Pluto's Large Nitrogen Ice 'Sea' Probably Formed from Giant Impact, Scientists Say

The vast ice plains of Sputnik Planum on Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The vast ice plains of Sputnik Planum on Pluto. The basin, now filled with nitrogen ice, was probably created by a huge impact. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Instead of being little more than a frozen and unchanging rocky iceball, Pluto has been revealed to be a complex and dynamic little world, with mountains, valleys, vast icy […]

2015 in Review: A Year of Spectacular Planetary Missions and Discoveries

High-resolution view of Pluto from New Horizons, showing rugged mountains and vast icy plains. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

High-resolution view of Pluto from New Horizons, showing rugged mountains and vast icy plains. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

To say that 2015 has been a great year for planetary exploration would be an understatement, with fantastic new discoveries from around the Solar System. From our first ever close-up look at Pluto and its moons, to […]

First High-Resolution Images Released of Ceres from Dawn's New Lowest Orbit

One of the first new images taken in Dawn's lowest orbit around Ceres, showing the crater chain called Gerber Catena. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

One of the first new images taken in Dawn’s lowest orbit around Ceres, showing the crater chain called Gerber Catena. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA has released the first images of the dwarf planet Ceres from the Dawn spacecraft’s new lowest orbit. This is the closest view that Dawn will have of Ceres and its intriguing […]

Mystery Solved? Odd Bright Spots on Ceres Explained as Salt Deposits

False color view of Occator crater on Ceres, showing the unusual brights spots. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

False color view of Occator crater on Ceres, showing the unusual bright spots. The image was taken by the framing camera on NASA’s Dawn spacecraft from a distance of about 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

There now might be a definitive answer to a puzzle which has intrigued both scientists and the […]

A Moon Falling Apart: Grooves on Phobos Are a Sign of its Eventual Catastrophic Fate

The unusual grooves on Phobos' surface, such as those on the left side of this image, are now thought to be caused by tidal stress. The large crater Stickney is in the upper portion of the image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

The unusual grooves on Phobos’ surface, such as those on the left side of this image, are now thought to be caused by tidal stress. The large crater Stickney is in the upper portion of the image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Phobos is the largest of Mars’ two tiny moons, but 50 million […]

A Complex World: Pluto Discoveries Include Possible Ice Volcanoes, Varied Geology, and Weird Spinning Moons

Slide from the DPS meeting showing possible ice volcanoes on Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Slide from the DPS meeting showing possible ice volcanoes on Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Pluto is a small, cold world, but it is also turning out to be one of the most fascinating places in our Solar System – as reported today at the American Astronomical Society’s Division […]

New Horizons Conducts Final Course Correction for New Year's Day Flyby of Next KBO in 2019 

New Horizons has completed the four course corrections needed to send it on its way to its next target in the Kuiper Belt, 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

New Horizons has completed the four course corrections needed to send it on its way to its next target in the Kuiper Belt, 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

After having completed a wildly successful flyby of Pluto and its moons, the New Horizons spacecraft was given a new target, much farther out in the […]

Cassini Completes Epic Flyby Through Geysers of Enceladus, Sends Back Stunning New Images

View of Enceladus and Saturn's rings during the flyby. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

View of Enceladus and Saturn’s rings during the flyby on Oct. 28, 2015, at a distance of 106,000 miles (171,000 kilometers) from Enceladus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini spacecraft has successfully completed its deepest dive through the water vapor geysers of Enceladus and is now sending back some fantastic images of the […]

Sampling an Alien Ocean: Cassini Prepares for Deep Dive Through Enceladus' Geysers on Wednesday

Artist's conception of Cassini making a close flyby of Enceladus and its water vapor plumes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Artist’s conception of Cassini making a close flyby of Enceladus and its water vapor plumes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

This coming Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, the Cassini spacecraft will make a historic close flyby (dubbed “E21”) of Saturn’s tiny icy moon Enceladus, not only passing very close to the surface, but also making the deepest dive […]

New Horizons Changes Course for Flyby of First Post-Pluto Destination on New Year's Day 2019

New Horizons has sped past the Pluto system and is now on its way to its next target in the Kuiper Belt. NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

New Horizons has sped past the Pluto system and is now on its way to its next target in the Kuiper Belt, 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

After having completed its successful encounter with Pluto and its moons last July, the New Horizons spacecraft is now setting its sights on its next target much […]