New Horizon's Best Images of Pluto Yet Reveal Terrain and Possible Polar Ice Cap

New Horizons LORRI Optical Navigation Campaign 3, showing a full orbit of the dwarf planet’s moon Charon around Pluto, as well as a full rotation of Pluto itself. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

NASA’s nuclear-powered New Horizons spacecraft has turned Pluto from an astronomy object with just a pinpoint […]

Living On the Edge: In the Realm of the Ice Giants (Part 5)

An artist’s concept of Neptune as seen from the surface of its largest moon Triton. Could this distant cold moon harbor an underground habitat for life in the outer reaches of the Solar System approximately 4.5 billion km from the Sun? Image Credit: Wikipedia

“Four happy days bring in Another moon; but O, […]

Living On the Edge: The Inviting Waters of Europa (Part 2)

Jupiter’s moon Europa, as seen by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. A long line of evidence has shown that Europa has an underground ocean of liquid water, which for many scientists constitutes the best place in the Solar System to search for alien life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

“Since ’tis certain that Earth and Jupiter have […]

Surprise Discovery: Rings Around an Asteroid!

Artist’s conception of the asteroid Chariklo with its ring system. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

When it comes to planetary rings, what do you think of? Saturn is the first obvious thing that comes to mind, with its famous majestic ring system surrounding the gas giant planet. The other gas and ice […]

New 'Clipper' Mission Proposed to Study Europa's Ocean

Jupiter’s moon Europa, an ice-covered waterworld. Could life exist there?Photo Credit: NASA / JPL / Ted Stryk.

Jupiter’s moon Europa is often referred to as a “waterworld,” and for good reason: a global ocean almost definitely exists below its outer icy crust, making it a primary focus of interest in the search for life […]