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Comet 67P

Solar System

Comets Have (Ultraviolet) Aurora, Too

Observations from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft show that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has its own aurora.

EnVision Orbiter

Solar System

Race to Venus: How We’ll Verify Phosphine

Confirming phosphine's presence on Venus is difficult from Earth . . . and that makes a good case for a mission to our sister planet.

Sunspots at solar minimum vs. maximum

Solar System

Sun’s Activity Cycle Is Stabilizing

Solar Cycle 25 is here, and forecasts suggest the next decade of the Sun’s activity will mimic the last one — halting a 40-year trend.

Ariel transits Uranus

Solar System

Uranian Moons Are Like Dwarf Planets

The moons of Uranus exhibit heat signatures similar to dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt — where the moons were likely born.

Gibbous Venus from Akatsuki

Astrobiology

Potential Biosignature Found in Venus’s Clouds

Astronomers might have found a potential indication of life in the clouds of Venus.

2020 QU6

Solar System

Amateur Astronomer Finds Kilometer-size Asteroid

A grant from the Planetary Society enabled an amateur astronomer's discovery of kilometer-size asteroid 2020 QU6.

NTB via Juno

Celestial News & Events

Stormy Times on Jupiter, Comet Howell Steps Up, and More

Colder weather might be coming, but don't pack away that telescope! You'll miss a powerful storm that's remaking Jupiter's North Temperate Belt, a returning comet, Mira on the rise, and a bright supernova in the Great Bear.

Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa and double shadows, March 25, 2019

Solar System

Study Suggests Jupiter Could Have 600 Moons

New detections of candidate moons suggest that the king of planets could have hundreds of smaller satellites.

Twinkling quasar

Solar System

Twinkling Quasar Hints at Mysterious Nearby Plasma Cloud

Radio observations have turned up evidence of a cloud of hot plasma near — or even in — the solar system. But its distance estimate is still up for debate.

Protoplanetary disk

Solar System

The Origin of Earth’s Water

Scientists have discovered a new candidate source for Earth's water: building blocks of the primordial solar system known as enstatite chondrites.

Charon

Solar System

How Did Pluto's Moons Form?

A massive collision with Pluto’s moon Charon could have formed the dwarf planet’s collection of smaller moons.

Comet NEOWISE

Solar System

Hubble Captures Comet NEOWISE

The Hubble Space Telescope imaged the famous comet on August 8th.

radar map of Titan's north pole

Solar System

Winds and Tides Drive Sea Waves on Titan

Sunlight glittering off rough patches of sea on Saturn’s largest moon indicates ever-changing waves.

Protoplanetary disk

Solar System

Hints of Young Solar Systems

By studying the images of small young star systems, astronomers expect to learn more about the formation of our solar system.

Ceres, ocean world

Solar System

Asteroid Ceres: An Ocean World

Scientists have thought that the largest main-belt asteroid, Ceres, had an ancient ocean beneath its surface. But new data from the Dawn spacecraft show the underground ocean might still be there.

Earth vs Hayabusa 2

Solar System

Potential New Targets for Japan's Hayabusa 2 Mission

The Hayabusa 2 team has laid out a proposal for an extended mission to one of two asteroids after the spacecraft's sample return this December.

Young solar system

Solar System

Radioactive Aluminum Sheds Light on Solar System History

Astronomers thought giant stars were reponsible for flooding the early system with a radioative isotope — but the Sun itself might have made it.

Superimposed: Mars river valley networks and Devon Island channels

Solar System

Was Early Mars "Wet and Warm"? Or Wet and Cold?

A new model suggests that Martian valley networks might have been created by ancient subglacial rivers rather than water flowing on the surface.

Perseverance launch

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA Launches Perseverance Rover for Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover heads to the Red Planet.

Looking back at Pluto

Planets

Cool Off with Pluto This Summer

Pluto might be a challenging target but it's well worth the effort. Grab your telescope and see if you can spot this distant, chilly world.

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