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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

'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 […]

New Horizons Obtains New Images and Science Data of Post-Pluto Kuiper Belt Object

Image from New Horizons showing the small KBO called 1994 JR1, taken in April 2016. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The New Horizons mission to Pluto has been nothing less than incredible, giving us our first close-up views of this enigmatic dwarf planet and its moons. But the show isn’t over yet, as the New […]

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). […]

New 'KEM' Proposal Would Extend New Horizons Post-Pluto Mission to 2021

If approved by NASA, the KEM proposal will allow New Horizons to continue its study of the outer fringes of the Solar System until 2021, including a flyby of 2014 MU69. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The New Horizons mission has revolutionized our understanding of Pluto and its moons, after conducting the first-ever flyby last […]

Hubble Space Telescope Analyzes Atmosphere of Super-Earth Exoplanet for First Time

Artist’s conception of 55 Cancri e, a searingly hot, carbon-rich world. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser

Exoplanets are now being discovered by the thousands, but most are so far away that determining anything specific about their composition or atmosphere is currently very difficult. But technology keeps advancing, and scientists are now starting to […]

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 […]