Topic: Solar Systems
Closer Look: Io and Juno Begin to Part Ways

Closer Look: Io and Juno Begin to Part Ways

Jupiter’s four largest satellites, the Galilean moons, are named after consorts of the Roman god Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Credit: NASA/JPL/DLR In Roman mythology, Jupiter is not exactly a faithful god. Some would allege him willing to bed just about anything, and this tendency shows up in some really funny ways in how we name things. Jupiter’s four largest moons, for instance, are named Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto after two mortal women, a beautiful prince, and a nymph, all of whom Jupiter had dalliances with. Basically, since the time of Galileo 400 years ago, the...

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Watching Atoms Escape Venus

Watching Atoms Escape Venus

This image was processed from archived Mariner 10 data by JPL engineer Kevin M. Gill. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Atmospheres are what make a planet good or evil for life. One of the questions I get asked most often is, “Can we terraform Venus to be like Earth?” Sure!...

Catch the (Alien) Rainbow

Catch the (Alien) Rainbow

Each glory is unique, depending on the composition of the planet’s atmosphere and the colors of the light from the star that illuminates it. WASP-76 (the «Sun» of WASP-76b) is a yellow and white main sequence star like our Sun, but different stars create glories with...

Can Radar Protect Us From the Earth-Killer?

Can Radar Protect Us From the Earth-Killer?

Deep Space Station 13 at NASA’s Goldstone complex in California – part of the agency’s Deep Space Network – is an experimental antenna that has been retrofitted with an optical terminal. In a first, this proof of concept received both radio frequency and laser signals...

Using Radar to Watch Asteroid Rotation

Using Radar to Watch Asteroid Rotation

The day before asteroid 2008 OS7 made its close approach with Earth on Feb. 2, this series of images was captured by the powerful 230-foot (70-meter) Goldstone Solar System Radar antenna near Barstow, California. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech One of the most...

Migration Solves Exoplanet Puzzle

Migration Solves Exoplanet Puzzle

Artistic representation of an exoplanet whose water ice on the surface is increasingly vaporizing and forming an atmosphere during its approach to the central star of the planetary system. This process increases the measured planetary radius compared to the value the...

Water on Asteroids

Water on Asteroids

Using data from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Southwest Research Institute scientists have discovered, for the first time, water molecules on the surface of an asteroid. Scientists looked at four silicate-rich asteroids using the...