Planetary Science

  1. a grayscale photo of the surface of Venus against a backdrop of stars
    Planetary Science

    These are the first visible-light images of Venus’ surface captured from space

    Cameras aboard NASA’s Parker Solar Probe managed to peer through Venus’ thick clouds to photograph the planet’s surface.

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  2. a photo of the demolioshed Arecibo Observatory
    Planetary Science

    50 years ago, Arecibo got an unprecedented view of Venus’ surface

    Over its 57-year lifetime, Arecibo’s radar system measured the mountains around Venus’ middle, studied the textures of many rocky bodies in outer space and more.

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  3. An illustration of a Trojan asteroid in space
    Planetary Science

    Earth has a second known ‘Trojan asteroid’ that shares its orbit

    A recently found space rock is about one kilometer wide, orbits ahead of Earth around the sun and will stick around for at least 4,000 years.

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  4. image of researchers crouched on the ice with snowmobiles
    Planetary Science

    Machine learning points to prime places in Antarctica to find meteorites

    Using data on how ice moves across Antarctica, researchers identified more than 600 spots where space rocks may gather on the southern continent.

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  5. image of meteorite ALH 84001
    Planetary Science

    Organic molecules in an ancient Mars meteorite formed via geology, not alien life

    Analysis of an ancient Martian meteorite reveals that organic molecules within it were formed by geologic processes rather than alien life.

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  6. an illustration of the exomoon Kepler 1708 b i, shown as a blue-green orb, orbiting a large, Jupiter-like exoplanet
    Astronomy

    Astronomers identified a second possible exomoon

    Kepler 1708 b i, a newly discovered candidate for an exoplanet moon, has a radius about 2.6 times that of Earth, a new study suggests.

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  7. an illustration of the rocky exoplanet GJ 1132b
    Planetary Science

    Oxygen-rich exoplanets may be geologically active

    Experiments show that rocks exposed to higher concentrations of oxygen have a lower melting temperature than rocks exposed to lower amounts.

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  8. plumes of water vapor from Saturn's moon Enceladus
    Planetary Science

    Enceladus’ plumes might not come from an underground ocean

    The celebrated plumes of Saturn’s moon Enceladus could come from pockets of watery mush in the moon’s icy shell, simulations suggest.

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  9. The rover Perseverance sits in the foreground with the red, rocky landscape and red-tinted sky in the background
    Space

    Spacecraft in 2021 set their sights on Mars, asteroids and beyond

    This year, a bevy of new missions got under way on Mars and spacecraft prepared to visit asteroids.

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  10. image of the Ingenuity helicopter flying towards the Perseverance rover with a red to purple color overlay
    Planetary Science

    Ingenuity is still flying on Mars. Here’s what the helicopter is up to

    NASA’s Ingenuity craft was originally planned to operate only 30 Martian days.

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  11. illustration of exoplanet GJ 367b next to a glowing red star
    Planetary Science

    This tiny, sizzling exoplanet could be made of molten iron

    A newly discovered exoplanet that whips around its star in less than eight hours is smaller than Earth, as dense as iron and hot enough to melt.

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  12. illustration of the space rock Kamoʻoalewa drifting above the moon, with Earth in view in the distance
    Space

    A space rock called Kamoʻoalewa may be a piece of the moon

    New observations reveal the possible origins of a mysterious object called Kamoʻoalewa. It could be the wreckage from an ancient impact on the moon.

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