Is 'Planet 9' Really a Second Massive Kuiper Belt?

The Kuiper Belt is a massive collection of dwarf planet- and asteroid-sized worlds orbiting far past Neptune. Is the hypothetical Planet 9 really a second such belt? Image Credit: T. Pyle (SSC)/JPL-Caltech/NASA

The announcement of a possible large ninth planet in our Solar System way beyond Neptune last month caused a lot of excitement, […]

Data From Spirit Rover Provides Evidence for Acid Fog on Ancient Mars

False-color mosaic of Cumberland Ridge, with pie charts representing iron-bearing mineralogy. Image Credit: S. Cole, PhD thesis; background image: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Arizona State University; Moessbauer values from Morris et al. 2008 (doi: 10.1029/2008JE003201)

The various rover and lander missions on Mars have provided unprecedented glimpses into the planet’s past, including geological history and environmental conditions. In […]

Gemini Planet Imager Finds Its First Exoplanet, a Methane-Rich 'Young Jupiter'

Discovery near-infrared image of the exoplanet 51 Eridani b taken by the Gemini Planet Imager on Dec. 21, 2014. The relative size of Saturn’s orbit is also shown for comparison. Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/J. Rameau (UdeM)/C. Marois (NRC Herzberg)

The Gemini Planet Imager, a new telescopic instrument designed to find, image, and study faint, […]

Kepler Update: Earth's 'Bigger and Older Cousin' Discovered Orbiting Distant Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-sized exoplanet discovered orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. Image Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

One of the primary goals in the search for exoplanets is to, hopefully, find an Earth analog or “Earth twin,” an alien world similar to our own. That search is still […]

Enceladus' Water Geysers May Be 'Curtain Eruptions' According to New Study

The water vapor jets on Enceladus are now thought to mostly be more like diffuse “curtains” rather than separate plumes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/PSI

The water vapor geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus are one of the most fascinating phenomena in the Solar System; the jets spray far out into space in a dazzling display unseen […]

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Test Flight Hailed as a Success

From NASA: “MACH 4 TO PACIFIC: Two members of the Navy’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal team perch on the test vehicle used in the first flight of NASA’s Low-density Supersonic Decelerator project. The test vehicle was fished out of the waters of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range within hours of splashdown. During the June […]

Flight Test for Next-Generation Mars Supersonic Decelerator Prototype Rescheduled for June 28

The saucer-shaped LDSD test vehicle is seen here in the Missile Assembly Building at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kaua‘i, Hawaii. The vehicle, part of NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator project, will test an inflatable decelerator and a parachute at high altitudes and speeds over the Pacific Missile Range this summer. […]

Meet NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, the Next Step in Landing on Mars

The LDSD test article in the clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, preparing for shipment to Hawaii for its first test launch this summer. LDSD will help land bigger space payloads on Mars or return them back to Earth. Photo Credit: AmericaSpace / Robert Fisher

Anyone even remotely familiar with landing spacecraft and […]

Hubble Eyes Asteroid Resembling Rotating Lawn Sprinkler With Multiple Comet-Like Tails

A never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt, designated P/2013 P5. Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) continue to discover surprises abound throughout the Solar System, some 23 years after it launched into orbit on NASA’s now retired […]

Blame it on the Rain (from Saturn's Rings)

This artist’s concept illustrates how charged water particles flow into the Saturnian atmosphere from the planet’s rings, causing a reduction in atmospheric brightness. The observations were made with the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, with NASA funding. The analysis was led by the University of Leicester, England. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/University […]