Planetary Science

  1. Planetary Science

    Seeing Saturn

    After 5 years of interplanetary travel, the Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft has taken its first picture of the ringed planet.

  2. Planetary Science

    Martian Radiation: Giving off a faint X-ray glow

    Astronomers have for the first time taken an X-ray image of the Red Planet.

  3. Planetary Science

    Leapin’ Lava! Volcanic eruption on Io breaks the record

    Pointing a ground-based telescope at Jupiter's moon Io, astronomers have recorded the most powerful volcano ever observed in the solar system.

  4. Planetary Science

    Europa’s freckles

    Reddish spots and shallow pits that pepper the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa may mark regions where warmer and less dense ice percolates to the surface.

  5. Planetary Science

    Another moon for Uranus

    Astronomers have confirmed the existence of the 21st moon known to be orbiting Uranus.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.