Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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Hydrothermal Activity in Enceladus' Ocean
Saturn's moon Enceladus has a subsurface ocean. Scientists have just discovered are signs of current hydrothermal activity that may be warming up its seas, possibly enough for life to survive.

Lava Tubes on the Moon
A recent study indicates there may be stable lava tubes on the Moon large enough to house entire cities, sheltering human settlements from radiation.

Images Suggest Running Water on Mars
Images from Mars Recconnaissance Orbiter show long stains on the sides of mountains, possibly caused by very salty liquid water seeping from below the surface.

Dawn Mission at Ceres
Dawn arrived at Ceres on March 6. Once the spacecraft settles into its first science orbit on April 23 at a distance of 8,400 miles from the surface, it will begin taking a hard look at this cratered mini-planet. The variety of landforms and varied colors hint that Ceres was once an active body or one with the means to resurface itself from within.

Scientists Map the Dark Matter Around Millions of Galaxies
Scientists with the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration released the first in a series of detailed maps charting the distribution of dark matter inferred from its gravitational effects. The new maps confirm current theories that suggest galaxies will form where large concentrations of dark matter exist. The new data show large filaments of dark matter where visible galaxies and galaxy clusters lie and cosmic voids where very few galaxies reside.

NASA to Investigate Magnetic Explosions
NASA has launched a fleet of spacecraft to investigate the mystery of "magnetic reconnection," which is making things explode across the cosmos.

New Horizons Spacecraft Nears Historic July 14 Encounter with Pluto
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is three months from returning to humanity the first-ever close up images and scientific observations of distant Pluto and its system of large and small moons.