Planetary Science

  1. Schrödinger crater on the moon
    Planetary Science

    Ice at the moon’s poles might have come from ancient volcanoes

    Volcanic eruptions billions of years ago probably released enough water vapor to have deposited ice at the lunar poles, a study finds.

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  2. a row of vials, three filled with moon dirt, including one with a thale cress seedling
    Plants

    These are the first plants grown in moon dirt

    The first attempt to grow plants in Apollo samples from the moon shows the promise and potential struggles of farming in lunar soil.

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  3. An artist’s rendition of the lander on the surface of Mars.
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s InSight lander has recorded the largest Marsquake yet

    The magnitude 5 temblor, detected May 4, will help scientists learn more about the Red Planet’s interior.

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  4. a blue burst of light from a volcanic eruption can be seen on the surface of Io
    Planetary Science

    Lava and frost may form the mysterious lumps on Jupiter’s moon Io

    Jets of gas released when hot meets cold on the volcanic moon Io could generate sprawling fields of dunes, a study finds.

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  5. infrared composite image of the two hemispheres of Uranus in blue
    Planetary Science

    U.S. planetary scientists want to explore Uranus and Enceladus next

    A report on recommendations for the next 10 years of U.S. planetary science prioritizes sending an orbiter to Uranus and an “orbilander” to Enceladus.

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  6. Europa image
    Planetary Science

    Europa may have much more shallow liquid water than scientists thought

    Mysterious pairs of ridges scar Jupiter’s moon Europa. Analyzing a similar set in Greenland suggests shallow water is behind the features’ formation.

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  7. NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars
    Planetary Science

    Here’s how NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has spent 1 year on Mars

    The first flying robot on the Red Planet arrived as a technology demonstration. It’s now a trusty scout for its rover partner, Perseverance.

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  8. images of comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein with its dust cloud and of its nucleus alone
    Planetary Science

    This is the biggest known comet in our solar system

    The nucleus of comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is about 120 kilometers across — about twice the width of Rhode Island — and is darker than coal.

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  9. image of Neptune
    Planetary Science

    New thermal maps of Neptune reveal surprising temperature swings

    Neptune's atmospheric temperatures show a global drop and later, a weird isolated spike at the south pole. Scientists don't yet know why.

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  10. photo of NASA's Perseverance rover next to the Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars
    Planetary Science

    Mars has two speeds of sound

    High-pitched clacks from a laser on NASA’s Perseverance rover zapping rocks traveled faster than the lower-pitched hum of the Ingenuity helicopter’s blades.

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  11. The surface of Mercury
    Planetary Science

    Diamonds may stud Mercury’s crust

    Billions of years of meteorite impacts may have flash-baked much of a primitive graphite crust into precious gemstones.

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  12. aerial view of a large crater in Wyoming
    Planetary Science

    An ancient impact on Earth led to a cascade of cratering

    For the first time, scientists have discovered clusters of craters on Earth that were formed by the impacts of material thrown out of a larger crater.

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