Outer solar system

  • A new study shows that the dwarf planet Haumea and one of its satellites are covered in water-ice due to tidal forces between them and the heat of radiogenic elements.
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  • More than 30 years after they left Earth, NASA's twin Voyager probes are now returning data from the edge of the Solar System. With each passing day they are beaming back a message that, to scientists, is both unsettling and thrilling.
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  • Astronomers have discovered carbon monoxide gas in the atmosphere of Pluto. Pluto is the only 'dwarf planet' known to have an atmosphere, and it appears that it may have grown in size over the last decade.
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  • Using data from three NASA separate missions, scientists have traced ripples in the rings of Saturn and Jupiter to collisions with cometary fragments. Understanding the local environments of Saturn and Jupiter can help astrobiologists determine the habitability of moons that orbit these giant planets.
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  • Twenty-five years ago, NASA made its only visit thus far to the planet Uranus. Voyager 2 returned unexpected images of an active planet and moons with dramatic surface features. The visit expanded our knowledge of the planets and helped astrobiologists understand whether or not planets
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  • NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind. The craft is getting closer and closer to interstellar space. For 33-year years, Voyager 1 has provided incredible data about the
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  • New data from NASA's IBEX spacecraft reveals that the edge of our solar system is a more dynamic place than previously thought. The research is shedding new light on our solar system, and can help astrobiologists better understand the conditions that allowed the Earth to
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  • With some clever science, astronomers have re-examined data archives from the Hubble Space Telescope and discovered 14 new trans-Neptunian objects. These objects rest beyond the orbit of Neptune and can teach us a great deal about the history of the Solar System and the materials
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  • The Voyager 2 spacecraft, launched in 1977, is now having problems talking to Earth. Engineers are trying to figure out how to resume normal communications with this envoy at the edge of the solar system.
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  • New research indicates that there may be many more dwarf planets similar to Pluto in our solar system than previously thought. Studying these distant objects can help astrobiologists understand the basic properties of our solar system and the effects that dwarf planets might have on
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