Posts in category

Solar System


The hotly contested question has been answered: Voyager 1 is humanity’s first object to enter interstellar space! The historic announcement came from NASA after a year of review into 2012 and 2013 data points from the intrepid probe. Officially, Voyager 1 entered interstellar space on 25 August 2012. The debate For over a year, scientists …

Most of what scientists know of Jupiter’s moon Europa they have gleaned from a dozen or so close flybys from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1979 and NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the mid-to-late 1990s. Even in these fleeting, paparazzi-like encounters, scientists have seen a fractured, ice-covered world with tantalizing signs of a liquid water ocean …

The true identity of centaurs, the small celestial bodies orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Neptune, is one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Are they asteroids or comets? A new study of observations from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) finds most centaurs are comets. Until now, astronomers were not certain whether centaurs are …

A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 – as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet – has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence. A new paper in the journal Icarus reveals another facet of the storm’s explosive power: its ability to churn up water ice from …

After almost nine years in space that included an unprecedented July 4th impact and subsequent flyby of a comet, an additional comet flyby, and the return of approximately 500,000 images of celestial objects, NASA’s Deep Impact mission has ended. The project team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has reluctantly pronounced the mission …

If you could lick the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, you would actually be sampling a bit of the ocean beneath. Mike Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, and Kevin Hand from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have detailed the strongest evidence yet that salty water from the vast liquid ocean beneath …