Planets and space bodies

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

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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

juno results

Juno mission rewrites what we know about Jupiter

NASA’s Juno mission, led by Southwest Research Institute’s Dr. Scott Bolton, is rewriting what scientists thought they knew about Jupiter specifically, and gas giants in general, according to a pair of Science papers released today. The Juno spacecraft...

May 26, 2017

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