Planetary Science News

Pebble-Size Particles May Represent a New Class of Interstellar Particles

August 27, 2014

0 Comments

New GBT Observations Show Pebble-Size Particles May Jump Start Planet Formation

A team of astronomers has discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles. If confirmed, these particles may represent a new class of interstellar particles that could help jump-start planet formation. Rocky planets like Earth start out as microscopic bits of dust tinier than a grain of […]

Continue reading...

New Color Map of Neptune’s Moon Triton

August 22, 2014

0 Comments

Voyager Maps Neptunes Moon Triton

The Lunar and Planetary Institute used Voyager’s 1989 historic footage of Neptune’s moon Triton to construct the best-ever global color map of the strange moon. NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. Like an old film, Voyager’s historic footage of Triton has […]

Continue reading...

Solar Energetic Particles May Have Significantly Altered the Properties of Lunar Soil

August 21, 2014

0 Comments

Solar Energetic Particles May Have Altered the Properties of Lunar Soil

New research shows that high-energy particles from large solar storms can penetrate the moon’s polar regions and electrically charge the soil, causing electrostatic breakdown and altering the properties of the soil on the moon. The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire (UNH) and NASA scientists suggests […]

Continue reading...

Earth’s Atmosphere Contains an Unexpectedly Large Amount of Ozone-Depleting Compound

August 21, 2014

0 Comments

Earths Atmosphere Contains an Unexpectedly Large Amount of Ozone Depleting Compound

A newly published study from NASA shows that Earth’s atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), leaving researchers to believe that there are either unidentified industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or unknown CCl4 sources. NASA research shows Earth’s atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an […]

Continue reading...

Study Reveals Two Dynamos Drive Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

August 20, 2014

0 Comments

Research Shows Two Dynamos Drive Jupiters Magnetic Feld

With the aid of the computer simulations, a team of scientists has now succeeded in explaining the origin of the magnetic field deep inside Jupiter. Superlatives are the trademark of the planet Jupiter. The magnetic field at the top edge of the cloud surrounding the largest member of the solar system is around ten times […]

Continue reading...

New Curiosity Image from ‘Bonanza King’ Target

August 20, 2014

0 Comments

Curiosity Image of Bonanza King Target

This newly released image from NASA’s Curiosity Rover shows a gray patch of rock material at the “Bonanza King” location. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used the Dust Removal Tool on its robotic arm to brush aside reddish, more-oxidized dust, revealing a gray patch of less-oxidized rock material at a target called “Bonanza King,” visible in […]

Continue reading...

New ScienceCasts Video Explores How Exoplanets Are Measured with Remarkable Precision

August 19, 2014

0 Comments

New ScienceCasts Video Sizing up an Exoplanet

This new four minute ScienceCasts video examines how researchers are beginning to measure exoplanets with extraordinary precision. ScienceCasts: Sizing up an Exoplanet: Astronomers are not only discovering planets around distant suns, they are also starting to measure those worlds with astonishing precision. The diameter of a super-Earth named Kepler 93B is now known to within […]

Continue reading...

New ESA Image of Craters within the Hellas Basin on Mars

August 18, 2014

0 Comments

New Image of the Craters within the Hellas Basin of Mars

This newly released Mars Express image shows craters within the Hellas Basin in the southern highlands of Mars. Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System’s largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km. Hellas is thought to have formed between 3.8 […]

Continue reading...

Grains Captured by NASA’s Stardust Spacecraft Are Likely from Interstellar Space

August 15, 2014

0 Comments

Grains Captured by NASAs Stardust Are Likely Visitors from Interstellar Space

A newly published study reveals that seven tiny grains of dust captured by NASA’s Stardust Spacecraft probably came from outside our solar system, perhaps created in a supernova explosion millions of years ago and altered by eons of exposure to the extremes of space. Berkeley – Since 2006, when NASA’s Stardust spacecraft delivered its aerogel […]

Continue reading...

ScienceCast Video Examines the Possibility of Colliding Atmospheres between Mars and Comet Siding Spring

August 14, 2014

0 Comments

New Video Examines the Possibility of Colliding Atmospheres between Mars and Comet Siding Spring

A new four minute ScienceCast video examines what might happen if the atmosphere of Comet Siding Spring, which is about to fly historically close to Mars, hits the atmosphere of Mars. ScienceCasts: Colliding Atmospheres – Mars vs Comet Siding Spring Comet Siding Spring is about to fly historically close to Mars. The encounter could spark […]

Continue reading...

Irregularly Shaped Boulder Rolls Down Martian Hill, Lands Upright

August 14, 2014

0 Comments

New Mars Image Shows Rolling Boulder

A newly released image from the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows an irregularly shaped boulder that apparently rolled down a hill on Mars and stopped in an upright position. A track about one-third of a mile (500 meters) long on Mars shows where an irregularly shaped boulder careened downhill to its current […]

Continue reading...

Cassini Tracks Clouds Developing Over Ligeia Mare on Titan

August 13, 2014

0 Comments

Cassini Tracks Clouds Developing Over a Sea on Titan

A newly released animated image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows methane clouds moving above the large methane sea known as Ligeia Mare on Saturn’s moon Titan. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft recently captured images of clouds moving across the northern hydrocarbon seas of Saturn’s moon Titan. This renewed weather activity, considered overdue by researchers, could finally signal […]

Continue reading...