Planets and space bodies

worcester crater mars

Mars Express finds remnants of mega-flood on Mars

Mars Express has captured images of one of the largest outflow channel networks on the Red Planet, providing evidence of ancient mega-flood on Mars, ESA announced today. The Kasei Valles channel system extends around 3 000 km (1 864 miles) from its source region in...

March 02, 2017

dust devils on mars

Dust devils on Mars

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has begun a second campaign of investigating active sand dunes on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, inside the 160 km (100 miles) wide Gale Crater. The rover also has been observing whirlwinds carrying dust and checking how far...

February 28, 2017

saturn cassini december2 featured

Cassini's new mission shows Saturn in a different light

The Cassini spacecraft has sent the first images of Saturn's atmosphere since the start of its new mission phase. The images reveal the planet's northern hemisphere as well as its unique hexagon jet stream. The newest phase of the NASA's Cassini...

December 07, 2016

sputnik planitia pluto featured

Ice accumulations tilt Pluto and rearrange its surface

New research suggests the Sputnik Planitia basin on Pluto may have assumed its current location because of the change in the spin of the dwarf planet. The Sputnik Planitia is a 1 000 km (621.4 miles) wide basin situated in the heart-shaped region of the Pluto's...

November 18, 2016

saturn hexagon golden featured

Saturn's hexagon has mysteriously changed color

Saturn's famous hexagon, a structure on the planet's north pole has changed its color from blue to gold over the last four years. The cause is still unknown, and researchers are working to figure it out. The hexagon, a six-sided jet stream, is about 32 000...

October 27, 2016

artist view of plume on Europa f

High altitude water plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

Astronomers have again imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, bolstering other observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water plumes. The observation increases the possibility that missions...

September 26, 2016

chandra_sees_pluto_emitting_x rays_f

New insight into the space environment surrounding Pluto

Chandra X-ray Observatory was aimed several times at Pluto from February 2014 through August 2015 and made a surprising detection of X-rays being emitted from this largest and best-known object in the Solar System's outermost regions. The observations offer new...

September 19, 2016

jupiter_by_juno_27aug2016_f

Juno takes first-ever images of Jupiter's north pole, sees weather activity unlike anything seen before

NASA's Juno spacecraft has executed the first of 36 orbital flybys on August 27, 2016, when it came about 4 200 km (2 500 miles) above Jupiter's swirling clouds. It was Juno's first flyby with instruments switch on and it sent back first-ever images of...

September 02, 2016

venus_feat

Venus' early climate could have sustained life

New research, led by scientists from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, suggests Venus and Earth closely resembled each other during the early days of the Solar System, between one and two billion years ago. Venus, now the hottest planet in our Solar...

August 09, 2016

venus_cloud_tops_feat

Venus weather patterns reveal planet's surface

New research, based on data from ESA's Venus Express satellite, for the first time reveals how the weather patterns on Venus are directly connected to the surface topography of the planet. Results suggest the Venus' thick cloud cover could offer further...

July 30, 2016

planet_nine

Planet Nine may have caused orbital tilts of all Solar System planets

Following a major discovery implying that a ninth planet may be orbiting our solar system, the scientists are investigating its possible impact on the tilted orbits observed for the other planets. All known planets of the Solar System have their orbits in almost the...

July 22, 2016

venus_electric_field_f

Electric fields around Venus stripped its atmosphere of water components

Scientists using data obtained by ESA's Venus Express have discovered a strong electric field around the planet Venus. Venus' electric field is at least 5 - 10 times stronger than Earth's and it seems it played a crucial part in removing water components...

June 20, 2016

planet_9_feat

Planet 9 - the first exoplanet within our home solar system

The newest computer simulation, conducted by researchers from the Lund University in Sweden, suggests the so-called Planet 9 is most likely an exoplanet. If the discovery proves correct, it will make it the first exoplanet revealed inside our home solar system and,...

June 01, 2016

pluto_stripe_feat

The highest quality Pluto close-up mosaic from the New Horizons mission

NASA's scientists have produced a mosaic of all the highest-resolution images of Pluto collected by the New Horizons spacecraft. The collection of images with a resolution of about 80 m (260 feet) per pixel now extends across the planet's hemisphere that...

May 31, 2016

mars_feat

Ice age confirmed at the north pole of Mars

A team of scientists led by experts from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Texas has utilized the radar data collected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to discover the evidence of an ice age at the Martian north pole. According to researchers, the...

May 28, 2016

comet_venus_past_and_present_f

The comet Venus - past and present

The planet Venus presents many unresolved mysteries to planetary scientists. However, equally mysterious is Venus' extraordinary role in the world's ancient astronomies. In this Space News episode, we explore the remarkable electrical environment of Venus...

April 14, 2016

new_gravity_map_of_mars_f

New Mars' gravity map released

A new map of Mars' gravity was released this month, providing a glimpse into the hidden interior of the planet. The map, most detailed to date, was derived using Doppler and range tracking data collected by NASA's Deep Space Network from three NASA...

March 21, 2016