planets

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NASA Releases Staggering Photos of Neptune

Our most distant planet's rings are crisp

(Newser) - If you picture Neptune as a blue ring-less planet, new images released Wednesday from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope are about to set you straight. The images show what CNN refers to as the planet's "crisp, narrow rings." As Heidi Hammel of the Webb project says,...

As a Moon of Saturn Died, Planet's Rings Were Born
'Pretty Good Story' May
Explain Saturn's Rings
in case you missed it

'Pretty Good Story' May Explain Saturn's Rings

Scientists think one of its moons may have exploded eons ago

(Newser) - Saturn's rings are made from the guts of a vanished moon that got a bit too close to the planet. That's the conclusion of a new study that claims not only to explain the formation of the rings but also the significant tilt at which the solar system'...

NASA Gizmo Is Able to Make Oxygen on Mars
Toaster-Size Box Makes
Oxygen on Mars
new study

Toaster-Size Box Makes Oxygen on Mars

MOXIE offers hope of clearing a big hurdle for manned missions

(Newser) - The comparisons are small scale at the moment: A device the size of a toaster generated oxygen comparable to that of a modest tree. But given that this took place on Mars, the implications are of the large-scale variety. In a study published in Science Advances , NASA researchers report that...

Rare Planetary Event to Grace Night Skies in June
Ever See 5 Planets
Lined Up Before?
Here's Your Chance
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Ever See 5 Planets Lined Up Before? Here's Your Chance

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn will all be aligned in June

(Newser) - Get ready for a planetary sky show not seen since "Hey Ya!" topped the charts and Mark Zuckerberg was launching Facebook out of his college dorm room. Throughout the month of June, those on the US mainland will be able to see, sans telescope, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter,...

Venus, Jupiter to Converge This Weekend

Planets' conjunction best viewed early Saturday

(Newser) - Despite being millions of miles apart, Venus and Jupiter appear to meet in the night sky about once a year in what's known as a conjunction. But skywatchers who take in the sight this year are in for a real treat, as the planets will appear much closer than...

Scientists Baffled by Neptune's Temperature Swings
Scientists Baffled by
Neptune's Temperature Swings
NEW STUDY

Scientists Baffled by Neptune's Temperature Swings

Temps should be 'slowly growing warmer, not colder' amid southern summer

(Newser) - Neptune's southern hemisphere has spent the last 17 years in its summer season, yet global temperatures have plummeted. It's a head-scratching finding that leaves astronomers with more questions than answers. "Since we have been observing Neptune during its early southern summer, we would expect temperatures to be...

Our Sister Planet Just Got Undressed
Our Sister Planet
Just Got Undressed
NEW STUDY

Our Sister Planet Just Got Undressed

Venus' fundamental properties revealed through radar speckle tracking

(Newser) - Scientists have parted the clouds on Venus, our shrouded neighbor, revealing the length of its day, the rough size of its core, and the tilt of its axis. All this took almost 15 years to figure out. Between 2006 and 2020, Jean-Luc Margot and colleagues at the University of California,...

Newly Discovered Planet 'Is a Very Hellish World'

TOI-1431b is 3 times the size of Jupiter and hotter

(Newser) - Being 490 light-years from Earth, a newly discovered planet would be difficult to get to. That's just as well. "This is a very hellish world," an astrophysicist said. That's because, the team that pinpointed it found, TOI-1431b is inhospitably hot—hot enough to melt metal, hotter...

Remember Monday Night's Treat in the Sky

Jupiter and Saturn will appear nearly as one planet, a celestial rarity

(Newser) - The 2020 winter solstice has arrived, and along with it a moment that sky watchers have been anticipating for a while. Jupiter and Saturn will be so close in the night sky that they'll be difficult to distinguish as separate planets, per CNN . This so-called Great Conjunction hasn't...

Astronomers: There's a Space 'Superhighway'
Astronomers Find
Cosmic 'Superhighways'
new paper

Astronomers Find Cosmic 'Superhighways'

Researchers call it a 'true celestial autobahn'

(Newser) - Think space travel is just too slow? Well, good news: Astronomers say they've uncovered an "autobahn" of invisible interactions that moves objects along—and might just speed up space exploration, Science Alert reports. The new research hinges on "manifolds," or gravitational regions that exist between orbital...

