981–1000 of 1,119 results

Solar System

Did the Moon Do a Face Flip?

We're taught that tidal locking of the Moon's spin and orbit has always kept its near side facing toward Earth. But a new study challenges that long-held notion.

Solar System

Hayabusa Heads Home

Crippled by multiple system failures, a Japanese spacecraft continues its against-all-odds struggle to return to Earth after landing on an asteroid 3½ years ago.

Solar System

Let's Google Mars

The world's most fascinating mapping utility now works on another planet.

Solar System

The Curious Case of Martian Methane

Mars, it seems, is not quite dead. A team of observers has found methane in the Red Planet's atmosphere. This finding proves either that Mars has (or once had) life — or that the planet's interior occasionally burps.

Solar System

Martian Mega-Rover Gets a "Time Out"

Plagued by a technical obstacles that could threaten its success, a $2 billion Mars rover has been postponed two years by NASA officials. The Mars Science Laboratory's new launch date is 2011.

Solar System

A Very Oddball Comet

Periodic Comet Machholz 1 has such a unique composition that a researcher suggests it may have come from another solar system. Though the odds against this seem long.

Space Missions

Sleuthing Reveals Mars's Watery Past

New findings announced this week suggest that the Red Planet may have had an ancient ocean after all and that buried glaciers of ice have turned up in surprising places.

Solar System

Chandrayaan 1 is a Hit

India's first deep-space mission has chalked up another success during the first days of its two-year mission: slamming an instrumented probe into the lunar surface.

Space Missions

Amazing Close-ups of Enceladus

Ever wonder what it'd be like to view the icy terrain of Saturn's enigmatically active moon as if you were just 12 miles above it? Now you can, thanks to Cassini's close brush with Enceladus on Halloween.

Solar System

Mercury Gets a Second Look

When NASA's Messenger spacecraft flew past the innermost planet on October 6th, it mapped another 30% of the surface never before viewed by spacecraft and gave scientists tantalizing hints of what Mercury is all about.

Space Missions

Giant "Hurricanes" Ring Saturn's Poles

NASA scientists are scratching their heads over the monstrously large swirls revealed by the Cassini orbiter at the planet's top and bottom.

Space Missions

A Deep (Impact) Mystery

Deep Impact's in-your-face encounter with Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, created an enormous splash of dust and gas far more massive than anyone predicted. Some 3½ years later, planetary scientists are still struggling to understand what happened.

Solar System

Kooky Kuiper-Belt Object

Observers have spotted a distant body that's veered far off the interplanetary highway.

Solar System

Little Asteroid Makes a Big Splash

You'd think that a car-size space rock racing through space and slamming into Earth's atmosphere at night would put on a dazzling show. One did just that early Tuesday morning — but did anyone on the ground actually see it?

Space Missions

The New Face of Mercury

NASA's Messenger spacecraft slipped past the innermost planet on October 6th, revealing an amazing Mercurian landscape never before seen at close range.

Solar System

The Sun Goes Round and (Less) Round

Incredibly precise measurements of the solar surface show that our star isn't quite as spherical as once thought.

Solar System

The Solar Wind Takes a Breather

In the 50 years that space physicists have tracked it, the outward "wind" of charged particles coming off the Sun and flowing past Earth has never been weaker than it is right now.

Solar System

Opportunity's Mad Dash

After spending 4½ years doing geologists' bidding on Mars, you'd think that NASA would give its rovers a rest. Instead, one of them has started rolling toward a large crater that it likely won't reach for two years.

Solar System

Haumea: Dwarf-Planet Name Game

After three years of controversy over who discovered it, a large object in the Kuiper Belt has finally been christened by the International Astronomical Union — but the discovery rights are far from settled!

Solar System

Rosetta's "Jewel in the Sky"

European scientists are excitedly poring over results from the Rosetta spacecraft's close flyby of asteroid Steins, even though an unexpected camera glitch cost them the best views of its cratered surface.