Landing on an Ocean Moon: NASA Unveils New Plan to Search for Life on Europa

Artist’s conception of the proposed Europa lander, with sampling arm extended. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For decades now, Europa has beckoned – this moon of Jupiter which is frozen on the outside but hides a global ocean on the inside – has so far only been visited by spacecraft during brief flybys. Scientists and the […]

Geysers on Europa? Hubble Space Telescope Finds More Evidence for Water Vapor Plumes

Composite image showing the possible water vapor plumes near the south pole of Europa, at about the 7 o’clock position. The image of Europa, from the Galileo and Voyager missions, is superimposed on the Hubble data. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/W. Sparks (STScI)/USGS Astrogeology Science Center

Intriguing new findings about Jupiter’s moon Europa were announced today […]

'Cauliflower' Silica Formations on Mars: Evidence of Ancient Life?

Image of “cauliflower” silica formations found by the Spirit rover in 2008 near Home Plate in Gusev crater. Do they hold clues to ancient life on Mars? Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Was there ever life on Mars? That is one of the longest-running and most debated questions in planetary science, and while there have been […]

Cassini Prepares for Last Epic Flyby of Saturn's Ocean Moon Enceladus

Cassini’s final close flyby of Enceladus will be on Dec. 19, 2015. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Cassini spacecraft’s discoveries about the tiny moon Enceladus have been some of the most exciting of the entire mission at Saturn. What was once thought to likely be little more than a frozen ice world has turned out […]

NASA Developing New 'Chemical Laptop' to Search for Evidence of Alien Life

The “Chemical Laptop” being designed by NASA to help search for evidence of alien life elsewhere in the Solar System. Photo Credit: NASA

One of NASA’s primary objectives, and the one which most excites the general public, is the search for evidence of life elsewhere, whether in our own Solar System or on some […]

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 […]

A Complex World: Pluto Discoveries Include Possible Ice Volcanoes, Varied Geology, and Weird Spinning Moons

Slide from the DPS meeting showing possible ice volcanoes on Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Pluto is a small, cold world, but it is also turning out to be one of the most fascinating places in our Solar System – as reported today at the American Astronomical Society’s […]

New Horizons Conducts Final Course Correction for New Year's Day Flyby of Next KBO in 2019 

New Horizons has completed the four course corrections needed to send it on its way to its next target in the Kuiper Belt, 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

After having completed a wildly successful flyby of Pluto and its moons, the New Horizons spacecraft was given a new target, much farther out in the […]

Cassini Completes Epic Flyby Through Geysers of Enceladus, Sends Back Stunning New Images

View of Enceladus and Saturn’s rings during the flyby on Oct. 28, 2015, at a distance of 106,000 miles (171,000 kilometers) from Enceladus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini spacecraft has successfully completed its deepest dive through the water vapor geysers of Enceladus and is now sending back some fantastic images of the […]

Sampling an Alien Ocean: Cassini Prepares for Deep Dive Through Enceladus' Geysers on Wednesday

Artist’s conception of Cassini making a close flyby of Enceladus and its water vapor plumes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

This coming Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, the Cassini spacecraft will make a historic close flyby (dubbed “E21”) of Saturn’s tiny icy moon Enceladus, not only passing very close to the surface, but also making the deepest […]