Solar System

  • Martian Fire and Ice
    Mars isn't as sleepy as scientists suspected. An international research team, which includes Brown University planetary geologist James Head, has found evidence of recent glacial movement and volcanic eruptions in 3-D images from the Mars Express mission.
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  • Atmosphere on Enceladus
    The Cassini spacecraft's two close flybys of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus have revealed that the moon has a significant atmosphere. Scientists, using Cassini's magnetometer instrument for their studies, say the source may be volcanism, geysers, or gases escaping from the surface or the interior.
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  • Jovian X-ray Vision
    Astronomers using the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton telescope have discovered that observing the giant planet Jupiter may actually give them an insight in to solar activity on the far side of the Sun. Jupiter's x-ray glow is due to x-rays from the Sun being reflected
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  • Warming Up to a Martian Carcass
    The detection of methane on Mars has generated a lot of speculation about what could possibly be producing it. Is it coming out of active volcanoes? Maybe the methane results from some geologic or chemical process we don't yet understand.
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  • World in a Water Drop
    Ecologists know that when it comes to habitats, size matters, and now a new study finds that contrary to earlier beliefs, that maxim holds true right down to the tiny plants at the bottom of many oceanic and freshwater food chains.
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  • The Martian Frozen Sea
    At the recent European Space Agency's Mars Express conference, scientists announced they had found a frozen sea on the martian equator. John Murray, from the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University in the UK, is lead author on the paper to be
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  • Dust Devil, The Movie
    One of the most elusive but fascinating movies one could make on Mars today is a time-lapse film of an afternoon dust devil, or miniature tornado. Spirit rover scientists have finally captured a brief animation of such a tiny twister.
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  • Super-rotator
    Titan's surface appears to be as complex as planet Earth's, though the rates at which the various forces modify its surface may be much slower than on our planet. Imaging scientists, analyzing images of Titan designed to allow views of the surface and lower atmosphere.
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  • What Happened at Meteor Crater?
    Scientists have discovered why there isn't much impact-melted rock at Meteor Crater in northern Arizona.The iron meteorite that blasted out Meteor Crater almost 50,000 years ago was traveling much slower than has been assumed.
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  • The Missing Methane
    Arizona's Jonathan Lunine presented a lecture entitled "Titan: A Personal View after Cassini's first six months in Saturn orbit" at a NASA Director's Seminar on January 24, 2005. Lunine discusses the question of missing methane in an edited transcript of Part 2.
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  • Mars: The Other Time-of-Flight
    Recent discoveries on Mars such as methane in the atmosphere, a subterranean ice pack near the equator, and evidence of flowing water in the planet's past brings new speculation to the most frequently asked questions about the Red Planet: Is there, or was there ever
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  • Twinkle, Twinkle…Large Planet
    An international team of astronomers has accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now. It is the first time that direct observations demonstrate that stars less massive than 1/10th of the solar mass are of nearly the same size
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  • Dawn to Split Asteroid Differences
    It's called Dawn, and in a little more than a year, this spacecraft will blast off from Florida, bound for two separate asteroids: Vesta and Ceres. Visiting the two most massive asteroids in our Solar System will be an ambitious undertaking; maybe one of
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  • Search for a Second Genesis
    Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at the Ames Research Center, has long been investigating the coldest and driest places on Earth. In this part of McKay's lecture series, entitled, Drilling in Permafrost on Mars to Search for a Second Genesis of Life, he touches on
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  • Did Jupiter Cook the Meteorites?
    Scientists now believe that the formation of Jupiter, the heavy-weight champion of the Solar System's planets, may have spawned some of the tiniest and oldest constituents of our Solar System -- millimeter-sized spheres called chondrules, the major component of primitive meteorites.
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