News From Space

On April 19, 2021, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet. The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 6:46 a.m. EDT. […]
The growing list of firsts for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen. A toaster-size experimental instrument aboard Perseverance called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20, 2021, the 60th martian day, […]
An unknown methane-producing process is likely at work in the hidden ocean beneath the icy shell of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, suggests a new study published in Nature Astronomy by scientists at the University of Arizona and Université Paris Sciences et Lettres. Giant water plumes erupting from Enceladus have long fascinated scientists and the public alike, […]
New research by University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst astronomer Daniel Wang reveals details of violent phenomena in the center of our galaxy with unprecedented clarity. The images, published recently in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, document an X-ray thread, G0.17-0.41, which hints at a previously unknown interstellar mechanism that may govern the energy […]
Jupiter’s clouds have water conditions that would allow Earth-like life to exist, but this isn’t possible in Venus’ clouds, according to groundbreaking new research led by a Queen’s University Belfast scientist. For decades, space exploration missions have looked for evidence of life beyond Earth where we know that large bodies of water, such as lakes […]
NASA has selected two new missions to Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. Part of NASA’s Discovery Program, the missions aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world when it has so many other characteristics similar to ours — and may have been the first habitable world in the solar system, complete with an ocean and […]
Evidence of recent volcanic activity on Mars shows that eruptions could have taken place within the past 50,000 years, says a paper by Planetary Science Institute Research Scientist David Horvath. Most volcanism on the Red Planet occurred between 3 and 4 billion years ago, with smaller eruptions in isolated locales continuing perhaps as recently as 3 million years ago. […]
An international team of space scientists has discovered four new “hot Jupiters” in our galaxy. University of Leicester Ph.D. researcher Rosanna Tilbrook led and co-authored the study alongside colleagues in the UK, Switzerland, Chile, Germany, the USA, and South Africa. Their research discovered four new exoplanets — NGTS-15b, NGTS-16b, NGTS-17b, and NGTS-18 — between 2500 and 3500 light-years away […]
Humans have not set foot on the Moon for nearly 50 years, but the Apollo Moon missions aren’t over. The echoes from Neil Armstrong’s first steps are still helping scientists make giant leaps in understanding the Moon’s geology. When the Apollo 17 astronauts packed up for home in 1972, they brought rock samples with them. NASA locked […]
New Johns Hopkins University simulations offer an intriguing look into Saturn’s interior, suggesting that a thick layer of helium rain influences the planet’s magnetic field. The models, published in AGU Advances, also indicate that Saturn’s interior may feature higher temperatures at the equatorial region, with lower temperatures at the high latitudes at the top of […]
Samples from other worlds will be examined by space scientists at the University of Leicester as they continue to study the building blocks of the solar system. Some of the first particles from asteroid Ryugu — returned by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) probe Hayabusa2 in 2020 — and samples from the Winchcombe meteorite, which fell to […]