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Planets and moons
Comets and asteroids
Curiosity finds conditions may have been suitable for life on Mars
Analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA's Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.
NASA probe maps influence of Galaxy's magnetic field
NASA probe catches Solar System by its tail
Cluster mission discovers a leak in Earth's plasmasphere
Curiosity billion-pixel picture lets armchair explorers wander Mars
Lunar probes reveal mystery of the Moon's gravity
Saturn’s moon Dione shows signs of activity
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Waves and hurricanes forecast on Titan
Scientists will use the Cassini probe to look for evidence of higher winds on Titan, a moon of Saturn.
Mars rocks examined by NASA rovers
Rovers on Mars have been analysing rocks to gain a clearer picture of the planet's past environment and to understand if it once had conditions suitable for life
Storms on Uranus and Neptune may only be surface features
New research shows clouds, storms and jet streams that encircle Uranus and Neptune may be only surface features.
Cassini creates the first global topographic map of Titan
NASA's Cassini radar team have created the first global topographic map of Saturn's moon Titan.
Landslide bunched up terrain near massive Mars volcano
A landslide from the massive Olympus Mons volcano led to the creation of a corrugated landcape about 200 kilometres away, new Mars Express pictures reveal.
Cassini observes meteors colliding with Saturn's rings
Cassini has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids impacting Saturn's rings.
Comet brought water to Jupiter
ESA's Herschel space observatory has found direct proof that 95% of the water present in Jupiter's upper atmosphere was delivered by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994.
Volcanoes on Io puzzle scientists
Volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io, are not where they are expected to be according to researchers models.
Ice cloud heralds a change of season at Titan's south pole
An ice cloud forming over Titan’s south pole marks autumn for the southern hemisphere on Saturn's largest moon.
Astronomers find increase in rain falling from Saturn's rings
Astronomers studying the "rain" of charged water particles flowing into Saturn's atmosphere from the planet's rings have discovered there is more of it, and it falls across larger areas, than previously thought.
Curiosity probes Red Planet's missing atmosphere
Mars Curiosity found strong evidence of escaping atmosphere from Mars.
The antiquities of the Saturn system
Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggest the moons and rings of Saturn are antiquities from the time of our solar system's birth.
Moon and asteroids share a common history
The same high-speed projectiles that impacted the moon four billion years ago, could also have hit the giant asteroid Vesta and perhaps other large asteroids.
Sun's temporary block on communications with Mars spacecraft
NASA plans to suspend most spacecraft work when Mars gets close to the sun, as seen from Earth.
Cassini captures close-up of battered moon Rhea
Cassini has made the final close flyby of Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea.
Europa's surface exchange with underground ocean
Astronomers have found the strongest evidence yet that salty water, from the ocean beneath the icy crust of Europa, makes its way to the surface.
Now Cassini catches bright Venus shining between the rings
NASA's Cassini space probe has taken dramatic images of planet Venus shining close to Saturn.
An ancient magma ocean on Mercury
Scientists at MIT have proposed that Mercury may have harbored a large ocean of magma very early in its history.
More news and features on Solar System - Solar System
Planets and moons
Oxygen detected around Saturn's moon Dione
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected oxygen around Saturn's icy moon Dione.
Cassini makes 100th Titan flyby
Meteorite punches the Moon producing brightest-ever impact flash
Scientists release first geologic map of Jupiter's moon Ganymede
MAVEN instruments working well as spacecraft wings towards Mars
Evidence found of possible water flows on Mars
Yutu rover in trouble as it enters two-week lunar night
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Mars rover takes selfie then finds favourable conditions for microbial life
The Opportunity mission discovered a zone with conditions more favourable for microbial life than any spot the long-running rover sampled before.
John Lennon among ten newly named craters on Mercury
John Lennon is one of ten newly named craters on the planet Mercury.
Mars Express due for daring flyby of Phobos
On 29 December ESA’s Mars Express will make the closest flyby yet of Mars' largest moon Phobos, skimming past at only 45 km above its surface.
Christmas crackers from Cassini
New images of Saturn and two of its most fascinating moons, Titan and Enceladus from NASA's Cassini spacecraft this Christmas.
A year in the life of Mars
Two new orbiters bound for Mars launched in November 2013, set to join three existing orbiters.
Chinese rover hops on to the Moon
After successfully navigating the first soft landing on the moon in 36 years, the Chang'e-3 lander deployed the Yutu rover on the surface on Dec.
To the bottom of Titan's deep sea
The Cassini spacecraft has been gathering information on the lakes and seas of Titan, Saturn's largest moon and the only other celestial body in the Solar System known to have liquid on its surface.
Scientists find evidence of water plumes erupting on Europa
Astronomers have found evidence that water plumes may be erupting from one of Jupiter's largest moons, Europa
Clays found on Europa possibly delivered by a comet
Clay-type minerals, possibly delivered by a collision with an asteroid or comet, have been revealed at the surface of Europa.
Mars One secures lead suppliers for its first mission to Mars
Mars One has contracted Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
Curiosity results look into Mars' past and present to aid future missions
The latest results from NASA's Curiosity rover give clues to Mars' past and current environments that will aid plans for future robotic and human missions.
