Planetary Science

  1. illustration of a landscape on another planet
    Planetary Science

    Planets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres could harbor life

    Lab experiments show yeast and E. coli survive and reproduce in hydrogen gas, suggesting new environments to seek alien life.

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  2. false-color map of moon's surface
    Planetary Science

    This is the most comprehensive map of the moon’s geology yet

    Cartographers merged Apollo-era maps and modern lunar observations to into a new geologic map of the moon.

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  3. comet 2I/Borisov
    Space

    Interstellar comet Borisov has an unexpected amount of carbon monoxide

    The second known visitor from outside the solar system has three times as much CO relative to H2O than any comet seen in the inner solar system.

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  4. Venus
    Planetary Science

    Unlike Earth, the gases in Venus’ atmosphere aren’t uniformly mixed

    Measurements of Venus’ atmospheric nitrogen show that a planet’s upper atmosphere doesn’t necessarily match the lower atmosphere.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.”

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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.

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  12. Planetary Science

    Meet Perseverance, NASA’s newest Mars rover

    NASA’s next Mars rover will be called Perseverance.

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