The Romance of Adventure: Remembering Galileo’s Ride on STS-34 (Part 2)

Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io were key focuses for the Galileo mission. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Goddard Space Flight Center

Almost three decades ago, shuttle mission STS-34 and the crew of Atlantis rocketed into orbit to launch NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on a lengthy odyssey to Jupiter. As described […]

The Romance of Adventure: Remembering Galileo's Ride on STS-34 (Part 1)

Atlantis roars into orbit on 18 October 1989 to deploy the Galileo spacecraft on its mission to Jupiter. Photo Credit: NASA

When the Galileo spacecraft drifted out of Shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay on the evening of 18 October 1989, on the first leg of its voyage to Jupiter, the sight was a moving one […]

NASA's Europa Mission Facing Possible Budget Cuts in 2017

Artist’s conception of the Europa Clipper spacecraft near Europa. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For a long time now, there has been growing interest in sending a mission back to Jupiter to better study one moon in particular: Europa. Previous missions such as Voyager and Galileo showed us this world up close for the first time, […]

NASA's Juno Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around Jupiter, the 'King of Planets'

Artist’s conception of Juno approaching Jupiter. Image Credit: NASA

Jupiter has often been referred to as the King of Planets, and for good reason, as it is a massive gas giant, much larger than Earth and the largest planet in our Solar System. It is more than 2.5 times as massive as all the […]

Jupiter's Moon lo Formed Under Unique Processes, New Study Suggests

An impressive image of Jupiter’s moon Io, as seen from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft from a distance of approximately 600,000 km. A volcanic eruption is easily seen at the moon’s upper limb, rising almost 140 km above the surface. A new study has shown that these volcanic eruptions play an integral role in the formation […]

Astronomers Identify New Substances on Europa of Possible Underground Origin

An image mosaic of Europa taken from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, showing the moon’s famous “chaos terrain” of linear cracks and ridges that crisscross almost its entire surface. A new research by a team of U.S. astronomers has identified a previously unseen set of minerals along Europa’s chaos terrain, which are thought to have originated […]

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 […]

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 […]

'Up Against a Wall': What 1986 Might Have Been

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years and all crews, including the other missions planned for 1986, were stood down. Photo Credit: NASA

On three occasions in NASA’s history, the dawn of February has brought […]

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 […]