Those of us who love astrobiology get really worked up about the lack of Earth-sized exoplanets found at Earth-like distances from their stars. All we want, we who hope for lots of extraterrestrial life, is a bunch of Earth-like planets doing Earth-like things so we can feel better about the odds for lots of Earth-like life in the universe.
New Horizons is going to reach Pluto in July, 2015. What happens after that?
Meet Mars’ two newest moons, MAVEN and MOM.
NASA recently revealed the scientific instruments for Mars 2020, the next Mars rover and the first step in an ambitious sample return campaign.
Of all the kinds of planets we’re finding around other stars—hot Jupiters and mini-Neptunes and those dubiously called “Earth-like”—super-Earths orbiting close to their stars are among the most abundant. While planets so close to their stars are poor candidates for habitability, they are important to understanding the possibility of other habitable planets in these seemingly common systems.
Astronomers hope to get lucky and discover the first evidence of plate tectonics on a planet besides Earth: remnants of continental crust in the rocky material that pollutes some white dwarfs.
A new model explains Mercury’s major density with magnetism.
Obtaining high-resolution spectra of asteroids is challenging. Measuring asteroid albedos in broad photometric wavebands is relatively easy, and potentially provides useful information about surface composition.
The unexpectedly large inclination of Iapetus may result from close encounters between Saturn and an interloping ice giant planet during the early evolution of the Solar System.
A new model simulates the composition of growing planetesimals in an evolving protoplanetary disk. The model predicts that carbon-rich terrestrial planets can form more easily than previously thought.