Goodnight, Sweet Philae: Bid to Reawaken Rosetta's Lander Near Impossible

From ESA, “Welcome to a Comet”: “Philae’s view of the cliffs at Abydos. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

It would have been a heroic coda to an already ambitious, historic mission, but alas, it was not meant to be. For the past few months, […]

Welcome to Bagnold: Curiosity Rover Reaches Massive Dark Sand Dunes Near Mount Sharp

View overlooking part of High Dune, which is covered in smaller sand ripples. The image is white-balanced, to show how the scene would look under more Earth-like conditions. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Since landing in 2012, the Curiosity rover has seen a lot of varied terrain within Gale crater, including ancient riverbed gravel, sandstone and […]

NASA's Curiosity Rover Approaching Active Martian Sand Dunes After Latest Drilling Completed

The edge of a dark sand dune field can be seen in this white-balanced Curiosity image from sol 1115 (Sep. 25, 2015). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mars is often referred to as a desert world, being bone-dry for the most part, with dust and sand blanketing most of the surface. Some regions are covered in […]

Rosetta Mission and Philae Lander Celebrate One Year Since Historic Touchdown on a Comet

Artist’s concept of Philae on the surface of Comet 67P, with the Rosetta spacecraft orbiting overhead. Image Credit: CNES/DUCROS David/ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission continues to capture the world’s imagination one year following the historic touchdown(s) of its Philae lander. On Nov. 12, Philae surpassed its one-year […]

A Moon Falling Apart: Grooves on Phobos Are a Sign of its Eventual Catastrophic Fate

The unusual grooves on Phobos’ surface, such as those on the left side of this image, are now thought to be caused by tidal stress. The large crater Stickney is in the upper portion of the image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Phobos is the largest of Mars’ two tiny moons, but 50 million […]

Rosetta Detects Molecular Oxygen at Comet 67P, Adding to Year of Firsts

From ESA: “This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 18 October 2015 from a distance of 433 km from the comet centre. The image has a resolution of 36.9 m/pixel and measures 37.8 km across.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam (Note: This image has been cropped.)

The European Space Agency’s […]

Curiosity Rover Confirms Ancient Lake(s) in Gale Crater on Mars

Sedimentary strata at the base of Mount Sharp as seen at the Kimberly location. The strata in the foreground dip toward Mount Sharp, providing evidence of the former lake-filled depression that used to exist before most of the mountain formed. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Last week there was the exciting news that Mars still has […]

New Study Helps Answer Mystery of What Happened to Mars' Early Atmosphere

Mars used to have a thicker atmosphere and water on its surface, but what happened to that atmosphere has been a mystery. New research may finally help answer that question. Image Credit: M. Kornmesser/ESO

The question of how Mars changed from a once wet world to the much colder and drier one we see […]

A Perfect Day for Sunbathing: A Year After Its Arrival, Rosetta Observes Comet 67P at Perihelion

From ESA: “This series of images of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 12 August 2015, just a few hours before the comet reached the closest point to the Sun along its 6.5-year orbit, or perihelion.” The center image shows a significant outburst. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

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Dawn En Route to Third Science Orbit, New Maps Reveal Astonishing Peaks and Depths

Dawn is using its ion propulsion system to lower its orbit to within 1,000 miles of the dwarf planet Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.” — Rene Daumal

While astronaut Scott Kelly’s “Year in Space” mission helps researchers understand the effects of long-duration […]