New Horizons Mission Returns First Images of Pluto's Smallest Known Moons Kerberos and Styx

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has just returned the first long-range images of Kerberos and Styx, the two smallest moons of Pluto. Each animation consists of five 10-second frames which were taken with the onboard LORRI camera between April 25 and May 1At left is the initial set of raw images, while at the center […]

Flying (Mostly) Friendly Skies: Northrop Grumman Developing Airplane to Cruise Atmosphere of Venus

Artist’s conception of the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) aircraft in the atmosphere of Venus. Image Credit: Northrop Grumman artist’s concept

With so much attention now on the rovers and spacecraft at Mars, Saturn, Ceres, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and, soon, Pluto, it may seem like Earth’s closest planetary neighbor Venus has been forgotten again. But no, […]

Dark Material in Fractures on Europa's Surface Is Sea Salt, New Research Suggests

The darker-colored material within the fractures and elsewhere on Europa’s surface might be sea salt brought up from the ocean below. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

For over a decade, scientists have been curious about the long fractures on Europa’s icy surface and the darker-colored material they contain, as well as other relatively young geological […]

Highest-Resolution Views Yet Reveal Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots, Seemingly Comprised of Multiple ‘Icy Spots’

This image of Ceres was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on May 4, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers), in its RC3 mapping orbit. The brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to be composed of many smaller spots. The image resolution is 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers) […]

NASA Announces Journey to Mars Contest for Ideas to Enable Human Presence on Red Planet

NASA announces public contest for ideas on achieving a sustained human presence on Mars as part of the agency’s “Journey to Mars” initiative. Credit: NASA

Here’s your chance to influence how NASA will fulfill its agency-wide goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s for a sustained period of time.

NASA has just […]

Enceladus' Water Geysers May Be 'Curtain Eruptions' According to New Study

The water vapor jets on Enceladus are now thought to mostly be more like diffuse “curtains” rather than separate plumes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/PSI

The water vapor geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus are one of the most fascinating phenomena in the Solar System; the jets spray far out into space in a dazzling display unseen […]

Astronomers Find First Evidence of Possible Volcanic Activity On a Super-Earth Exoplanet

Artist’s conception of super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, before and after volcanic activity on its day side. The surface may be partially molten. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

Discovering new exoplanets has become rather routine in the last few years, but determining just what conditions exist on any of them is naturally more difficult, since […]

Rest In Pieces: MESSENGER Ends Orbital Operations, Impacts Mercury's Surface

The MESSENGER spacecraft, depicted in this artist’s rendering, began studying Mercury in 2011. Today, its mission ended with its impact on the far side of the planet. Image Credit: NASA

Here’s MESSENGER by the numbers: Years since launching: 10+; Years in Mercury’s orbit: Four; Number of orbits: 4,105; Size of its impact crater: Estimated […]

Bezos’ Blue Origin Conducts Maiden Test Flight of ‘New Shepard’ Space Vehicle

The New Shepard space vehicle blasts off on its first developmental test flight over Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site. The crew capsule reached apogee at 307,000 feet before beginning its descent back to Earth. Credit: Blue Origin

Blue Origin, the aerospace company privately owned and bankrolled by billionaire and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, […]

NASA Actively Working to ‘Save Opportunity and LRO’ From Budget Cutters' Axe

Opportunity at Spirit of Saint Louis crater scanning into Marathon Valley and Endeavour crater from current location on Mars in April 2015 in this photo mosaic. The crater, featuring an odd mound of rocks, is the gateway to Marathon Valley and exposures of water altered clay minerals. This pancam camera photo mosaic was assembled […]