Chipping the Moon

Solar System

Has a Stray Piece of the Moon Become a Quasi-satellite of Earth?

A quasi-satellite of Earth, named Kamoʻoalewa, might actually be a chip off our Moon.

Jupiter, color-enhanced

Solar System

Hail-like “Mushballs” May Fall on All Our Giant Planets

"Mushballs," first inferred to exist on Jupiter, may fall within the atmospheres of all the solar system's giant planets.

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

Solar System

Amateur Astronomer Discovers New Moon of Jupiter

An amateur astronomer has discovered a new moon of Jupiter. While it hasn't received official designation yet, it would bring the tally of Jovian satellites to 80.

Orbit of Comet 2014 UN271

Solar System

Giant Oort Cloud Comet Lights Up in the Outer Solar System

Astronomers have discovered a new comet coming from the Oort Cloud — and it appears to be a big one.

Comet spectrum

Solar System

Interstellar and Solar System Comets Share a Surprising Ingredient: Nickel

Cold comets — both natives and the interstellar Comet Borisov — have nickel and iron vapor in their atmospheres, and scientists want to know why.

Saturn's interior

Solar System

Helium Rain Inside Saturn Might Shape Its Magnetic Field

A thick inner layer of slowly falling helium blobs might help explain Saturn's almost perfectly aligned magnetic field.

Great Red Spot vs. flake

Solar System

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Gets Smaller — But Stronger

"Flakes" coming off the Great Red Spot have had some wondering if this epic storm is coming to an end. But observations and computer modeling show it's only getting stronger.

Portrayal of 'Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1)

Solar System

Can We Expect Seven Interstellar Visitors Per Year?

A new study estimates the number of interstellar objects that fly through the inner solar system every year, and it could be quite a lot.

2020 XL5 orbit

Solar System

Second Earth Trojan Asteroid Discovered

A recently discovered asteroid appears to be an Earth Trojan, orbiting a gravitationally stable area with only one other known occupant.

Lost Jovian moon J 23

Solar System

Amateur Astronomer Finds “Lost” Moons of Jupiter

An amateur astronomer has recovered four of five "lost" Jovian moons.

Water on the Moon

Solar System

Water on the Moon Isn't Just at the Poles

Water exists even on the sunlit Moon, a new study shows — trapped in glass beads but still extractable for lunar exploration.

Global false-color map of Bennu

Solar System

Osiris-REX Finds Some of Solar System's Oldest Rocks on Bennu

NASA's Osiris-REX mission has found evidence of ancient water flows on the surface of asteroid Bennu.

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.

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.

Chaotic, Jupiter-like orbit

Solar System

Jupiter Has Trapped a Comet in a Bizarre Orbit

Jupiter has captured an icy comet from the outer solar system. The comet's bizarre orbit will bring it back for another super-close pass in 2063.

Comet 2I/Borisov

Solar System

The Origins of Interstellar Objects

The first two interstellar visitors to the solar system are finally shedding light on their places of origin.

Comet Borisov

Solar System

Is the Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov Breaking Up?

New observations of the interstellar comet — which traveled unaltered for eons before arriving in the solar system — have revealed it's fragmenting

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