Planetary Science

  1. Planetary Science

    Enceladus: Small but feisty

    Close-up observations of Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus reveal that its south pole is hotter than its equator and that the icy satellite continues to undergo eruptions.

  2. Planetary Science

    Bigger than Pluto: Tenth planet or icy leftover?

    Astronomers have found a body larger and more distant than Pluto, the biggest object found in the solar system since Neptune and its moon Triton were discovered in 1846.

  3. Planetary Science

    Cassini eyes youthful-looking Saturnian moon

    On July 14, the Cassini spacecraft came within 175 kilometers of the south polar region of Saturn's bright, tiny moon Enceladus, revealing a tortured terrain of faults, folds, and ridges.

  4. Planetary Science

    A Grand Slam

    A 372-kilogram copper projectile released from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully slammed into Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, producing some heavenly fireworks.

  5. Planetary Science

    Pebbles from Heaven: Tracking planets in the making

    Recording radio waves from the region around a young star, astronomers have for the first time documented the making pebbles, a key step in the rocky road to planethood.

  6. Planetary Science

    Flashy news from Mars

    A streak across the Martian sky observed by the rover Spirit was most likely a meteor associated with a comet called Wiseman-Skiff.

  7. Planetary Science

    Opportunity rolls out of Purgatory

    After being stuck for nearly 5 weeks, the Mars rover Opportunity has freed itself from a sand trap on the Red Planet.

  8. Planetary Science

    Planet Hunt Strikes Rock: Hot kin of Earth orbits nearby star

    Astronomers have found the closest known cousin to Earth, a solid world just 15 light-years beyond the solar system.

  9. Planetary Science

    Renegade moon

    Saturn's outlier moon Phoebe didn't coalesce from material near the ringed planet but was captured from the distant Kuiper belt.

  10. Planetary Science

    High Anxiety: Sudden solar flare highlights space risks

    Measurements of energetic particles from an unusually strong solar flare that pummeled Earth early this year suggest that astronauts traveling or working in space might sometimes need to reach shelter within minutes of a warning.

  11. Planetary Science

    Mars Polar Lander: Lost but now found?

    A reanalysis of an image taken 5 years ago suggests that planetary scientists have found the remains of the Mars Polar Lander, which vanished minutes before it was supposed to touch down on the Red Planet.

  12. Planetary Science

    Craft show

    The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft recently imaged Mars Odyssey and Mars Express, marking the first time that a spacecraft orbiting a planet other than Earth has captured images of other craft circling the same planet.