Lunar and Planetary Institute

Planetary Science Nuggets

Planetary Science Nuggets

Planetary Science Nuggets are powerpoint slides that have been provided to NASA SMD Planetary Science Division by members of the scientific community to highlight important science results or mission activities. All nuggets are appreciated and reviewed. However, a subset of these submissions, one per week, are selected by the Planetary Science Division to be presented to SMD leadership and, potentially, NASA leadership, OSTP and the White House. This collection represents those selected Nuggets. If you would like to submit a nugget, please contact the program officer for your research or the program scientist for your mission at NASA HQ.


Dust Charging and Transport on Airless Planetary Bodies

Hyperdiverse Hydrothermal Communities and Life Detection

Enceladus’ Low Mass Organics

Mars CO2 Inventory Determined Using Results From Multiple Spacecraft

Towering Dust Clouds on Mars: Volcanic Peaks Not Required

Absence of Observed Lightning on Venus

Simulating Hydrothermal Vent Environments

Measuring Titan’s Methane from Earth

Chloride Salts and the History of Water on Mars

What Can Ices in Comets teach us about the Early Solar System?

Carbon Monoxide May Not Rule Out the Presence of Life

Long-term variation of Venus' 365-nm albedo

Origins of the Molecules of Life

Ancient Remnants of Mars’ Northern Ice Caps Revealed by Orbital Sounding Radar

Molecular Complexity of Titan’s Enigmatic Haystack Ice Cloud

An Asteroid Belt Co-Orbiting With Venus

New Features of Io’s Tail Seen in Jupiter’s Aurora

Impact Origin for Phobos and Deimos

Recent Tectonic Activity on the Moon?

Juno Detects Jupiter's Lightning at Highest Radio Frequency Ever

Aguas Zarcas: A Recent Fall of Organic-Rich Meteorites in Costa Rica

"Breathing" in Mars' Upper Atmosphere

Model Illuminates Radiation Environment in Lunar PSRs

The K Star Biosignature Detection - Advantage for Directly Imaged Exoplanets

Juno Reveals the Depth of Jupiter's Zones and Belts

Mantle Materials and Mysterious Magmas in the Moon's Largest Impact Basin

Late Formation of Outer Solar System Small Bodies

Gale Crater: Warm & Wet or Cold & Icy?

Asteroid Bennu, Unexpected

Episodic Water Release on the Moon

Evidence for Early Planetary Shake-Up

Global Maps of Surface and Topography for Pluto and Charon

A New Great Dark Spot on Neptune

Magnetic Signatures of Plumes at Europa in 19 Year Old Data

MAVEN Observes Mars Proton Aurora

Early, Purple Earth and Exoplanet Biosignatures

Testing Telepresence for Ocean Worlds

Laughing Gas Could Have Helped Warm Early Earth

Unified Theory of Volcanic Origin for Martian Meteorites

Earth’s Oldest Rock Found on the Moon?

Ceres’ History of Cryovolcanic Activity


Mars Cannot Be Terraformed Using Indigenous CO2

Triton’s Capture Transformed a Pre-existing Neptunian Satellite System

SOHO/SWAN Observations of Comet Water Production

Rethinking Long-Term Controls on Planetary Climate

Magnetic Reconnection at Jupiter’s Outer Magnetospheric Boundary

Titan Viewed with Infrared Eyes

New Extreme Dwarf Planet: 2015 TG387

Enceladus’ Complex Organics

A Breakthrough in Weather and Climate Prediction for Mars

Turning up Jupiter’s Thermostat

A Potentially Habitable World Next Door

Venus Looks Different From Day To Night Across Wavelengths

Organic Compounds from an Ancient Martian Lakebed

Possible Ocean Material Exposed on Europa’s Surface

Pale Orange Dots: Organic Haze as a Biosignature on Other Earths

Juno discovers new heavy ion radiation belt very close to Jupiter

ClO measured in Venus’ Atmosphere Key to Abundant Carbon Dioxide

K2 Mission Observations of 12 Days in the Pluto-Charon System

Planetary Science Analog Research team assists observation of Hawai’i Eruptions

Carbonate-Rich Sites on Ceres

Crustal Magnetic Anomalies on Mars Control the Solar-Wind Bow Shock

Atmospheric Seasonality as an Exoplanet Biosignature

Atmospheric Mountain Waves on Venus

Seasonal Variation in Mars Methane

Asteroid 2018 LA Impacts Earth on June 2, 2018

Global Conditions at Earth’s Largest Mass Extinction Event

Mapping Titan After Cassini

The Changing Ice on Ceres


New Views of Occator Crater Reveal Complex Processes

Understanding Aeolian Activity In Gale Crater

NASA Heliophysics 2017 Poker Flat Sounding Rocket - Campaign Ends Successfully in Alaska

