Haze Detected Above Mystery Bright Spots on Ceres

The brightest of the bright spots on Ceres, in Occator crater. Haze detected above them may help scientists determine if they are made of ice, salts or something else. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The intriguing bright spots on dwarf planet/asteroid Ceres have been fascinating the public and scientists alike for the past few months, and […]

Closing In on Pluto: Dwarf Planet Shows Its Face and Heart

Whether a dwarf planet, plutoid, trans-Neptunian object or Kuiper Belt object, Pluto has emerged from the gloom to reveal her secrets. Image Credit: NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI

The newest image of Pluto, taken by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera less than six days before closest approach. The long dark area called the “whale” is in the lower left and the brighter “heart” region is in the lower right. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

With less than six days remaining now […]

After Glitch, New Horizons to Resume Science Operations July 7, Before Pluto Encounter

The newest maps of Pluto, as of two weeks before closest approach. A black and white reflectance map has been combined with a natural color map to produce the map in the center. Four dark patches of about the same size and spacing can also be seen in these and other recent images. Image […]

New Color Images Show 'Two Faces' of Pluto and Odd Dark Spots Along Equator

New color images of Pluto sent back by New Horizons showing two different "faces" or hemispheres of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

New color images of Pluto sent back by New Horizons showing two different “faces” or hemispheres of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

First there were the unusual bright spots on Ceres, which are still awaiting an explanation, and now as New […]

Muddy Mars: New Evidence for Liquid Water Flows Within Past Million Years

Illustration of debris flows inside Istok crater on Mars, which have provided evidence of large amounts of flowing water and mud in the past. The flows are very similar to ones on Earth in Arctic regions such as Iceland. Image Credit: Nature Communications

The fact that Mars used to have large amounts of liquid […]

Alien Ocean: All Systems Go for New NASA Mission to Europa

Artist's conception of the Europa Clipper during a flyby of Europa. Image Credit: NASA

Artist’s conception of the Europa Clipper during a flyby of Europa. Image Credit: NASA

After many years of people hoping and waiting, NASA has announced that a new mission to Europa has successfully completed its first major review by the agency and now is entering the development phase, known as formulation. In other words, […]

Early Mars May Have Been Cold and Icy Rather Than Warm, According to New Study

Conceptual image of the two competing warm or cold models of early Mars. Image Credit: Robin D. Wordsworth

Conceptual image of the two competing warm and cold models of early Mars. Image Credit: Robin D. Wordsworth

The debate over whether Mars used to be warmer and wetter or colder and wetter earlier in its history has been a long and contentious one. Now, a new study suggests it may be the latter, that […]

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. […]

'Ocean Worlds Exploration Program': New Budget Proposal Calls for Missions to Europa, Enceladus and Titan

Artist’s conception of Europa’s interior, with water rising through cracks in the surface, depositing salts similar to sea salt on Earth. The ocean below may be a habitable environment for some kind of life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The exploration of the outer Solar System has revealed a plethora of amazing worlds, the likes of which […]

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 […]