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Solar System News
February 18, 2020

Top Headlines
 

Data from NASA's New Horizons mission are providing new insights into how planets and planetesimals -- the building blocks ... read more
The early solar system was a chaotic place, with evidence indicating that Mars was likely struck by planetesimals, small protoplanets up to 1,200 miles in diameter, early in ... read more
Scientists have found a new way to analyze the chemistry of the moon's soil using a single grain of dust brought back by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972. Their technique can ... read more
A 'beating heart' of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto's winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according to a ... read more
Latest Headlines
updated 5:19pm EST

Earlier Headlines
 

Mars' Water Was Mineral-Rich and Salty

Presently, many scientists believe Mars is the best candidate in the search for life beyond Earth because it is relatively nearby and there is good evidence that liquid water flowed on Mars' ... read more

Here and Gone: Outbound Comets Are Likely of Alien Origin

Astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) have analyzed the paths of two objects heading out of the Solar System forever and determined that they also most likely ... read more

'Cold Neptune' and Two Temperate Super-Earths Found Orbiting Nearby Stars

A 'cold Neptune' and two potentially habitable worlds are part of a cache of five newly discovered exoplanets and eight exoplanet candidates found orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. The two ... read more

The small red planet is losing water more quickly than what theory as well as past observations would suggest. An international research team has just revealed that water vapor is accumulating in ... read more

Planet WASP-12b Is on a Death Spiral, Say Scientists

Astrophysicists have shown that exoplanet WASP-12b, located 600 light-years away, is spiraling in toward certain destruction in about 3 million ... read more

NASA's TESS Mission Uncovers Its First World With Two Stars

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has found its first circumbinary planet, a world orbiting two stars. Called TOI 1338 b, the planet lies 1,300 light-years away and is 6.9 times ... read more

Scientists Map a Planet's Global Wind Patterns for the First Time, and It's Not Earth

A new article documents the global wind patterns on any planet for the first time. Remote repogramming of the MAVEN spacecraft and its NGIMS instrument enabled the data collection. The results reveal ... read more

Newfound Martian Aurora Actually the Most Common; Sheds Light on Mars' Changing Climate

A type of Martian aurora first identified by NASA's MAVEN spacecraft in 2016 is actually the most common form of aurora occurring on the Red Planet, according to new results from the mission. ... read more

Water Common -- Yet Scarce -- In Exoplanets

The most extensive survey of atmospheric chemical compositions of exoplanets to date has revealed trends that challenge current theories of planet formation and has implications for the search for ... read more

Sun Corona in Unprecedented Clarity

Early returns from the US Naval Research Laboratory's camera on NASA's latest mission to study the Sun's corona revealed on Dec. 4 a star more complex than ever ... read more

Saturn's Largest Moon, Titan, May Offer Insights for Earth

Scientists studying the weather and climate of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, have reported a significant seasonal variation in its energy budget, a finding which could yield new insights into ... read more

Solar Wind Slows Farther Away from the Sun

Measurements taken by the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft are providing important new insights from some of the farthest reaches of space ever ... read more

Exoplanet Axis Study Boosts Hopes of Complex Life, Just Not Next Door

There's new hope that we aren't alone in the universe, that advanced beings may exist on exoplanets. But they're probably not close by, says a new study on the stability of planetary ... read more

How LISA Pathfinder Detected Dozens of 'Comet Crumbs'

Scientists leveraged LISA Pathfinder's record-setting sensitivity (designed to ripples in space-time produced by, among other things, merging black holes) for a different purpose much closer to ... read more

NASA Finds Neptune Moons Locked in 'Dance of Avoidance'

Even by the wild standards of the outer solar system, the strange orbits that carry Neptune's two innermost moons are unprecedented, according to newly published ... read more

Distant Worlds Under Many Suns

An astrophysicist has discovered many new multiple star systems that contain exoplanets. For this, he searched more than 1,300 exoplanet host stars. He found that 15 per cent of those stars have at ... read more

With Mars Methane Mystery Unsolved, Curiosity Serves Scientists a New One: Oxygen

For the first time in the history of space exploration, scientists have measured the seasonal changes in the gases that fill the air directly above the surface of Gale Crater on ... read more

Views of Giant Planet in Wild Orbit Would Be Unparalleled

Contrary to previous thought, a gigantic planet in wild orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet in the same solar system -- or life on that planet. What's more, the view ... read more

Simulations Explain Giant Exoplanets With Eccentric, Close-in Orbits

As planetary systems evolve, gravitational interactions between planets can fling some of them into eccentric elliptical orbits around the host star. Smaller planets should be more susceptible to ... read more

ESO Telescope Reveals What Could Be the Smallest Dwarf Planet Yet in the Solar System

Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is the fourth largest in the ... read more

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