August 22, 2019

With widespread salts and ices, Ceres in a class of its own

December 10, 2015

The dwarf planet Ceres turns out to be a world with untold wonders, with vivid bright spots likely made of dried mineral salts and hazes apparently triggered by daytime heating, drawing a comparison to comets and strikingly differentiating it from neighboring bodies in the asteroid belt.

Akatsuki probe relays its first images from Venus orbit

December 9, 2015

Japanese scientists released Wednesday the first views of Venus captured by the Akatsuki spacecraft after arriving in orbit this week, setting the stage for regular observations of the planet’s blistering atmosphere over the next few years.

Japanese probe fires rockets to steer into orbit at Venus

December 6, 2015

Five years after missing a shot to enter orbit at Venus, Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft completed a critical rocket burn late Sunday in a bid to salvage the research mission and become the only space probe operating around Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.

Solar wind blasting away Martian atmosphere

November 5, 2015

The solar wind, the million-mile-per-hour stream of charged particles blasted away from the sun, is slowly but surely stripping away Mars’ atmosphere and likely played a major role in turning the red planet from a habitable world in the distant past into the dry, frozen wasteland seen today, scientists said Thursday.

Charon takes center stage in new batch of New Horizons images

October 2, 2015

With meandering canyons four times as long, and twice as deep, as the Grand Canyon in the American Southwest, the crust of Pluto’s moon Charon may have been shaped by violent eruptions and geology once thought improbable for a small body in the far depths of the solar system, scientists said Thursday.

Secrets behind Pluto’s pastels far from being answered

September 24, 2015

Geologists said Thursday they are bewildered by images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft baring unseen landscapes on Pluto with unexpected “snakeskin” textures, colorful chasms routing through ancient landforms, and vivid new views of apparent glacial flows.

Dawn gets better look at bright spots on Ceres

September 9, 2015

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, nearly halfway through its exploration of the dwarf planet Ceres, has returned its best images yet of a mysterious grouping of bright spots inside a crater on the Texas-sized world, bolstering evidence that Ceres is geologically alive.

Uranus, Neptune in NASA’s sights for new robotic mission

August 25, 2015

NASA has asked scientists to assess how to design and fly robotic space probes to Uranus and Neptune, the last of the solar system’s classical planets yet to be orbited, likely ensuring the huge icy worlds are near the top of the space agency’s to-do list in the coming decades.

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