Largest Batch of Earth-Size Habitable-Zone Planets Around a Single Star

Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Announcement to Libraries

NASA Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X)

Oceans Melting Greenland: Early Results from NASA's Ocean-Ice Mission in Greenland

Pluto's Global Surface Composition

The Calabash Clash

Lake Superior-Sized Ice Deposit on Mars


NASA and the First Robotics Competition

How Friendly Is Enceladus' Ocean to Life?

Disintegrating Comet Observed by Hubble

Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) Outbound

Coronal Mass Ejections measured at the Moon

Hints at Ceres' Composition from Color

Sulfurous Ceres

Recurring Slope Lineae in Central Uplifts

Titan as a Natural Space Weather Station

A Surprisingly Young Region in Saturn's Rings

The Power of Astrobiology in the Classroom . . .inspiring a new generation of STEM learners

Astrobiology Celebrates the National Park Service Centennial

2015-16 ANSMET Meteorites

Multi-facility study of asteroid 2016 RB1 during its near-Earth Encounter

Water Delivery to the Early Moon

Hubble Observations of Venus' sulfur-bearing species reveal a surprising twist

Venus Loses Ocean Via Powerful Electric Winds

Rivers of Hydrocarbons Flow Through Titan's Narrow Canyons

Impacts on Titan: Do They Splash or Thud?

Rise in Earth's Oxygen timed to the Rise of Animals

Charon's Dark Red Poles

Cryovolcanism on Pluto?

NASA-Funded Radar Research Provides Backdrop for Lunar Module in Air & Space Museum's New Flight Hall

Venus Clouds Differ from Morning to Evening

Evolution of Titan's "Magic Island"

Modern Microbial Ecosystems Provide Window to Early Life on Earth

Views of Our Planets & Pluto-Explored at the World Stamp Show

Talking Rov-E Answers Mars Questions

From the Inner Solar System to the Oort Cloud and Back Again: A Comet's Tale

Small Mounds In Chryse Planitia: Assessment Of Mud Volcano Hypothesis

MAVEN surveys the ionosphere of Mars

Manganese and Mars' Earth-like Past

Helium in the Moon's Exosphere Measured by three Different Spacecraft Show Remarkable Agreement

Lunar Swirls: Unraveling the Origin of Mysterious Features

Massaging the Moon: Earth's Gravity Controls Lunar Fault Distribution

Volcanoes Must Have Erupted Through Ancient Mars Ice Sheet

Mineral Salts Seen in Ceres Bright Spots

Saturn's F Ring: A Calm Core in the Midst of Chaos

Cassini Snags Rare Specks of Speeding Interstellar Dust

Carbon Distribution Throughout the Solar System

In-Situ and Biosignature Detection in the Atacama with the Nanopore MinION Sequencer

Two Years of Meteorology

New Horizons explores Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

NEOWISE Finds an Elusive Asteroid as Dark as a Lump of Coal

Manganese and Sulfur in abundance on Mars

2016 HO3: A Quasi-moon for Earth

Heating of Jupiter's upper atmosphere above the Great Red Spot

Io's Atmospheric Collapse: What happens to the Aurora?

Mars' Polar Topography Reveals Astronomical Forcing of Climate

Biosignatures in a Chilean Mars Analog

Massaging the Moon: Earth's Gravity Controls Lunar Fault Distribution

Hints at Ceres' Composition from Color

Venus Loses Ocean Via Powerful Electric Winds

Two Mars Years of Meteorology

Lunar Swirls: Unraveling the Origin of Mysterious Features

How Friendly Enceladus' Ocean to Life?

MAVEN surveys the ionosphere of Mars

Impacts on Titan: Do They Splash or Thud?

New Horizons explores Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

Carbon Distribution Throughout the Solar System

Coordinated Rapid Response to a New near-Earth Asteroid Discovery and Flyby

Volcanoes Must Have Erupted Through Ancient Mars Ice Sheet

Small Mounds in Chryse Planitia: Assessment of Mud Volcano Hypothesis

Saturn's F Ring: A calm Core in the Midst of Chaos


New Craters on the Moon: Watch Out!

