Planets and space bodies - page 5

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Mars might have liquid water

Researchers have long known that there was water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate

April 22, 2015


Gamma-ray spectrometer prompts researchers to rethink how Mercury formed

A versatile instrument developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and riding on the first spacecraft to ever orbit Mercury is causing researchers to rethink their theories on the planet’s formation.Known as the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer,

April 19, 2015


Scientists identify missing wave near Jupiter’s equator

In the clouds of Jupiter, scientists have found evidence of a type of atmospheric wave that had long been proposed but had not been identified in images before now.Researchers consider this kind of wave, called a Kelvin wave, a fundamental part of a planetary atmosphere

April 19, 2015


Dawn's new Ceres color map reveals surface diversity

A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March 2015, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active body, Dawn

April 14, 2015


Are bright spots on Ceres electric?

In March, the NASA Dawn Spacecraft entered the orbit of the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres, with the craft scheduled to begin sending images to Earth later this month.For several weeks, surprising and unexplained bright spots within a crater on the planet’s surface

April 08, 2015


Unexplained warm layer discovered in Venus’ atmosphere

A group of Russian, European and American scientists have found a warm layer in Venus’ atmosphere, the nature of which is still unknown. The researchers made the discovery when compiling a temperature map of the upper atmosphere on the planet’s night side ba

March 26, 2015


How is Mars rover Opportunity still alive?

Today, we review one of the great ongoing mysteries in the history of Mars exploration. In January of 2004, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity arrived at the red planet about three weeks apart.Due to the extreme dustiness of the Martian environment, it was believed

March 21, 2015


Large underground ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon

Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface. Identifying liquid water is crucial in the

March 21, 2015


MAVEN detects unexpected aurora and mysterious dust cloud around Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere.The presence of the dust at orbital altitudes from

March 19, 2015


Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of hydrothermal activity

Data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft provided first clear evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world

March 15, 2015


"Baffling" Mars plumes are electric

Science news headlines around the world tell of a baffling mystery on the planet Mars. In March of 2012, amateur astronomers spotted enormous plumes jetting from the Martian surface. The plumes were more than 250 km high and several hundreds of kilometers in length.Simi

March 15, 2015


Research suggests Mars had an ocean that covered approximately 20% of the planet

Isotopic measurements by researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center reveal that Mars once had an ocean that covered approximately twenty percent of the planet.Geronimo Villanueva, scientists at Goddard, said their study provides a solid estimate of how much w

March 06, 2015


Dawn spacecraft arrives at dwarf planet Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached dwarf planet Ceres and achieved orbit around it on Friday, March 6, 2015. Dawn was approximately 61 000 km (38 000 miles) away from Ceres when it was captured by its gravity at about 12:39 UTC.Mission controllers at NASA’s Je

March 06, 2015

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Giant methane storms on Uranus

Most of the times we have looked at Uranus, it has seemed to be a relatively calm place. Well, yes its atmosphere is the coldest place in the solar system. But, when we picture the seventh planet in our solar system invariably the image of a calming blue hazy disc that

March 02, 2015

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Earth’s other ‘moon’ and its crazy orbit could reveal mysteries of the solar system

We all know and love the moon. We’re so assured that we only have one that we don’t even give it a specific name. It is the brightest object in the night sky, and amateur astronomers take great delight in mapping its craters and seas. To date, it is the only

February 25, 2015


New Horizons spots small moons orbiting Pluto

Exactly 85 years after Clyde Tombaugh’s historic discovery of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft set to encounter the icy dwarf planet this summer is providing its first views of the small moons orbiting Pluto. The moons Nix and Hydra are visible in a series of im

February 19, 2015

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Massive clouds erupted 260 km into Martian atmosphere - and no one knows why

Enormous cloud-like plumes reaching 260km above the surface of Mars have left scientists baffled. This is way beyond Mars’s normal weather, reaching into the exosphere where the atmosphere merges with interplanetary space. None of the conventional explanations

February 17, 2015