1–20 of 42 results
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.

Magma ocean and crust

Solar System

Long-lived Lunar Magma Ocean Points to a Younger Moon

Most lunar scientists today think that the Moon formed after a Mars-size body hit the still-forming Earth, launching enough material into orbit to form our satellite. But there is still lively debate about the age of the Moon, and its evolution after it formed. A Mars-size body smashed into Earth…

Chaotic terrain on Mercury

Solar System

Why Have Parts of Mercury's Landscape "Deflated"?

A type of landscape on Mercury known as “chaotic terrain” might have released materials stored underground for eons.

Solar System

New Horizons Reveals Full Picture of Arrokoth...and How Planets Form

New Horizon’s flyby of Arrokoth, a planetesimal in the Kuiper Belt, reveals a pristine object untouched since the solar system’s origin. Its shape and geology show that planetesimals form more gently than previously thought.

Venus in false-color

Solar System

The Clouds of Venus Puzzle Scientists

Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft has revealed some previously unknown dynamics in the Venusian atmosphere, but their origin is far from clear.

Curiosity selfie

Solar System

A Possible Solution to Mars’s Methane Problem

A small amount of seepage could explain conflicting measurements of methane in the Martian atmosphere.

Two planets colliding

Solar System

Could a Long-Ago Collision Explain Our Two-Faced Moon?

New research shows that a planetoid impact could have made our Moon asymmetric.

Taurus-Littrow Valley

Solar System

Apollo-era Data Reveal Moon’s Tectonic Activity

A new look at old seismic data gathered during the Apollo missions reveals young active faults as a possible origin of shallow moonquakes.

Seismometer on NASA's Insight lander

Solar System

What the First Marsquake Means for NASA's Insight

After two months, InSight’s seismometer has picked up the first rumblings in Martian soil. Turns out marsquakes may be less frequent than thought.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter looks for methane (art)

Solar System

The Martian Methane Mystery Continues

The most advanced instrument ever sent to Mars to study its atmosphere has failed to find any methane after months of searching.

Mars Express

Solar System

New Study Confirms Methane on Mars – But It’s Not Definitive

Independent methane detections in the Martian atmosphere by the Curiosity rover and Mars Express orbiter add confusion to a convoluted story.

Ryugu closeup

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Hayabusa 2 Finds Asteroid Ryugu Is Dark & Dry

Hayabusa 2’s asteroid Ryugu has some unexpected characteristics. In particular, its dry surface could spell trouble for current theories about how Earth obtained its water.

Asteroid Bennu

Solar System

Bumpy Road Ahead For NASA’s Osiris-REX

Asteroid Bennu is turning out to be a hazardous place for the NASA spacecraft to sample: It has uneven, rugged terrain and occasionally even hurls rocks into space.

Craters on the Moon, by age

Solar System

Asteroid Impacts Increased 290 Million Years Ago, Lunar Craters Reveal

Researchers have estimated the ages of craters on the lunar surface, finding that the rate of large impacts nearly tripled 290 million years ago — an increase that might be ongoing.

Cassini at Saturn

Solar System

Four Things We Now Know About Saturn

Cassini gave an epic final show, going where no space probe had gone before. Here are a few interesting things we learned from that finale.

Portrayal of 'Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1)

Solar System

'Oumuamua’s Story Keeps Spinning

Two new studies question the cometary nature of 'Oumuamua, our first interstellar visitor, and where in the Galaxy it might have come from.

'Oumuamua

Solar System

'Oumuamua Was a Comet After All

Researchers have found that 'Oumuamua — the first confirmed object to enter the solar system from interstellar space — was a comet, releasing just enough gas to subtly change its course.

Sedna

Solar System

No Planet Nine? Small-body Pile-up Could Explain Odd Orbits

New research shows that interactions between small objects beyond Neptune’s orbit —and not a hypothetical Planet Nine — could be the reason some far-flung solar system objects “detach” from their original orbits.

Discovery images of asteroid 2015 BZ509

Solar System

Did This Wrong-way Asteroid Come from Beyond the Solar System?

An intriguing asteroid was spotted traveling backwards around Jupiter back in 2015. Now a team of researchers think it could have formed around another star.

The Milky Way, cropped

Milky Way

Amateurs Take Huge Panoramic View of the Milky Way — Without a Telescope

This is what the largest available image of the Milky Way using only off-the-shelf photographic equipment looks like.

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