Planetary Science

  1. Planetary Science

    Echoes of Icequakes: Simple probe could measure Europa’s ocean and icy shell

    A football-size space probe could provide a low-cost way to determine whether there's a liquid ocean on the Jovian moon Europa.

  2. Planetary Science

    Rocks on the ice

    Pristine fragments of a meteorite that fell January 18 in the frozen Yukon and that remained frozen until they were delivered to a NASA laboratory may reveal much about the earliest days of the solar system.

  3. Planetary Science

    A Comet’s Long Tail Tickles Ulysses

    Stretching more than half a billion kilometers, the ion tail that Comet Hyakutake flaunted when it passed near the sun in 1996 is the longest ever recorded and suggests that otherwise invisible comets could be detected by searching for their tails.

  4. Planetary Science

    Reviewers see red over recent Mars programs

    NASA's two most recent missions to Mars failed because they were underfunded, managed by inexperienced people, and insufficiently tested, according to a report released March 28.

  5. Planetary Science

    Unveiling Mars’ watery secret

    A new gravity map of Mars has revealed a network of buried channels that billions of years ago may have been on the surface and helped carry water to fill an ancient ocean.

  6. Planetary Science

    Meteoric wallop may have diversified life

    A new study suggests that the evolutionary burst on Earth some 540 million years ago occurred around the time that cosmic debris began pummeling our planet at an increasing rate.

  7. Planetary Science

    Pluto and the Occult: Rare events illuminate Pluto’s atmosphere

    Twice in the past month, astronomers were given a rare opportunity to peer through the tenuous atmosphere of Pluto.

  8. Planetary Science

    Planetary Beginnings: Data reveal Earth’s quick gestation

    Two new studies confirm that Earth's core formed in a hurry—during the first 30 million years after the solar system's birth.

  9. Planetary Science

    It’s only a sharper moon

    Astronomers have taken what appears to be the sharpest image of the moon ever recorded from Earth.

  10. Planetary Science

    Lost in Space: Comet mission appears to have broken apart

    A spacecraft that had just begun its journey to two comets has fallen silent and may have broken apart.

  11. Planetary Science

    Tryst in space: Craft, asteroid rendezvous

    On Valentine's Day, the NEAR spacecraft cozied up to the asteroid 433 Eros, becoming the first craft to orbit a tiny body.

  12. Planetary Science

    Life on Europa: A possible energy source

    New evidence supports the notion that Jupiter's moon Europa contains an ocean beneath its icy surface, and a planetary scientist has proposed a novel way that Europa could be getting the energy required to sustain life within that ocean.