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 […]

Just Add Water: Scientists Explain Saturn's Powerful Thunderstorms

A giant storm in Saturn’s northern hemisphere, which now extends around the planet, as seen by the Cassini spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Thunderstorms are a powerful force of nature, but the ones we experience on Earth are dwarfed by the ones on the gas giant planet Saturn. They are huge and can be larger […]

Jupiter Might Be Responsible for Our Unusual Solar System, Study Suggests

A montage of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, as seen by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on its way to Pluto. The results of a new study indicate that the massive gas giant fundamentally altered the evolution of the early Solar System, by destroying any “Super-Earth”-type planets that may have formed, while opening the […]

Hubble Shows Evidence of Large Underground Ocean on Ganymede

From HubbleSite: “NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observed a pair of auroral belts encircling the Jovian moon Ganymede. The belts were observed in ultraviolet light by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and are colored blue in this illustration. They are overlaid on a visible-light image of Ganymede taken by NASA’s Galileo orbiter. The locations of […]

New Technique to Study Clouds on Exoplanets Developed by Researchers at MIT

Artist’s conception of clouds on Kepler-7b. Image Credit: NASA (edited by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)

While exoplanets are now being discovered by the thousands, it is still a painstaking process to determine any specific details about them, since they are so incredibly far away. However, astronomers have been devising new techniques to do just that, including […]

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 […]

Massive Alien Ring System Is Much Larger Than Saturn's—And May Contain Exomoons

Artist’s conception of the ring system circling the young giant planet (or brown dwarf) J1407b. Image Credit: Ron Miller

Astronomers today announced yet another mind-boggling finding: a ring system which orbits a distant giant planet has been found to be much larger and more massive than Saturn’s ring system, the best known example in our own […]

Huge Prospects for Science and Humans to Mars: Conversation With Hubble Astronaut/NASA Science Chief John Grunsfeld (Part 2)

Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-125 and the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope on May 11, 2009, from Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL — “A great path” lies ahead for “science and launching humans to Mars,” says astronaut […]

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 […]