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Next Launch ATV-5 on a Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana scheduled for 29 Jul 14 23:47:38 GMT

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Behold Enceladus: Cassini Maps 101 Geysers on Tiny Saturn Moon

The geysers at the south pole of Enceladus, as seen by the Cassini spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

Saturn’s moon Enceladus is already known as one of the most intriguing places in our solar system, and now new findings from the Cassini spacecraft have been published, which will only add to our fascination with this little world.

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Titan's Hidden Ocean Might Be as Salty as the Dead Sea

Illustration of what Titan’s interior is thought to look like, with a rigid ice shell above the salty water ocean below. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saturn’s moon Titan is known for its methane seas, lakes, and rivers; surprisingly Earth-like in appearance yet distinctly alien at the same time. But there is also evidence for another [...]

New Study Shows How Salts Could Make Liquid Water on Mars

The Phoenix lander was the first mission to land near the Martian north pole. Was it also the first to see evidence of liquid water on Mars? Image Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

The search for evidence of water on Mars, past or present, has been one of the driving forces behind [...]

Cassini at Saturn: 10 Years of Amazing Planetary Science and More to Come

Mosaic image showing Saturn backlit by the Sun, one of the most beautiful and surreal photographs sent back by Cassini. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini mission to Saturn has been one of the most successful and exciting in all of space exploration history. That amazing spacecraft is now celebrating its 10th anniversary today [...]

'Mega-Earth' Planet Discovered Orbiting Distant Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-10c (foreground) and Kepler-10b. Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar

Astronomers on Monday made a “big” announcement about exoplanets, and it is big—literally. Another new world has been discovered, which is quite routine now these days, but this one is different, and unexpected: a planet which is more than twice as large [...]

Of Alien Life and Intelligence: Are We Ready for Contact? (Part 3)

A new study cautions that humanity isn’t yet ready to contact any extraterrestrial intelligence, while proposing that SETI should not be involved in transmitting any radio signals to other civilisations that might be out in the Universe. How accurate is this view? Image Credit: José Antonio Peñas/Sinc

“Imagine how foolish you would feel if [...]

Of Alien Life and Intelligence: Angels and Demons (Part 2)

Looking up at the night sky we have mostly imagined other intelligent civilisations in the Universe as being either humanity’s entirely benevolent, wise teachers or its malevolent conquerers. How possible is it to make contact with just such types of civilisations? Image Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi

“Life, even cellular life, may exist out yonder in [...]

Of Alien Life and Intelligence: The Limits of Perception (Part 1)

The Very Large Array of radiotelescopes in Socorro, N.M. Radiotelescopes are being used for more than half a century in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Is this means of communication also employed by other intelligent civilisations, and, if so, could we understand and perceive their presence? Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI and Photographer Kelly Gatlin; [...]

Buried in the Deep: Could Water Ice Deposits on the Moon Generate Their Own Organic Compounds?

A high-definition image of the Earth rising above the Moon’s south pole, taken from Japan’s Kaguya lunar orbiter in 2007. Permanently shadowed craters near the lunar polar regions have been found to harbor water ice deposits and organic compounds. Could these organics be composed in-situ inside the bottoms of these craters? Image Credit: JAXA

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Studying the Light of Alien Atmospheres With NESSI

A new multi-object, near-infrared spectrograph, installed on the Magdalena Ridge Observatory’s 2.4-m Telescope, will study the atmospheres of extrasolar planets located relatively close to Earth, allowing astronomers to probe their chemical composition. Image Credit: MRO

Exoplanetary astronomy has been one of the most productive scientific endeavors in recent years, with new discoveries of planets [...]