Planets and space bodies

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Venus' ionosphere undergoes puzzling changes over the 11-year solar cycle

A new study published today in Geophysical Research Letters confirms that Venus' upper atmosphere undergoes puzzling changes over the Sun's 11-year activity cycle. The scientists studied data provided by Parker Solar Probe's first direct measurement of...

May 03, 2021

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Record-breaking solar flare erupts from Proxima Centauri

Scientists have observed an extreme, record-breaking solar flare from Proxima Centauri, our sun's closest star. The outburst was roughly 100 times more powerful than any similar event seen from our own sun. Proxima Centauri is a small but 'mighty' red...

April 28, 2021

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InSight reveals surprising seismicity on Mars in its first continuous year of data

The SEIS seismometer package from the Mars InSight lander has revealed some surprises among more than 500 quakes detected so far on Mars in its first continuous year of data. The findings come from The Marsquake Service, part o the InSight ground team that monitors...

April 27, 2021

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Study reveals key discovery about aurora activity on Jupiter

A team of international researchers has made a major discovery about aurora activity on Jupiter. Their study supports the previously controversial idea that Jupiter's polar cap is threaded in part with closed magnetic field lines and proves the lights hold clues...

April 14, 2021

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NASA’s InSight lander detects two strong quakes on Mars

The InSight lander has registered two strong, clear quakes with magnitudes 3.3 and 3.1 in Cerberus Fossae on Mars-- the same location where two other powerful tremors with magnitudes 3.6 and 3.5 were detected earlier in the mission. The mission has recorded more...

April 11, 2021

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Unparalleled 3D animation of planet Mars

Based on images of Mars taken during 6 nights in October and November 2020 with the 1-meter telescope at the Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees, astronomers led by Francois Colas built a complete planisphere of Mars and generated hundreds of images to...

November 19, 2020

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Researchers solve mysterious storm patterns on Jupiter's south pole

Since first spotted by NASA's Juno space probe in 2019, a collection of swirling storms arranged in an unusually geometric pattern has been a mystery to most scientists. A new study may have uncovered how the strange weather forms and why the storms behave...

September 29, 2020

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Eruptive origins of pyroclastic deposits on the Moon

A new study by researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) suggests that the early Moon may have been more volatile-rich than previously believed. Previous studies concluded that lunar volcanoes had exploded primarily cold bedrock, but the ASU team said there...

August 29, 2020

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Mysterious, spiral-shaped ultraviolet light pulses over Mars

New images from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft reveal wide areas of Mars' night sky pulsing in ultraviolet light. While researchers understand the light's source, its mysterious spiral shape left them puzzled. "There is a vast spiral of ultraviolet light...

August 26, 2020

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Extremely elongated cloud returns over Arsia Mons volcano, Mars

The Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) attached to Mars Express captured a mysteriously long, thin cloud over the 20 km (12 miles) high Arsia Mons volcano on July 17 and 19, 2020. According to ESA, the cloud is a recurrent feature made up of water ice and is influenced...

July 31, 2020

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NASA's Juno takes never-before seen photos of Ganymede's north pole

NASA's Juno Jupiter probe has captured the first images of the north pole of Ganymede-- the largest moon in the solar system and the only moon with its own magnetic field. During a close flyby of Jupiter in December 2019, Juno mapped the north polar regions of...

July 26, 2020

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Study suggests the Moon is millions of years younger than previously thought

A new study suggests that the Moon is much younger than what was previously thought-- about 85 million years younger. Lunar rock samples collected on the Apollo missions are not old enough to confirm the normally accepted 4.51 billion-year for the Moon's age,...

July 19, 2020

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ESO telescope catches the disappearance of massive unstable star

Astronomers have discovered the absence of a massive unstable star in the Kinman Dwarf galaxy using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). One explanation offered is the end of a luminous blue variable (LBV) eruption of a surviving star, with a mild drop in...

July 04, 2020

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Unusual green glow detected for the first time in atmosphere of Mars

The European Space AGency's (ESA) Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) has detected an unusual green glow for the first time in the atmosphere of Mars. According to the new study, the bright emission has been predicted to exist at Mars for around 40 years. "One of the...

June 21, 2020

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Astronomers spot potentially habitable planet and star closely resembling Earth and Sun

Astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable exoplanet and its star-- both with striking similarities to the Earth and our Sun. The exoplanet candidate called KOI-456.04, which is about 1.9 times the size of ours, is at the right distance from its star, which...

June 14, 2020

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MAVEN maps electric currents around Mars, crucial clues to atmospheric loss

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has created a map of electric currents around Mars, five years after it entered into its orbit. These currents hold crucial clues in the atmospheric loss that made the red planet incapable of supporting life. "These currents play a...

May 31, 2020

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ESO's VLT spots first direct evidence of planet birth

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) have revealed possible signs of a star system being born. Around young star, AB Aurigae lies a dense disc of gas and dust, where astronomers have spotted a prominent spiral structure with a...

May 24, 2020