The Women Behind the New Horizons Mission and New Pluto Map

The women of the New Horizons team, photographed at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on July 11, 2015, just three days before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto. Kneeling from left to right: Amy Shira Teitel, Cindy Conrad, Sarah Hamilton, Allisa Earle, Leslie Young, Melissa Jones, Katie Bechtold, Becca Sepan, Kelsi Singer, Amanda […]

The Science of Pluto: The Sails of Charon (Part 2)

An artist’s concept of Charon (at front), with Pluto seen in the background. Equally as fascinating and exciting as Pluto, Charon has sported its own set of intriguing mysteries and unanswered questions, some of which include the exciting possibility for the existence of geyser-like surface eruptions, underground layers of liquid water, and even the […]

60,000 Laps and Counting, NASA's Odyssey Spacecraft Still Going Strong After 14 Years at Mars

An artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft orbiting Mars. The spacecraft, which arrived at the Red Planet in 2001, surpassed its 60,000th orbit as June 23, 2015, and it still going strong. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

An artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft orbiting Mars. The spacecraft, which arrived at the Red Planet in 2001, surpassed its 60,000th orbit as of June 23, 2015, and it is still going strong. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

It’s no secret that the various spacecraft NASA sends out across the Solar System on our […]

Rosetta Reveals Cracked Comet Covered With Dust and Spewing Pits

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko regional maps The 19 regions identified on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are separated by distinct geomorphological boundaries. Following the ancient Egyptian theme of the Rosetta mission, they are named for Egyptian deities. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Scientists leading Europe’s Rosetta orbiter mission have discovered a wondrous array of rugged surface terrain, mysterious […]

Most of the Water In the Solar System Is Older Than the Sun, New Study Suggests

An artist’s concept of the formation process of the Solar System out of an interstellar molecular cloud and its enrichment with water. A recent study has indicated that up to half of Earth’s water is older than the Sun itself, likely originating in that cold molecular cloud that spawned our Solar System. Image credit: […]

Buried in the Deep: Could Water Ice Deposits on the Moon Generate Their Own Organic Compounds?

A high-definition image of the Earth rising above the Moon’s south pole, taken from Japan’s Kaguya lunar orbiter in 2007. Permanently shadowed craters near the lunar polar regions have been found to harbor water ice deposits and organic compounds. Could these organics be composed in-situ inside the bottoms of these craters? Image Credit: JAXA

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MESSENGER Completes 3,000 Orbits Around Mercury, Enters Final Year of Operations

An enchanced-color image of Mercury taken by MESSENGER, following its first flyby of the planet in January 2008. The spacecraft has recently entered its last year of operations, conducting more than 3,000 orbits around the planet, while transmitting more than 200,000 images back to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution […]

Messenger Spacecraft Finds Evidence of Ice on Planet Closest to Sun

Shown in red are areas of Mercury’s north polar region that are constantly in shadow in every image that the MESSENGER spacecraft has acquired to date. These areas are rich in water ice, despite the planet’s close proximity to the sun. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and […]