Topic: Solar Systems
Vibrant Auroras shine on Mars

Vibrant Auroras shine on Mars

The purple color in this video shows auroras on Mars’ nightside as detected by the ultraviolet instrument aboard NASA’s MAVEN orbiter between May 14 and 20, 2024. The brighter the purple, the more auroras that were present. Credit: NASA/University of Colorado/LASP On May 20, an X12 Solar Flare pummeled Mars with high-energy light and particles, causing aurorae we could detect with the MAVEN mission orbiting Mars as well as through static flickers in Mars Curiosity’s normally pristine images. The Mars Curiosity rover’s Radiation Assessment Detector measured a radiation dose of 8,100...

read more
Mars Rover Finds Way To Ford Ancient River

Mars Rover Finds Way To Ford Ancient River

a map of Percy's path The Perseverance rover has been making its way along the coast line of a long dried up river that once allowed water to drain from Jezero Crater.  Today, the Neretva Vallis river channel isn’t just dry, it’s filled with sand dunes… And Sand Dunes...

Calculating Pluto’s Oceans

Calculating Pluto’s Oceans

While amazing data is the start of amazing research, it takes a lot of calculations and models to truly understand what the data mean.  Nine years after the New Horizons mission flew past Pluto and discovered it has mountains of ice, and a strangely cracked landscape,...

Lucy’s Discovered Dinkinesh Throws Rocks

Lucy’s Discovered Dinkinesh Throws Rocks

We often find ourselves saying that science moves at that rate of technology. With new telescopes and spacecraft we can get new views on the universe. And some of them are weirdly unexpected. Back in November 2023, the Lucy mission flew past the asteroid Dinkinesh on...

Mars was a badly made Earth 2

Mars was a badly made Earth 2

How a wet Mars may have appeared based on MOLA data. Credit: Ittiz When we look out across the Universe, or even just our Solar System, we are only seeing a moment in the fast history of space. We see a galaxy fully formed with spiral arms and a nice little bar. We...

JWST measures alien weather

JWST measures alien weather

Temperature map of WASP-43b provided by NASA's JWST One of JWST’s raison detres is studying the atmospheres of exoplanets - alien worlds orbiting far off stars. In a new paper in Nature Astronomy, we get spectacular evidence that JWST will achieve its goals. The...

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...

The Dying Sun will Take Out the Earth

The Dying Sun will Take Out the Earth

Clumps of debris from a disrupted planetesimal are irregularly spaced on a long and eccentric orbit around the white dwarf. Individual clouds of rubble intermittently pass in front of the white dwarf, blocking some of its light. Because of the various sizes of the...

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!...