New Discoveries of 'Shallow Lightning' and Ammonia Hail 'Mushballs' on Jupiter Highlight Ninth Anniversary of Juno Launch

Artist’s illustration of high-altitude shallow lightning in water-ammonia clouds on Jupiter. NASA’s Juno spacecraft has discovered evidence for the phenomenon using its Stellar Reference Unit. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Heidi N. Becker/Koji Kuramura

Today, Aug. 5, 2020, marks nine years since the launch of Juno, a spacecraft that has revolutionized our knowledge of the largest […]

Back to Triton? Proposed Mission Would Return to Neptune’s Exotic Largest Moon

Neptune’s largest moon Triton as seen by Voyager 2 in 1989. The proposed Trident mission would be the first to return to this bizarre world in over three decades. Photo Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS

Much of the outer Solar System has now been visited by robotic spacecraft from Earth, including the gas and ice giants […]

Voyager 2 to Enter 11-Month 'Quiet Mode' During Deep Space Network Upgrades

The 70-meter-wide (230-feet-wide) radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Canberra site in Australia. It is the only antenna that that communicate with Voyager 2 from the southern hemisphere, and will be undergoing crucial upgrades for 11 months beginning in March. Photo Credit: NASA/Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

With so many space missions currently exploring […]

NASA's Juno Probe Finds Out How Much Water Jupiter Really Has

Stunning view of Jupiter from the Juno spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstäd/Seán Doran © CC NC SA

Jupiter is not known as a water world since it has no oceans, lakes or other kinds of liquid water or ice. It doesn’t even have a solid surface beneath its deep, turbulent atmosphere. But there is […]

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Now Fully Assembled for 2021 Launch

View od the fully assembled James Webb Space Telescope. The sunshield and unitized pallet structures (UPSs) that fold up around the telescope for launch, are partially deployed to enable telescope installation. Photo Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) just took another big step towards completion, as the two halves it was […]

Back to Europa! NASA Confirms Next Phase of Mission to Ocean Moon

Artist’s concept of Europa Clipper during a flyby of Europa. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s next mission back to Jupiter’s moon Europa just took another big step towards reality. The next phase of Europa Clipper has been confirmed, giving the go-ahead for the mission to proceed to final design, construction and testing.

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To Keep Boldly Going: NASA's New Plan for the Voyager Mission

Artist’s concept of one of NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, including the location of the cosmic ray subsystem (CRS) instrument. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

With all of the current and recent planetary missions throughout the Solar System, it may be easy to forget sometimes that there are still some older spacecraft that have been traveling for decades […]

New Horizons' Data of Pluto/Charon Show Rarity of Small Kuiper Belt Objects

Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, as seen by New Horizons in 2015. The lack of smaller craters -less than expected – suggests that small objects less than a mile in size are rare in the Kuiper Belt. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker

The Kuiper Belt is a vast region of rocky debris in the outer Solar […]

NASA's Lucy Mission to the Trojans Is a GO!

Artist’s concept of the Lucy mission at the Trojans near Jupiter. Image Credit: NASA/SwRI

NASA’s proposed mission to a group of primitive and still-unexplored asteroids has been given approval for further development – the Lucy mission will travel to the Trojans, a group of asteroids that share the same orbit as Jupiter. This […]

Juno Gets Science Mission Extension and Solves Electrifying Mystery on Jupiter

This image is a combination of a JunoCam image with artist’s conception of lightning distribution in Juno’s northern hemisphere. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/JunoCam

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has shown Jupiter in ways never seen before, not only sending back incredibly detailed images of the beautifully turbulent atmosphere, but also new data on what the giant […]