To Europa! NASA Announces Science Instruments for New Mission to Ocean Moon

The cracked icy surface of Europa. Could the ocean below support life? The Europa Clipper mission will try to answer that question. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

An exciting new development in planetary exploration was announced today: NASA has chosen the science instruments which will be included in a new mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. […]

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 […]

Scientists Debate How to Search for Life on Europa in New Mission

Jupiter’s ice-covered moon Europa hides a water ocean beneath its surface. A return mission is now planned to help search for evidence of life there. Photo¬†Credit: NASA/JPL

Jupiter’s moon Europa, with its subsurface ocean, is considered by many to be the best place in the Solar System to search for extraterrestrial life. With NASA […]

Getting Closer! New Horizons Sees Two of Pluto's Smaller Moons for First Time

Long-exposure images taken by New Horizons between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8, 2015, showing the two tiny moons Hydra (inside yellow diamond) and Nix (inside orange diamond). Image Credit: Image credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The New Horizons spacecraft, on course for a historic encounter with Pluto this summer, is […]

Pluto's Unnamed Moons Given Names by IAU

Two newly discovered moons orbiting Pluto have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union. Image Credit: NASA / STSci

Two of Pluto’s small moons, previously known just as P4 and P5, have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Pluto is the god of the underworld in classical mythology, […]

Undiscovered Country: Of New Horizons and the Kuiper Belt

Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, seen here in an image from the Voyager 2 flyby, is thought to be a captured Kuiper Belt Object. Photo Credit: NASA.

Starting at about the orbit of Neptune and stretching out to roughly 50 astronomical units (1 AU = Earth-Sun distance), or 7.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, is […]

Juno Makes Deep Space Maneuver to Set Up Earth Encounter

An artist’s depiction of the Juno probe at Jupiter. Image Credit: JPL

The Juno probe to Jupiter has fired its engine to refine its trajectory to bring it back to Earth, not permanently, just for a gravity assist.

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New Horizons to Encounter KBO Ahead of Pluto Flyby

This is an artist’s depiction of New Horizons encountering a Kuiper Belt Object. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

According to the New Horizons’ twitter feed, @NewHorizons2015,¬†and Principal Investigator Alan Stern, the New Horizons probe will make a long-range encounter with a Kuiper Belt Object in January 2015. The […]