presence of ancient lake beds in its tropics, a new analysis finds.

    By
  9. meteorite in Antarctica
    Planetary Science

    Meteorites might be more likely to strike near the equator

    Meteorites from Antarctica have helped scientists assess the total number likely to hit Earth every year — and where they are most likely to fall.

    By
  10. Planet-forming swirl around star AB Aurigae
    Space

    Stunning images of swirling gas and dust may show a planet forming

    Infrared images show a spiral of gas and dust around a star 520 light-years away. A smaller, tantalizing twist hints at where a planet is coalescing.

    By
  11. illustration of astronaut standing outside a lunar base
    Chemistry

    Astronauts may be able to make cement using their own pee

    Lunar dust and a compound found in urine could be used to build future dwellings on the moon, a new study finds.

    By
  12. mini Mars rover
    Tech

    Wiggling wheels could keep future rovers trucking in loose lunar soil

    A rover that wriggles through soil could climb hills on the moon or Mars that are too steep for a simple wheeled bot.

    By