Four Decades, Four Planets: Voyager 2 Celebrates 40 Years of Deep Space Exploration

The Voyager adventure began 40 years ago, today, on 20 August 1977. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Forty years ago, today, on 20 August 1977, a space explorer rose from Earth on a multi-decade adventure, which would unveil all four of the Solar System’s giant gaseous planets in unprecedented detail. Despite being originally detailed to visit […]

Voyager Spacecraft Continue Their Interstellar Journey With Help from Hubble Space Telescope

Artist’s illustrationn of Voyager 1 looking back on the Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon (STScI)

There have been many incredible planetary missions over the past several decades, from as close as our Moon to the outer reaches of the Solar System. Right now, there are robotic explorers at Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Ceres, and […]

Leading Planetary Scientists Discuss Prospect of Missions to Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune: the Solar System’s unique ice giant planets, of which we only got brief glimpses during the Voyager 2 flybys in the 1980s, beckon for further, more detailed exploration. Image Credit: NASA

Last year’s historic close flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft put the outer Solar System firmly back in […]

'Weird Object' Discovered Beyond Neptune: A Clue in the Quest for Planet Nine?

The newly discovered object called Niku is a real oddity (artist’s conception). It is also part of a group of many such objects far past Neptune in the outer Solar System. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger

For the most part, the Solar System seems to be a rather well-ordered place; the planets, dwarf planets, […]

New Worlds Galore: Kepler Space Telescope Confirms 1,284 More Exoplanets

Artist’s conception of the many different exoplanets that have been discovered by Kepler so far. Image Credit: NASA/W. Stenzel

For several years now the Kepler Space Telescope, as well as other telescopes, has been discovering an increasing number of exoplanets, with over 2,000 such confirmed worlds found so far (and nearly 5,000 candidates). Today, […]

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, […]

Mysterious World: 30 Years Since Voyager 2's Encounter With Uranus (Part 2)

Uranus and its six largest moons, from left Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon. Image Credit: NASA

At 12:59 p.m. EST (5:59 p.m. GMT) today, exactly three decades passed since NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft became the first machine fashioned by human hands to visit Uranus, the seventh planet in line from the Sun. […]

Uncertain Journey: 30 Years Since Voyager 2's Encounter With Uranus (Part 1)

Visible only as a crescent, Uranus recedes from Voyager 2 in the days after Closest Approach. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, today and tomorrow, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first close-up glimpse of Uranus. Known for more than two centuries, and frequently the “butt” of many off-color jokes, this giant gaseous […]

Has 'Planet X' Finally Been Found? A Cautionary Tale

Artist’s conception of Planet Nine. The new evidence is the best so far that a massive planet exists far past Neptune in the outer Solar System. Image Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

For a long time now, there have been theories and rumors regarding the possible existence of another planet in our Solar System, far […]

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 […]