Astrobiology

Supervolcanoes on Mars

A new analysis of data from spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet suggests that gigantic calderas lie disguised on the planet’s surface. If the features are volcanoes, they could help explain the mysterious, fine-grain debris that coats Mars.

Solar System

Asteroid Pieces Make Pretty Meteorites

A new analysis of crystals in pallasite meteorites suggests that these beautiful objects had a violent birth — but one quite different than scientists had imagined.

Tissint meteorite piece

Solar System

Freshest Mars Rock has Hints of Water

An international team of scientists has teased apart the secrets hidden inside a meteorite from Mars, including signs that the rock weathered acidic water while on the Red Planet.

Astronomy & Observing News

How Pure Is the Comet?

When NASA slammed a probe into a comet last year, researchers were searching for the oldest stuff in the solar system. But what they found — no one had expected.

Titan

Astronomy & Observing News

Great Lakes of Titan

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered the coldest beachfront property in the solar system: dozens of lakes near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan.

Saturn's Rings

Astronomy & Observing News

Saturn's Spare Tire

Over the last year, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has repeatedly spotted a debris pocket bulging out of one of Saturn's rings.

Astronomy & Observing News

Predicting Solar Eruptions

As NASA looks to return astronauts to the Moon and send them beyond to Mars, the health hazards posed by solar explosions are a serious concern.

Dome C

Astronomy & Observing News

Earth's Coldest Star Party

One of the most inhospitable places on Earth might also be one of the best places to do astronomy.

Astronauts Servicing Hubble

Astronomy & Observing News

Hubble's Back — and Better Than Ever?

The Hubble Space Telescope's main camera is back online, almost two weeks after a problem with its power supply forced it into safe mode.

Astronomy & Observing News

Hubble, Hubble: Toil and Trouble

The Hubble Space Telescope’s main camera went offline on June 19th, when a problem with its power supply forced it into safe mode.

Astronomy & Observing News

Naming Pluto's Moons

The cast of underworld characters in the outer solar system expanded by two as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially named Pluto's two smallest moons Nix and Hydra.

Astronomy & Observing News

Minor Planets Stick Together

In January 2006, astronomers focused the Hubble Space Telescope on an icy rock near the orbit of Uranus — and found twins.

Astronomy & Observing News

Norway Impact Gentler Than Atomic Bomb

This 212-gram fragment of the Park Forest meteorite fall grazed a yellow fire hydrant as it fell to Earth. News outlets reported last week that a meteorite struck a mountainside in Norway, releasing as much energy as the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Now researchers are reporting the first data from the…

Astronomy & Observing News

Comet-Like Asteroids

These images from the University of Hawaii's 2.2-meter telescope show the three known main-belt comets at the center of each panel. The fuzz around each comet is suspected to be dust that is ejected as water ice sublimates.H. Hsieh and D. Jewitt (University of Hawaii) Two astronomers have uncovered a…

Astronomy & Observing News

Notes from the Spirit World and the Land of Opportunity

While encamped at Erebus Crater, the Opportunity rover imaged this curious rock, Overgaard, which is highlighted by its small layers of ripples. On Earth, ripples like these form in shallow water, as gentle waves deposit small amounts of sand. Opportunity has found similar ripple patterns in other rocks at Meridiani…

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