Planets and space bodies

comet venus

The comet Venus and its missing craters

Since the dawn of the Space Age, the planet Venus has been a proving ground for competing hypotheses in planetary science. From the 1950s to 1970s, Venus was at the center of a blazing scientific controversy. In 1950, in the bestselling book Worlds in Collision, the...

August 09, 2018

dust storm mars june 2018

Martian dust storm now officially a global dust event

One of the most intense dust storms ever observed on Mars is raging across the planet since May 30, 2018. The storm grew rapidly over the next 20 days and is now officially a 'planet-encircling' (global) dust event. Although Martian dust storms are common...

June 21, 2018

2018 mars dust storm progression over 25 hrs june 2018 by mark justice australia f

Rapidly intensifying, possibly planet-wide dust storm affecting Mars

A massive and intensifying dust storm, one of the most intense ever observed on Mars, is affecting the Red Planed since May 30, 2018. The storm is growing rapidly and is likely to go, or has already gone, global. On June 10, the storm covered more than 41 million...

June 13, 2018

3d infrared jupiter north pole

3D infrared animation of Jupiter’s north pole

NASA's Juno scientists have unveiled their 3D infrared movie depicting densely packed cyclones and anticyclones that permeate Jupiter’s polar regions, and the first detailed view of a dynamo, or engine, powering the magnetic field for any planet beyond...

April 12, 2018

K2 18b

Two Super-Earths around red dwarf K2-18

New research using data collected by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has revealed that a little-known exoplanet called K2-18b could well be a scaled-up version of Earth. Just as exciting, the same researchers also discovered for the first time that the...

December 06, 2017

winter polar vortex of titan

Unexpected atmospheric vortex behavior on Saturn’s moon Titan

A new study, led by a University of Bristol earth scientist, has shown that recently reported unexpected behavior on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is due to its unique atmospheric chemistry. Titan’s polar atmosphere recently experienced unexpected and...

November 29, 2017

planet ross 128b

Closest temperate world orbiting quiet star discovered

A temperate Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from the Solar System by a team using ESO’s unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument. The new world has the designation Ross 128 b and is now the second-closest temperate planet to be...

November 19, 2017

eso1735a1

ALMA discovers cold dust around nearest star

The ALMA Observatory in Chile has detected dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri. These new observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the...

November 05, 2017

saturn proton radiation belts f

Saturn's radiation belts: A stranger to the solar wind

The high energy proton population in the environment of Saturn develops independently of the solar wind - and thus in a considerably different way from the one on Earth. The radiation belts of Earth and Saturn differ more strongly than previously assumed. In these...

November 01, 2017

3rsz_image_6

'Monster' planet discovery challenges formation theory

A giant planet - the existence of which was previously thought extremely unlikely - has been discovered by an international collaboration of astronomers, with the University of Warwick taking a leading role. New research, led by Dr. Daniel Bayliss and Professor...

November 01, 2017

rsz_image_3

Surprisingly erratic X-ray auroras discovered at Jupiter

ESA and NASA space telescopes have revealed that, unlike Earth’s polar lights, the intense auroras seen at Jupiter’s poles unexpectedly behave independently of one another. Auroras have been seen in many places, from planets and moons to stars, brown...

October 30, 2017

global aurora mars september 2017

Large solar storm sparks global aurora and doubles radiation levels on Martian surface

When charged particles from a solar storm reached Mars this month, they set off an aurora 25 times brighter and surface level radiation readings twice as high as any previous measurements. An unexpectedly strong blast from the Sun hit Mars this month, observed by...

September 29, 2017

saturn aurora nasa

Saturn's 'weird' magnetic field perplexes scientists

The Cassini probe's first results from inside Saturn's rings make scientists question the conventional wisdom on how planets form magnetic fields. As NASA's Cassini spacecraft makes its unprecedented series of weekly dives between Saturn and its rings,...

July 27, 2017

artist impression new horizons encounters kbo 2014 mu69

New mysteries surround MU69, New Horizons' next flyby target

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft doesn't zoom past its next science target until New Year's Day 2019, but the Kuiper Belt object, known as 2014 MU69, is already revealing surprises. Scientists have been sifting through data gathered from observing the...

July 08, 2017

planet 10 new planet kuiper belt

Study suggests another large planetary body exists in Solar System

A new study from the University of Arizona suggests that an unknown, and currently unseen planetary body exists in the outer reaches of our solar system. The planet is located far beyond Pluto and has a mass somewhere between that of Mars and Earth. This object is...

June 23, 2017

electric jupiter and its many surprises

Electric Jupiter and its many surprises

Scientists working on NASA’s historic Juno mission to the gas giant Jupiter have recently presented their early findings for the first time. Like so many other recent space missions, what they have discovered is not what they expected. As reported by New...

June 15, 2017

enceladus spin axis tilted due to asteroid impact

Enceladus' spin axis may have tilted due to asteroid impact

Cassini mission scientists found evidence that Saturn's icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus may have tipped over in the distant past. Its spin axis, the line through the north and south poles, has reoriented, possibly due to a collision with a smaller body such as...

May 31, 2017