Circumsolar dust ring confirmed in the orbit of Venus
Researchers from the U.
Rediscovered Apollo data gives clues to moon dust
Scientists have used rediscovered data from the Apollo program to make the first determination of how fast lunar dust accumulates.
Stunning new image of Saturn released
A natural-colour image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible, has been released by NASA.
NASA's GRAIL mission gives new clues to lunar impacts
NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has given new insight into the asymmetric distribution of lunar impact basins.
Mars Express celebrates nearly 10 years orbiting the Red Planet
In the weeks before Mars Express celebrates 10 years at the Red Planet, the European Space Agency promoted a video from the spacecraft's data showing high-resolution views of gullies, mountains and the surface.
Neptune's innermost moon revealed in Hubble images
Astronomers have found images of Neptune's tiny innermost moon, Naiad, whilst analysing data obtained by the Hubble space telescope
Dance of Pluto's moons may hint at past collisions
A large impact 4 billion years ago may account for the puzzling orbital configuration among Pluto's five known satellites.
More news and features on Solar System - Planets and moons
More than sunshine
Solar expert Dr Lucie Green considers the different types of solar activity and the impact of the Sun's coronal mass ejections on Earth's environment
Rare hybrid solar eclipse sweeps the globe
Carbon planets may be rich in diamonds but waterless
SDO uncovers secrets of the Sun's dynamo
NASA probe IRIS delights scientists with detailed images of Sun
'Sparkles' could be heating the Sun's atmosphere
Comet plunge reveals solar secrets
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NASA's Sun probe IRIS is readied for launch
NASA's latest solar mission, called IRIS, is currently being prepared for launch to discover more about what drives the Sun and to help predict space weather.
Solar probe untangles riddle of flux ropes
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has finally confirmed to solar scientists the processes that produce massive explosions on the Sun.
IRIS looks to shed light on a solar puzzle
NASA's IRIS mission to explore why the Sun's atmosphere is hotter than its surface, is now fully integrated and final testing is underway.
Sun heads for explosive peak in 2013
The Sun is expected to reach maximum in its activity cycle in the summer or autumn of 2013.
Cluster finds swirling eddies may warm solar wind
ESA's Cluster probes have detected tiny swirls of turbulence in the solar wind that could play a major part in keeping it from cooling as much as it would otherwise.
Thousands witness spectacular eclipse of the Sun
Thousands who flocked to Australia for a total eclipse of the Sun enjoyed spectacular views of the event
Proba-2 will observe solar eclipse from orbit
A total eclipse of the Sun over Australia on Wednesday will also be observed from space by a European satellite
Cluster finds Earth's magnetic shield leaks like a sieve
A quartet of spaceprobes called Cluster has discovered that a protective bubble around the Earth called the magnetosphere is leaking
Solar scientists review Hinode findings
Scientists are meeting in Scotland to review the findings so far from Hinode, the solar observatory.
Lunar swirl gives clue to protecting astronauts
Scientists in the UK have solved a long-standing mystery on the Moon - and their solution could help develop a shield to protect astronauts against deadly radiation.
Two powerful solar flares erupt within a week
The Sun is very active, with two solar flares from July 6 and July 12.
Fermi detects super solar flare
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has witnessed the highest amount of energy emitted during a solar flare since it began observing the sky.
A history of exploring the Sun
A history of space missions to probe the Sun.
Towering solar tornado discovered on the Sun
Space scientists have observed a powerful tornado many times wider than the Earth spinning in the Sun's atmosphere.
Eruption of second largest flare in solar cycle
Mysterious electron acceleration explained
the sun, the star at the heart of our solar system
Cassini - a spectacular success at Saturn
Cassini's exploration of Saturn and its moons, which has been going on since 2004, has been one of the greatest achievements of NASA, in conjunction with European partners. Paul Sutherland looks at the Cassini mission.
NASA announces details of twin astronaut study
Swarm satellites move into position for magnetic field survey
Billion-star surveyor comes into focus
Gaia in orbit, running rings around L2
Comet chaser Rosetta set to wake up
Cygnus cargo ship launches to the space station
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Opportunity ready to start its eleventh year exploring Mars
On January 25 2004, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on the Red Planet and began a three month mission.
Gossamer sail set to deorbit satellites
An ultra-lightweight "gossamer sail" to deorbit ageing satellites in a safe manner, is nearing its first test in space.
ESA gets set to wake up comet probe Rosetta
The European Space Agency has launched a “Wake up, Rosetta” campaign to mark the revival of a probe on its way to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Gaia blasts off to begin mapping the Milky Way
The European Space Agency’s Gaia spaceprobe has successfully launched to begin a mission to map the Milky Way in 3D
Colourful images reveal hidden detail on asteroid Vesta
Planetary scientists have used colour imagery from NASA's Dawn space probe to discover more information about surface features on the asteroid Vesta
Curiosity passes 100,000 shots fired by its laser
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has fired the laser on its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument more than 100,000 times.
Cassini captures movie of Saturn's mysterious hexagon
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has produced a remarkable new high-resolution movie of a peculiar feature called the hexagon on Saturn.
