Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other "ocean worlds" in our solar system and beyond. Scientists announce that a form of chemical energy that life can feed on appears to exist on Saturn's moon Enceladus, and researchers also report additional evidence of plumes erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa.
A Great Cold Spot comparable in scale to Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot (24,000 km west-east and 12,000 km north-south) has been found on the planet. The phenomenon, only recently observed, may have existed for thousands of years, however, this is the first direct evidence of a sustained weather system generated by polar aurorae and opens possibility on other planets.
A composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble shows one for the ring and one for the auroras found around the planet.
On April 3, 2017, as Jupiter made its nearest approach to Earth in a year, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope viewed the solar system's largest planet in all of its up-close glory.
Researchers have developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon.
Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So, he says, is Europa, commonly known as a moon of Jupiter, and so is the Earth's moon, and so are more than 100 other celestial bodies in our solar system that are denied this status under the prevailing definition of 'planet.'
This beautiful Hubble image reveals a young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, yet home to one of the largest stars ever discovered.
New planetary formation models indicate that there may be an undiscovered population of gas giant planets orbiting around Sun-like stars at distances similar to those of Jupiter and Saturn.
This image was taken at 3:38 a.m. EST on Feb. 9, 2017, when the spacecraft was 75 million miles (120 million kilometers) from Earth and 419 million miles (675 million kilometers) from Jupiter. With an exposure time of two seconds, the image renders Jupiter overexposed, but allows for enhanced detection of stars in the background.
A team of geophysicists has recreated Jupiter's jets in the laboratory for the first time and shown that they likely extend thousands of kilometers below Jupiter's visible atmosphere.