Planets and space bodies - page 3

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Isolated hills on Pluto floating in the sea of frozen nitrogen

NASA's New Horizons missions collected images and data indicating the isolated hills on Pluto may be fragments of water ice from the planet's surrounding uplands. The hills are thought to float in a sea of frozen nitrogen and move just like the icebergs in...

February 09, 2016

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Planet Nine: Caltech researchers announce evidence of a giant new Solar System planet on a highly elongated orbit

Two Caltech researchers have announced today, January 20, 2016, they have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times...

January 20, 2016

ceres_feat

Ceres imaged from the lowest orbital altitude ever

NASA's Dawn spacecraft collected new detailed images of the cratered and fractured southern hemisphere surface of the dwarf planet Ceres on December 10, 2015. The spacecraft took the images while cruising in the lowest and final orbit of the small planet. Dawn...

December 23, 2015

cassini_feat

Cassini makes final close flyby images of Saturn's moon Enceladus

NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its 22nd and the final close flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus on December 19, 2015 at 17:49 UTC and will now continue to observe the moon from a much greater distance. The spacecraft passed Enceladus at a distance of 4 999 km...

December 22, 2015

hd189733

Astronomers create the first weather map of a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet

For the first time, astronomers have actually mapped the weather of an exoplanet beyond our Solar System. Astronomers have found that gas giant HD 189733b has winds swirling at 8690 km/h (5400 mph). This is due to the planets extremely close orbit around its host...

November 18, 2015

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Mars' moon Phobos is slowly disintegrating

The long shallow grooves on Phobos are likely early signs of structural damage. Scientists now believe that Phobos is not solid but instead is a pile of rubble covered by a thick layer of dust which makes it look solid. Scientists expect the moon to be pulled apart...

November 14, 2015

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New Earth-like exoplanet discovered, only 39 light years away

Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet in our stellar neighborhood, only 39 light years from Earth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced on November 11, 2015. The planet shows no signs of being capable of hosting any life, however it is the closest...

November 13, 2015

sn farplanets

Astronomers discover the farthest planetoid in the Solar System

Astronomers have spotted a dwarf planet which is three times farther away than Pluto. This makes it the farthest object discovered in the Solar System. Once its orbit is ascertained, planetoid V774104 may teach researchers a lot about the early Solar System. The...

November 12, 2015

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New Horizons recent Pluto flyby yields numerous exciting discoveries

NASA's New Horizons science team gathered on the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland, taking place from November 8 to 13, 2015, to discuss numerous exciting discoveries that...

November 09, 2015

Mars_vs_Solar_Storm_print

MAVEN data reveals solar wind emptied Mars' atmosphere, left behind a dry planet

Data from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has allowed researchers to understand the drastic transformation in the Martian environment - from a wet, warm climate which may have supported life to the cold and dry planet that it has...

November 06, 2015

enceladus_raw_feat

First raw image from Enceladus' October 28 flyby now available

First image of Saturn's moon Enceladus has been received from the Cassini spacecraft, NASA reported on October 30, 2015. NASA's Cassini spacecraft was scheduled to perform its deepest-ever dive through the icy plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus on October...

October 31, 2015

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ESA's JUICE set to explore Jupiter's mysterious moons

​Astronomers have always been fascinated by the gas giant Jupiter. A planet over 1000 times the size of Earth with 63 natural moons, 4 of whom are nearly as big as planets themselves, Jupiter and its moons are considered to be a mini solar system and are popularly...

October 27, 2015

enceladus_flyby_feat

Cassini to perform the deepest-ever dive through the plume of Enceladus

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to perform the deepest-ever dive through the icy plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus on October 28, 2015. The scientists involved in the project are hoping this dive will provide new insights into the moon's ocean...

October 27, 2015

jupiter_feat

New maps of Jupiter reveal the Great Red Spot continues to shrink

NASA's scientists have produced new maps of Jupiter from images collected by the Hubble Space Telescope. Newly composed maps are the first in a series of yearly images of the Solar System's outer planets, designed to keep track of how these giant worlds...

October 15, 2015

pluto_blue_feat

Blue hazes and small regions of water ice found on Pluto

The first color images of Pluto's atmospheric hazes, provided last week by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft show the hazes scatter blue light, NASA announced on October 8, 2015. New Horizons has also detected small, exposed regions of water ice on Pluto, using...

October 09, 2015

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Pluto continues to surprise

In the previous Space News episode, we discussed recent, astonishing images of the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto. Many other surprises have already been revealed in the data thus far released from NASA’s New Horizons mission. Today, physicist Eugene...

October 04, 2015

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New maps uncover amazing geological features on Ceres

A series of new images of Ceres have been provided by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showing the geological features of the dwarf planet in amazing, unprecedented details. A new colored topographic map shows numerous recently approved names for various geological...

October 01, 2015