Briny Liquid Water in Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) on Mars

Unexpected Carbon compounds in the Moon's Exosphere

Unique Mafic Mound on the Lunar Farside

Science Mission Directorate - Weekly Highlights - November 20, 2015

Science Mission Directorate - Weekly Highlights - November 13, 2015

Science Mission Directorate - Weekly Highlights - October 16, 2015

19th Annual Partner Meeting in Los Angeles Unites GLOBE'S Global Community

Close Flyby of Near-Earth Asteroid 2011 UW158

Conservation Policy and the Measurement of Forests

Planetary Science Division Monthly Review

Measuring the Depth of an Alien Sea

Cassini Makes a "Shocking" Discovery at Saturn's Moon Hperion

Telltale Geyser Dust from Enceladus Seafloor Vents

Ceres Captures Dawn in Orbit

Does Chiron have rings?

Two New Binary Asteroid Systems

Radiation in Deep Space: LRO's Human Tissue Proxy Helps Future Explorers

MAVEN Detects Unexpedted Aurora on Mars

MAVEN Observes Mysterious Dust Cloud Surrounding Mars

MAVEN Ultraviolet Image of Comet Siding Spring's Hydrogen Coma

Minerals in Watersheds Around Gale Crater

Close Pass of Near-Earth Asteroid 2015 HM10

New Understanding of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis

Powerful Earth-based Radars Used to Observe Venus' Surface to Look for Changes

Saturn "Ring Rain"

Spectacular Pluto!

Stepping Toward the Origin of Life

Titan's Atmosphere Responds to Sunspot Cycle

Venus's Mysterious "Aurora"

Super Sonic Winds Seen in the Upper Atmosphere of Venus as Day Turned to Night

Unique Cloud Structure at Venus Explained


An Isolated Microbial World, Deep Under Antarctica

Asteroids mixing throughout the Solar System

Biomarkers Below Planetary Surfaces

Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science (BOPPS)

Carbon Dioxide Snowfall on Mars

Chemical Factories on Comets

Evidence of Crusty Impacts on Early Earth

Curiosity Investigates Details About Water in Mars Soil

Did Saturn's Moon Have a Subsurface Global Ocean?

Massive Eruptions on Io

Feldspar-rich Rock Units Identified on Mars

Filled Craters: Evidence of Mantle Material

Object Discovered with the Most Distant Known Orbit in the Solar System

Understanding the Plasma Field Around Jupiter by Looking at Auroras from its Moons

Glass-coated Viruses Thrive in Extreme Environments

Finding Glycine may be an indicator of past life

Early Life Had Limited Raw Materials At Its Disposal

Bound Hydroxide Confirmed on Phobos 7 Deimos

Jupiter's Shrinking Great Red Spot

Characterizing the Lunar Dust Environment: First results from LADEE Dust measurements

Characterizing the Lunar Atmosphere: First results from LADEE Argon measurements

Characterizing the Lunar Atmosphere: First Results From LADEE Sodium Observations

Elements for Life are Universal

Signals for Early Atmospheric Escape from D/H ratios in Mudstones from Gale Crater

Exploring the Solar Wind on the Way to mars with MAVEN

MESSENGER Detects Seasonal Variation of Mercury's Exosphere

MESSENGER Confirms the Equatorial Elipticity and Polar Oblateness for Mercury

MESSENGER Detects Structure and Dynamics of Mercury's Magnetospheric Cusp

MESSENGER and Mariner 10 Magnetic Field Data Shows No Secular variation Over 40 years

Microbes, How Low Can They Go?

Collapsed Craters Provide Evidence for Subsurface Ice on Mars

Radar imagery of Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) 2014 HQ124

Pan-STARRS tracks JAXA's Hayabusa

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) NEOWISE Restart

Opportunity Identifies the Oldest Habitable Environment on Mars

Racing toward Pluto - New Horizons views tiny moon Hydra

Rosetta at Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

ESA/Rosetta Explores Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Solar Forecast: 1.5 Billion Years of Habitability

Core asymmetry promotes activity in Enceladus' southern hemisphere

Stormy Uranus

Titan's Hazy Sunsets

A New Global Geologic Map of Mars

Summertime Clouds in Titan's North


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