Beautiful New Topographical Map Of Ceres Shows a Complex, Icy World 

NASA has just released a stunning new topographic map of Ceres, the other dwarf planet astronomers are getting to study up close and personal this summer. Unlike Pluto’s freakishly smooth and youthful surface, Ceres’s exterior is riddled with craters, creating a battered old landscape of peaks and valleys. » 7/28/15 4:00pm Tuesday 4:00pm

Why It'll Take New Horizons 16 Months to Send Us This Week's Data

Early this morning, NASA rolled out the highest-resolution image of Pluto to date, taken 16 hours before today’s historic flyby. Tomorrow, we’ll receive a new set of images at a resolution ten times higher. And Pluto Christmas is just getting started, because it’s going to take NASA 16 full months to download all the… » 7/14/15 7:40pm 7/14/15 7:40pm

First Signs Of Geology Spotted On Pluto's Surface

We’re so close to Pluto, we’re starting to see geologic features on the dwarf planet’s surface. In its latest portrait from the New Horizons spacecraft, scientists are able to pick out distant surface formations, including a polygonal band of terrain stretching east-northeast across the planet, and a dark band near… » 7/10/15 7:05pm 7/10/15 7:05pm

Rare Shot of Venus Crossing the Sun May Help Us Find Alien Life

The image you’re looking at is a rare and beautiful event. Every 115 years, Venus crosses our Sun in Earth’s line of sight—twice. And when the most recent crossing took place, scientists used the event to take a peek at Venus’s atmosphere, refining tools that’ll one day help astronomers search distant worlds for signs… » 7/10/15 1:45pm 7/10/15 1:45pm

The Martian Surface is Looking Pretty Rad in Rainbow 

Everybody’s been waving their rainbow flag recently, so it was only a matter of time before Mars got in on the fun. Admittedly, this image was painted in rainbow colors to highlight elevation changes. But I’d like to think that the progressive Martian societies of the future would agree with the color scheme. » 7/09/15 6:45pm 7/09/15 6:45pm