Planetary Science

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Planetary Science

    Pristine fragments of asteroid breakup

    Planetary scientists have for the first time precisely dated a collision that smashed an asteroid into fragments.

  7. Planetary Science

    Odyssey’s Homer: Hints of water near both poles of Mars

    Sensors on board the Mars Odyssey spacecraft have spied strong signs of ice buried near both poles of the Red Planet, exactly the regions where scientists previously had said that such frozen water deposits could exist.

  8. Planetary Science

    Hard bodies pair off

    About one out of every eight asteroids traveling near Earth has a rocky companion.

  9. Planetary Science

    Jupiter’s Whirlpool

    The surprising birth and rapid evolution of a giant vortex highlight the first movie of Jupiter’s polar regions seen in the ultraviolet. The movie and other Jupiter images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft are available online at the Cassini imaging team and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Web sites. Go to: and

  10. Planetary Science

    Mars Odyssey instrument revived

    Flight controllers have revived an instrument on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft that measures the amount of radiation bombarding the Martian surface.

  11. Planetary Science

    Probing Jupiter’s big magnetic bubble

    Simultaneous measurements by two spacecraft have probed in greater detail than ever before Jupiter’s magnetosphere, the invisible bubble of charged particles that surrounds the giant planet.

  12. Planetary Science

    Odyssey’s First Look: Craft spies signs of ice at the Martian south pole

    Astronomers have for the first time found evidence of large amounts of frozen water in the subsurface of Mars.