AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch SMAP on a Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA
scheduled for:
30 Jan 15 14:20:42 GMT
30 Jan 15 6:20:42 PST
30 Jan 15 9:20:42 Eastern

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Water on Vesta? Gullies Suggest Wet Debris Flows in the Past, Study Finds

Image of curved gullies and fan-shaped deposits in Cornelia crater on Vesta. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The Dawn spacecraft is now very close to the dwarf planet Ceres, but there are some interesting new findings from its previous visit to the asteroid Vesta. Curved gullies on its surface suggest that small amounts of water may […]

Scorching Hot Venus May Have Once Had Oceans ... of Carbon Dioxide

Radar image of the northern hemisphere of Venus, taken by the Magellan spacecraft. Radar is necessary to see through Venus’ perpetual cloud cover. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

The continued exploration of the planets and moons in our Solar System have revealed many strange things, including that Earth is not the only place with oceans and […]

Strong Winds Explain Titan's Immense Dunes, According to New Study

Radar image of long lines of dunes on Titan. They can be up to 300 feet tall and hundreds of miles long. Image Credit: NASA/JPL–Caltech/ASI/ESA and USGS/ESA

Saturn’s largest moon Titan is one of the most Earth-like places in the Solar System, as least in terms of appearances, with its seas, lakes, and rivers […]

Cassini Plumbs the Depths and New Mysteries of Titan's Seas

Cassini radar image of part of Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Titan. Radar echoes on a 25-mile (40-kilometer) track along the eastern shoreline are shown as black and blue circles. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell

The Cassini spacecraft continues to make new discoveries about Titan’s methane seas and lakes, answering some questions but raising additional ones […]

Saturn's Moon Mimas May Have an Underground Ocean—or Just a Weird Core

Mimas, a cold, icy, and tiny moon of Saturn, may have a liquid water ocean below its heavily cratered surface. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI

It wasn’t that long ago that Earth was thought to be the only place in the Solar System capable of having liquid water oceans, but now we know of several moons that […]

Giant Cloud at Titan's South Pole Is Toxic and Freezing Cold

View from Cassini of the huge polar vortex cloud over Titan’s south pole. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/University of Arizona/SSI/Leiden Observatory and SRON

Titan is the only moon in the Solar System known to have a dense atmosphere, and while similar to Earth’s atmosphere in some ways, such as being rich in nitrogen, it also holds […]

It's Back! 'Mystery Island' in Titan Sea Makes Unexpected Reappearance

Three radar images, taken from April 2007 to August 2014, showing how the “mystery island” in Ligeia Mare has changed in appearance over time. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell

The mystery of an unusual feature in one of Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the “mystery island,” has taken an interesting turn. After apparently disappearing following its initial […]

Living On the Edge: The Mysterious Lakes of Titan (Part 4)

Titan’s colorful globe passes in front of Saturn and its rings, in this true color image taken in 2011 from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The moon’s opaque atmosphere hides a fascinating surface that is rich in methane lakes, water ice, and organic compounds. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

“On Titan, the molecules that have […]

Rainfall on Titan May Create Propane Aquifers, Study Suggests

Illustration of a cross-section of Titan’s surface and near-subsurface, showing the surface lakes/seas, underground aquifers, clathrate layers, and icy crust. Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is a very alien yet eerily Earth-like world, with rain, rivers, lakes, and seas; seen from above, the landscape has a familiar look to it. But […]

Space Dust Indicates Ancient Origin for Saturn's Rings

Mosaic image showing Saturn backlit by the Sun, one of the most beautiful photographs sent back by Cassini. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The origin of Saturn’s rings has been one of the most interesting puzzles in planetary science, and now new data from the Cassini spacecraft is helping to fill in the pieces, showing […]