Planetary Science

  1. Beresheet spacecraft
    Planetary Science

    Israel’s first moon mission lost moments before landing

    The spacecraft’s engine cut out just before it was to touch down in the Sea of Serenity.

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  2. Science & Society

    The delight of discovering an asteroid that spits

    Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses recent news about the asteroid Bennu and Kuiper Belt–object Ultima Thule.

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  3. dust plume at impact site on Ryugu's surface
    Planetary Science

    Hayabusa2 has blasted the surface of asteroid Ryugu to make a crater

    Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft shot a projectile at Ryugu. Next: collecting asteroid dust from the probable impact crater left behind.

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  4. planetesimal
    Astronomy

    This planetary remnant somehow survived the death of its sun

    A small, sturdy piece of planet survived the collapse of its sun and now orbits the dead star.

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  5. asteroid cross-section illustration
    Planetary Science

    Metal asteroids may have once had iron-spewing volcanoes

    Two groups of scientists introduce the idea of “ferrovolcanism,” or iron volcanoes, that could have occurred on metal asteroids like Psyche.

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  6. Saturn's rings
    Planetary Science

    Saturn’s rings paint some of its moons shades of blue and red

    Moons located among Saturn’s inner rings are different colors depending on their distance from the planet, suggesting they’re picking up ring debris.

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  7. Kuiper Belt
    Planetary Science

    Kuiper Belt dust may be in our atmosphere (and NASA labs) right now

    Bits of space debris that collect in Earth’s atmosphere may come from as far as the cold, distant Kuiper Belt region beyond Neptune.

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  8. Ryugu asteroid
    Planetary Science

    Ryugu is probably a chip off one of these two other asteroids

    Japan’s Hayabusa2 team has narrowed down the asteroid Ryugu’s origins based on its color.

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  9. Bennu
    Planetary Science

    Surprising astronomers, Bennu spits plumes of dust into space

    Bennu spews dust from its rocky surface, which may be a new kind of asteroid activity.

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  10. Ultima Thule
    Planetary Science

    Ultima Thule may be a frankenworld

    The first geologic map of Ultima Thule shows it might be made of many smaller rocks that clumped together under the force of their own gravity.

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  11. ‘Oumuamua
    Astronomy

    3 explanations for ‘Oumuamua that aren’t alien spaceships

    Astronomers are coming up with some creative ideas to explain the weird behavior of the first known interstellar object.

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  12. Hayabusa2
    Planetary Science

    Hayabusa2 just tried to collect asteroid dust for the first time

    The Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down on asteroid Ryugu and attempted to gather a sample of its rock to bring back to Earth.

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