Chinese pictures from the Moon to be shared with international observatory
Moon Express customer the International Lunar Observatory Association will receive images from the Chinese Chang'e-3 lunar mission's telescope.
NASA's MAVEN blasts off on journey to Mars
NASA has launched MAVEN, its latest mission to Mars, to find more clues to determine to whether it might ever have been home to life.
Gravity gets its own back on GOCE
ESA's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite has reentered Earth's atmosphere after studying Earth's gravity for four years.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passes data milestone
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has passed 200 terabits in the amount of science data returned since it arrived at the red planet in March 2006.
India successfully launches its first mission to Mars
India will aim today to become the first Asian nation to launch a space probe to the planet Mars.
Albert Einstein mission to go out in style
ESA’s supply and support ferry ATV Albert Einstein (ATV-4) will undock from the ISS on Monday and astronauts will observe from above as it disintegrates over the Pacific Ocean five days later.
World’s largest solar sail completes successful test
The Sunjammer Mission has successfully deployed a quadrant of its solar sail in a key milestone test on the way towards a launch slated for January 2015.
Comet chaser will be woken up in 100 days
In 100 days ESA’s Rosetta mission will wake up from deep-space hibernation to reach comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko
Glitch hits Juno as it seeks to solve gravity riddle
NASA’s Jupiter probe Juno put itself into safe mode as it swooped past the Earth last night, a flyby that scientists hope might help solve a long-standing mystery.
Jupiter probe Juno buzzes Earth to pick up speed
NASA's Juno probe will pay a fleeting visit to the Earth today as it flies by to gain speed on its long journey to Jupiter.
Curiosity finds water, water everywhere for future astronauts
NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered that the martian soil contains two per cent water, which could be extracted by astronauts as a vital resource
More news and features on Solar System - Missions
Comets and asteroids
Asteroid's troughs evidence of wannabe planet
Scientists studying the giant asteroid Vesta believe that the large scale structural cracks around its middle are graben - where the ground sinks when two faults move apart. Graben are usually only found on larger planets and moons which have a layered structure of core, mantle and crust. The research supports the view that Vesta was formed in the same way as the inner rocky planets.
Scientists reveal puzzling orbit of Trojan asteroid's moon
Space agencies to protect Mars probes from comet encounter
NASA steps up search for close-passing asteroids
Probing the anatomy of asteroid Itokawa
Asteroid belt tells story of chaotic early Solar System
Rosetta check-up continues after wake up call
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Water vapour discovered around dwarf planet Ceres
ESA’s Herschel space observatory has discovered water vapour around Ceres.
Second asteroid detected before it hit the Earth
The first asteroid to be discovered in the New Year, labelled 2014 AA, was spotted just 25 hours before it crashed through Earth’s atmosphere.
Quadrantids open new meteor season for 2014
The Quadrantids maximum today is the first big event in the meteor shower calendar for 2014.
Reactivated asteroid hunter returns first images
NASA's asteroid hunter -- called the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) -- has taken its first images since being reactivated after more than two and a half years of hibernation
Something survived - Comet ISON's fate still unclear
Comet ISON reached its closet point to the Sun on November 28, known as perihelion.
A whole lotta shakin' goin' on thanks to Mars
Planetary scientists have discovered new clues about how Mars affects close-passing asteroids, shaking up their surfaces to alter their composition
Hubble finds an asteroid that thinks it is a comet with six tails
The Hubble Space Telescope has seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it.
Hubble takes another look at comet ISON
Comet ISON, which is making its way to the inner Solar System for the first time, has been imaged again by the Hubble space telescope
Astronomers link up to discover an asteroid's secrets
Amateur and professional astronomers have combined observations to produce a detailed look at an asteroid with two moons.
NASA Mars satellite watches Comet ISON sailing by
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped several pictures of Comet ISON as it passed relatively close to Mars on Sept.
Working together to get a clearer picture of asteroid Vesta
Up-close observations of Vesta by NASA's Dawn mission, have confirmed and provided new insights into more than 200 years of Earth-based observations.
Virtual atlas of asteroid Vesta
An atlas of the giant asteroid Vesta, created from images taken by NASA's Dawn mission, is available for the public to explore online.
NASA loses contact with veteran comet probe
NASA's Deep Impact probe is failing to respond to communications from NASA's mission control
NASA spacecraft to be revived as asteroid hunter
A NASA spacecraft will be brought out of hibernation in September to search for near-Earth objects (NEOs) and asteroids that could be suitable for an exploration mission.
Dust from Chelyabinsk fireball spread round globe
Hundreds of tons of dust left by the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk in February spread right around the globe, a NASA satellite has shown
Watch out for August's natural fireworks
Amateur astronomers are taking advantage of the warm summer nights to watch the build-up of the year’s best known meteor shower, the Perseids.
Comet graveyard found in the asteroid belt
Two teams of astronomers have identified populations of comets lurking within belts of rocky debris in the Solar System.
Comet ISON is now fizzing with activity
One of the most eagerly awaited comets in history is livening up as it heads for its rendezvous with the Sun later this year.
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