Planetary Science

  1. Ultima Thule
    Planetary Science

    The latest picture of Ultima Thule reveals a remarkably smooth face

    Kuiper Belt object MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, is largely unmarred by impact craters, suggesting the Kuiper Belt might lack small objects.

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  2. Planetary Science

    We spent New Year’s Eve in the Kuiper Belt

    Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses Science News' coverage of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of Ultima Thule.

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  3. Saturn
    Planetary Science

    Ring ripples reveal how long a day lasts on Saturn

    Clues in Saturn’s rings divulge the planet’s rotation rate: 10 hours, 33 minutes, 38 seconds.

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  4. lunar map
    Planetary Science

    The moon’s craters suggest Earth hasn’t erased lots of past impacts

    A new look at moon craters suggests the Earth and moon suffered more impacts in the last 290 million years, and the Earth retains its biggest scars.

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  5. Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx
    Planetary Science

    Two daring spacecraft aim to bring asteroid dust back to Earth

    A pair of daredevil spacecraft that aim to bring asteroid dust back to Earth have reached their targets and are scouting for the best sampling spots.

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  6. Chang’e-4 farside of moon
    Planetary Science

    China just landed the first spacecraft on the moon’s farside

    China’s Chang’e-4 lander and rover just became the first spacecraft to land on the farside of the moon.

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  7. 2014 MU69
    Planetary Science

    New Horizons shows Ultima Thule looks like a snowman, or maybe BB-8

    Ultima Thule’s snowmanlike shape shows the New Horizons target was probably two space rocks that got stuck together.

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  8. latest image of 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule)
    Planetary Science

    Live updates: New Horizons’ flyby of a distant Kuiper Belt object

    The New Horizons spacecraft is ready for the most distant close flyby of a rocky object in the solar system, a rocky body called MU69 or Ultima Thule.

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  9. nebula
    Space

    The sugar that makes up DNA could be made in space

    Deoxyribose, the sugar of DNA, was created in a lab simulating ice in space.

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  10. illustration of Ultima Thule
    Planetary Science

    New Horizons gears up for its close encounter with Ultima Thule

    On January 1, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly by Ultima Thule, the first small Kuiper Belt object ever to get a close visitor.

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  11. Mars south pole
    Planetary Science

    A buried lake on Mars excited and baffled scientists

    Planetary scientists are still trying to explain how a lake could have formed beneath a kilometer and a half of Martian ice.

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  12. asteroid bennu
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx finds signs of water on the asteroid Bennu

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft found signs of water and lots of boulders on the asteroid Bennu.

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