Astronomers Identify New Substances on Europa of Possible Underground Origin

An image mosaic of Europa taken from NASA's Galileo spacecraft, showing the moon's famous 'chaos terrain' of linear cracks and ridges that crisscross almost its entire surface. A new research by a team of US astronomers has identified a previously unseen set of minerals along Europa's chaos terrain, which are thought to have originated from the moon's underground liquid water ocean. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

An image mosaic of Europa taken from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, showing the moon’s famous “chaos terrain” of linear cracks and ridges that crisscross almost its entire surface. A new research by a team of U.S. astronomers has identified a previously unseen set of minerals along Europa’s chaos terrain, which are thought to have originated […]

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 […]

Shedding New Light On the Solar System: Celebrating 25 Years of Hubble Science (Part 1)

A photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope. taken by the crew of the STS-109 mission, following the successful completion of the fourth Hubble servicing mission in 2002. The iconic orbiting observatory, which celebrates 25 years of successful operation this month, has completely revolutionised our view of the Cosmos. Image Credit: NASA/STScI

“All truths are […]

'Up Against a Wall': What 1986 Might Have Been

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years and all crews, including the other missions planned for 1986, were stood down. Photo Credit: NASA

On three occasions in NASA’s history, the dawn of February has brought […]

New Study Suggests Europa Is Far Less Geophysically Active Than Previously Thought

An artist’s impression of Jupiter and its moon Europa, based on actual visible light images. Last year, a team of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope, had reported the detection of signs of water vapour being vented off Europa’s south pole. A new study comes to challenge this interpretation, by presenting evidence that Europa’s […]

Coloring the Ice: Scientist Compiles First-Ever Global Color Maps of Saturn's Icy Moons From Cassini Data

A high-resolution color global map of Saturn’s moon Mimas, based on imaging data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. A set of new global maps of Saturn’s largest icy moons reveal the latters’ landscapes in unprecedented detail. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/LPI

The first 50 years of planetary exploration have seen the successful completion of humanity’s epic, first […]

ESA's JUICE Mission Receives Approval to Advance Toward Implementation

Artist’s concept of the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer mission, or JUICE, which is scheduled for launch in 2022. The mission recently passed a major milestone in its development, by being granted approval by ESA to advance towards implementation. Image Credit: ESA/AOES

The detailed study of Jupiter’s fascinating large, icy moons got a step closer […]

Living On the Edge: The Inviting Waters of Europa (Part 2)

Jupiter’s moon Europa, as seen by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. A long line of evidence has shown that Europa has an underground ocean of liquid water, which for many scientists constitutes the best place in the Solar System to search for alien life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

“Since ’tis certain that Earth and Jupiter have […]

Happy Birthday, DSN: NASA's Iconic Deep Space Communication Network Turns 50

The 70-meter antenna at Goldstone, Calif., one of the Deep Space Network facilities. The DSN celebrates, this month, its 50th anniversary of history-making operations. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The history of spaceflight is full of missions that have celebrated important milestones in space during Christmas Eve—from Apollo 8’s manned flight into lunar orbit in 1968 […]

Panspermia on the Moons of Jupiter? New Study Finds It Possible, While Another Finds Evidence of Clay-Like Minerals on Europa

New studies strengthen the case for the possibility of life, carried by asteroids or comets on places like Europa. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk.

Even though Mars receives most of the spotlight today when it comes to searching for places in the Solar System—besides Earth—where life might have arisen, there are many in the scientific […]