• Tenth Planet Discovered

    A planet larger than Pluto has been discovered in the outlying regions of the solar system. The planet is a typical member of the Kuiper belt, but its sheer size in relation to the nine planets already known means that it can only be classified as a planet.

  • Mystery Methane Maker

    The detections of methane in the martian atmosphere have challenged scientists to find a source for the gas, which is usually associated with life on Earth. One source that can be ruled out is ancient history: Methane can survive only 600 years in the martian atmosphere before sunlight will destroy it.

  • Mars: Windows on the World

    In their explorations of Mars, both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers found evidence that liquid water was once on the planet’s surface. Joy Crisp, project scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers, discussed the rovers’ long journey and their surprising discoveries at a public lecture on May 19, 2005.

  • Cassini Spies Enceladus’ Rolling

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained new detailed images of the south polar region of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data reveal distinctive geological features and the most youthful terrain seen on the moon. These findings point to a very complex evolutionary history for Saturn’s brightest, whitest satellite.

  • Moondust

    Sending men to the Moon certainly changed the public perception of life on our own planet, thanks to the astronauts’ photographs of the Earth looking like an illuminated blue marble suspended in the deep black emptiness of space.

  • The Lure of Europa

    The discovery that Europa most likely has a cold, salty ocean beneath its frozen icy crust has put Europa on the short list of objects in our solar system that astrobiologists would like to study further

  • Building Life from Star-Stuff

    Life on Earth was made possible by the death of stars. Atoms like carbon and oxygen were expelled in the last few dying gasps of stars after their final supplies of hydrogen fuel were used up.

  • Deciphering Mars: The Future

    At the recent Earth System Processes II conference, Jack Farmer gave a talk on the current state of understanding about Mars: what we know and what we’d like to know. In this, the third and final part of a three-part series, he outlines the options for future Mars exploration.

  • Weighing the Benefits of the I-suit

    Dr. Dean Eppler is a geologist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. For the past eight years, Eppler has participated in field tests of experimental spacesuits as part of the Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) project. The suits are being tested to provide input to the development of flight-ready suits for future human missions to the moon and Mars.

  • Titan: A Moon with Atmosphere

    Chris McKay, a planetary research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, gave a public lecture, sponsored by the Planetary Society, in which he talked about the scientific results of the Cassini-Huygens mission. In this first of four parts, McKay discusses Titan’s atmosphere.