Asteroid Thought to Be Worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000

16 Psyche thought to be massive chunk of iron and nickel

(Newser) - Somewhere between Mars and Jupiter is a potato-shaped space rock possibly worth way more than the entire economy of Earth. Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis discovered the Massachusetts-sized asteroid known as 16 Psyche lurking in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in 1852, per Fox News . New observations...

This Is the Week to Look Up at Mars
This Is
the Week
to Look Up
at Mars

This Is the Week to Look Up at Mars

Red planet will be very visible in the night sky

(Newser) - If you're looking for a little break from earthly concerns, Mars might provide an option this week. The red planet is particularly visible to the naked eye in the night sky thanks to a confluence of events, reports NPR . In fact, this will be the best week to see...

Mercury Puts on Rare Show For Us Next Week
Mercury Making a Rare Trip.
Here's How to Watch
UPDATED

Mercury Making a Rare Trip. Here's How to Watch

It's currently making a transit across the sun

(Newser) - Mercury is in the middle of a rare trip across the sun, and almost everyone in the US should be able to catch at least a glimpse—with modest gear and safety protections. The official term is a "transit," and Mercury showed up as a small black dot...

It's True: The Closest Planet to Every Planet Is ... Mercury
It Turns Out Venus Is
Not Our Closest Neighbor
new study

It Turns Out Venus Is Not Our Closest Neighbor

On average, that is

(Newser) - File this one away for bar trivia night: The planet closest to Earth is not Venus. So say researchers in a paper in Physics Today touting the new mathematical method they devised that spit out the true nearest neighbor when distance is averaged over time: Mercury. And here's the...

Saturn's 'Rain' Is Quickly Killing Its Rings


Saturn's Rings
Just Got a
Death Date
NEW STUDY

Saturn's Rings Just Got a Death Date

NASA study predicts they'll be gone in 100M years

(Newser) - NASA's Voyager spacecrafts recorded data suggesting Saturn's rings were disappearing when they whipped past the planet decades ago. Now, confirmation: The rings have likely existed for only a fraction of the planet's 4.5 billion years and will be gone in an astrological flash, reads a new...

Why NASA Is Closely Watching a Gargantuan Dust Storm

The Opportunity rover is stuck in it on Mars

(Newser) - To call the Martian dust storm gargantuan wouldn't be an overstatement: As of Tuesday, it covered a quarter of the planet, making it the size of North America and Russia combined, per Space.com . And the Opportunity rover is in the middle of it. That's of concern. The...

It Seems Likely Solar System Is Hiding Huge Planet

NASA unveils new evidence for mysterious 'Planet Nine'

(Newser) - Astronomically inclined conspiracy theorists have long been predicting the Earth's demise in a collision with a rogue planet called "Niburu" or "Planet X" biding its time out of sight somewhere in the solar system, CNET reports. In fact, Niburu was "supposed" to crash into Earth just...

9th Planet May Solve 'Mystery' of Our Solar System

It could explain why orbits are tilted 6 degrees

(Newser) - New research may have solved a "deep-rooted mystery" about our solar system and lent credence to the theory that there's a ninth planet chilling beyond Pluto. (Sorry, buddy.) Researchers at Caltech, including Konstantin Batygin and Mike "Pluto Killer" Brown (who first floated the "Planet Nine"...

Scientists 'Hit the Jackpot' With Outer-Space Discovery

Earth-like planet found right next-door

(Newser) - After scanning the vast reaches of the cosmos for Earth-like planets where life might exist, astronomers have found one right next door, the AP reports. A planet that is rocky like Earth and only slightly bigger has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our solar system, scientists...

3B Years Ago, Venus Might've Been Livable

Climate models suggest it was a lot like early Earth

(Newser) - Venus is perhaps best known as "that torrid acid bath next door," as Gizmodo puts it, with toxic thunderclouds and atmospheric pressure capable of crushing bones, per Science Alert —but it might have looked very different 700 million years ago. After plugging topographic data and the hydrogen...

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