Planetary Science

Topic Image Rail

Illustration of spacecraft flying by Europa

TARGET: EUROPA  Slamming a spent fuel tank into the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa could vibrate the surface so much that a spacecraft flying by (shown in artist’s illustration) could see the tremors. Scientists might be able to analyze the tremors to gauge the thickness of the ice. 

Simulated image of Mars

MISSION TO MARS  By the 2030s, NASA and the aerospace industry want to send a crew to explore Mars, seen in this simulated image based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.

Martian coastline map

SURF’S UP  Meteor impacts may have generated supersized tsunamis on Mars that reshaped the coastlines of an ocean around 3.4 billion years ago. Red-shaded region shows the reach of the more recent of two tsunamis.

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