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Europa

Solar System

Juno's Close View of Jupiter's Europa (Updated)

Juno will pass over the surface of Europa this week in our closest view since the Galileo mission, aiding future exploration efforts.

collection of still images showing a small white dot moving across a black background and dissolving into a plume of white dust

Solar System

Photos Show Drama of DART Asteroid Impact (Updated)

The DART impact into asteroid moon Dimorphos wowed astronomers with an unexpectedly dramatic plume.

Dimorphos' rocky surface

Solar System

NASA's DART Mission Successfully Impacts Asteroid

NASA's DART mission will impact the asteroidal moon Didymos on Monday. Here's how to watch and what we'll learn.

Close-up on glowing Neptune and its gossamer rings

Solar System

Neptune's Rings, Jupiter's “Frosted Cupcakes,” and 3D Views of Mars

Three solar system emissaries have returned beautiful and even interactive vistas of Neptune, Jupiter, and Mars.

Jupiter up close

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter's Exceptionally Close Opposition

A sentinel in the autumnal sky, Jupiter marks its closest opposition since 1963.

Perseverance selfie at Skinner Ridge

Solar System

Perseverance Finds Ancient Habitable Conditions (But Not Yet Life) on Mars

The mission team has reported results from Perseverance's study of the rocks deposited by the river that once flowed into Jezero Crater.

Saturn moons and rings

Solar System

Lost Moon Could Solve Saturn’s Riddles

An icy moon torn apart in Saturn's gravitational field some 150 million years ago could explain why the planet's rings are so young and a host of other puzzles.

NGC 628 looks like a giant blue-gold maelstrom with a blue middle

Exoplanets

Webb Reveals Jupiter, Puffy Planet, and Galactic Maelstroms in a New Light

Round out your week with these stunning views of the universe from the James Webb Space telescope.

SEIS

Solar System

NASA's InSight Lander Finds Tropical Mars Is Dry

Evidence for water ice exists at the poles of Mars and even at mid-latitudes, but new evidence shows equatorial Mars is dry. The find has implications for past habitability and future human missions to Mars.

Orbit

Solar System

First Inter-Venusian Asteroid Hints at a New Population

The discovery of an asteroid inside Venus's orbit might be the first of a new population within the inner solar system.

Battered Vesta

Asteroids

Observe Vesta — and Own a Piece of It, Too

Vesta's bright and easy to find in binoculars and maybe even with the naked eye in late summer skies. It's also just as easy to acquire a piece of it without a multi-billion dollar space mission.

Giant impact 65 million years ago

Solar System

Did the Dinosaur-killing Asteroid Have a Sidekick?

The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago might not have arrived alone.

Occator Crater on Ceres

Solar System

Asteroid Ceres Was Radioactive — and That Could Explain a Lot

Radioactive heating in this asteroid's early days may have destabilized the small world, creating asymmetric surface features.

Perseid 2021

Meteors

Perseids Are Coming, Full Moon or Not

Don't use a full Moon pass to skip this year's Perseid meteor shower. Right here, right now, we're going to help you make the most of it.

artist's illustration of sun with glint

Solar System

Caught in a Solar Storm on the Way to Mars

A chance alignment between Earth and a Mars-bound spacecraft has given us a rare glimpse at the motions of high-energy particles from the Sun.

Jupiter in infrared

Solar System

Why Are Jupiter's Rings So Thin?

Why does the biggest planet in the solar system have such flimsy rings? New research shows Jupiter's moons may be to blame.

four overlapping jupiters showing dark orange marks on the bottom

Solar System

When Planets Collect Comets

What kind of planets are likely to ensnare comets coming in from the icy outer reaches of a planetary system?

Iapetus transit single

Planets

See a Rare Transit of Iapetus on July 17–18

It's tiny. It's challenging. But you won't get the chance to see Iapetus transit the globe of Saturn again until 2037!

A diamond-shaped grey asteroid with ridges, holes, and craters in it, against a black background

Solar System

Asteroid Bennu Almost Swallowed Spacecraft Whole

Scientists knew the asteroid Bennu was likely a rubble pile rather than solid rock, but OSIRIS-REX's recent visit surprised them in showing just how loosely the asteroid really is.

Titan and Tethys

Explore the Night with Bob King

Titan Occults a Bright Star, Mira Awakens, and Comet PanSTARRS Shines

Pick one or see them all. July offers a potpourri of celestial events for both naked-eye observers and telescope users that include a rare occultation by Saturn's moon Titan, a bright comet, and Mira at maximum.

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