Planetary Science

  1. Planetary Science

    After the Tragedy

    NASA's plan to return the space shuttles safely to flight after the Columbia accident is coming under intense scrutiny.

  2. Planetary Science

    Earthly Field Trip to Mars

    Interested in seeing Martian landscapes and features up close on Earth? This Web site offers kids a “field trip” to formations in the state of Washington that resemble those found on the Red Planet. Take a look at floodplains, volcanoes, basalt columns, lakebeds, canyons, sand dunes, and more. Go to:

  3. Planetary Science

    More Mars—Better than Ever

    On Aug. 27, Mars and Earth were closer to each other than at any other time in the last 50,000 years. Even as Earth and Mars slowly draw apart, the Red Planet remains a dazzling sight in the night sky. There’s still time to take in the view. Go to:

  4. Planetary Science

    A phoenix on Mars

    If all goes according to plan, a spacecraft will land on the north polar region of Mars in 2008 and scoop up samples of the icy terrain.

  5. Planetary Science

    Cozying up to Mars

    The Hubble Space Telescope photographed Mars on Aug. 27 when the planet came closer to Earth than it had in nearly 60,000 years, enabling the telescope to take the sharpest global image of Mars ever taken from Earth's vicinity.

  6. Planetary Science

    A warmer, fluffier Pluto

    Although Pluto has been receding from the sun for more than a decade, planetary scientists have now found that between 1988 and 2002, Pluto’s atmosphere has nearly doubled in size and its temperature has increased by about 1 degree C.

  7. Planetary Science

    Mars Encounter

    On Aug. 27, Mars and Earth will be closer to each other than at any other time in the last 50,000 years. Amateur astronomers with small backyard telescopes can already view features such as dust clouds, the southern polar ice cap (because the southern cap is tipped toward Earth), and volcanic terrain. This NASA Web […]

  8. Planetary Science

    Slowdown on Saturn? Windy doings on the ringed planet

    The winds in Saturn’s upper atmosphere are some of the swiftest in the solar system, but recent findings suggest there’s been a dramatic slowdown.

  9. Planetary Science

    New view of Earth

    On May 8, 2003, scientists pointed a camera on board the Mars Global Surveyor probe back at Earth and captured the first image from another planet that shows our world as more than a point of light.

  10. Planetary Science

    Springtime on Neptune: Images hint at seasonal changes on distant planet

    Belying its location in the deep freeze of the outer solar system, Neptune may undergo a change of seasons.

  11. Planetary Science

    Mars Photo of the Day

    With a stock of more than 120,000 images, the camera team for NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor mission has started daily postings of pictures to showcase the diversity of Martian landscapes. Click on the photo to obtain additional information about what the image reveals. Go to:

  12. Planetary Science

    Roving on the Red Planet

    NASA last month selected the landing sites for rovers scheduled to begin exploring the Martian surface next January.