Researchers Find Evidence of Water Vapor on Ganymede in Historic Hubble Data

News from NASA on July 26, 2021 For the first time, astronomers have uncovered evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System. This water vapor forms when ice from the moon’s surface sublimates — that is, turns from solid to gas. Astronomers re-examined Hubble observations from…

InSight Measures the Size of Mars’ Core

News from NASA’s InSight Mission on July 22, 2021 (source) Before NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down on Mars in 2018, the rovers and orbiters studying the Red Planet concentrated on its surface. The stationary lander’s seismometer has changed that, revealing details about the planet’s deep interior for the first time. Three papers based on the…

It’s the First Confirmation of a Moon-Forming Disk Around an Exoplanet!

There are well over 4,000 currently-known exoplanets orbiting stars in our galaxy — 4,438 to be exact! (as of July 22, 2021) — but still to date no confirmed* direct observation of any exomoons, despite we know they’re likely present around most planets just as they are in our own Solar System. Now, astronomers have…

Here’s Our First Close-up Image of Ganymede in Over Two Decades!

The image data are starting to come in from NASA’s Juno spacecraft and if this is any indication, they’re going to be gorgeous! On Monday, June 7, 2021 the Jupiter-orbiting spacecraft passed within just over 1000 kilometers of Ganymede. This is the closest any spacecraft has come to the Solar System’s largest moon since May…

This Is What It’s Like To Land on Mars

On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars, becoming the fifth robotic rover to do so and the third operational exploration robot currently on the planet’s surface. Today during a press conference NASA released stunning high-definition video from Perseverance’s entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequence to the anticipation and excitement of scientists…

First Color Images from (and of) NASA’s Perseverance Rover on Mars

It’s Sol 1 of the Mars 2020 mission on Mars and the very first color pictures are already here! Revealed today, February 19, during a press conference at JPL these images show sneak peeks of the immediate region around Perseverance’s landing site in Jezero Crater, captured by the rover’s hazard avoidance cameras—minus the dirty dust…

Success! There’s a New Rover on Mars!

Today’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars was a success! There are now two new robots on Mars—Perseverance and the Ingenuity helicopter it brought along—which touched down in Jezero Crater at 3:44 p.m. EST / 20:44 UTC today, February 18. The confirmation signal was received here on Earth, 127 million miles away, 11 minutes and 21…

Watch Today’s Mars Landing Live

Today’s the red planet day! NASA’s Perseverance rover is arriving at Mars and will soon enter its atmosphere at over 12,000 mph and, using a combination of ablative heat shield, enormous parachute, a sky-crane with retrorockets, and eventually a series of cables, carefully touch down onto the surface near the western edge of a 28-mile-wide…

Two Days to Mars!

It’s almost time! In just two days—or “sols,” if you’re counting in Mars time—NASA’s newest, biggest and most advanced rover ever, named Perseverance, will touch down on Mars, making it the fifth mobile wheeled robot ever to explore the surface of the Red Planet and the third robot currently in operation on Mars. And if…

This is Our Most Detailed View Ever of a Sunspot

Captured on January 28, 2020, this is the first image of a sunspot by the National Science Foundation’s Inouye Solar Telescope located near the summit of Haleakalā in Maui, Hawaiʻi. The image reveals striking details of the sunspot’s structure as seen at the Sun’s surface, and has over twice the detail previously achieved by any…

Hubble Image Directly Shows How Gravity Bends Space

You may have heard of this phenomenon already but it’s still amazing to see it in action! The image here, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and shared by NASA on Nov. 17, 2020, shows not individual stars but rather entire galaxies, each of them billions of light-years away from Earth. The brightest ones at…

Juno Spots Sprites and Elves Dancing On Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft may have captured some of the most fleeting phenomena associated with powerful lightning storms here on Earth—400 million miles away on Jupiter! Nicknamed sprites and elves these amazingly brief yet beautiful flashes of light occur miles above powerful lightning discharges in thunderstorms. They’ve only fairly recently been well-documented on Earth through digital…