Twenty-two years ago, the Galileo spacecraft made its first flyby of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. Scientists with NASA have taken a new look at the data collected during that historic encounter, providing tantalizing new details about this strange celestial object, its unique magnetic shield, and its unusually…
Titan—Saturn’s largest moon—is remarkable in that it features a dense atmosphere and stable liquid at the surface. The only other place in the solar system with these particular characteristics is, you guessed it, Earth. Thanks to a pair of new studies, we can add a third trait to this list of shared characteristics:…
Jupiter’s moon Europa features a warm subterranean ocean covered in ice. For years, scientists have wondered if certain surface features are the result of plate tectonics, which, if true, would make Europa the only known place in the Solar System other than Earth to experience large, subduction-driven quakes. What’s…
If you were soaring above the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, you’d see mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas, but you might also run into a monsoon-like rainstorm. Severe weather doesn’t happen very often on Titan, but new research suggests than when it does, the skies unleash torrents of liquid methane that…
The Pluto-shaped void in our hearts has yet to be filled by Planet 9, copious amounts of Ben & Jerry’s, or anything. Ever since the summer of 2015, when NASA’s New Horizons performed a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons, fans of the dwarf planet have wondered if or when we’d ever go back.…
If you know your mythology, you’re already familiar with Pluto’s spooktacular namesake; the lovable dwarf planet is named after the Roman god of the underworld, also known as Hades in Greek mythology. He was chiefly in charge of judging the dead, which sounds like one hell of a great gig.
After re-examining data acquired by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, astronomers have detected wavy patterns in two of Uranus’s dark system of rings—patterns that may be indicative of two undiscovered moons.
Phobos and Deimos, Mars’ lumpy, runty moons, were once pegged as captured asteroids. But the truth is shaping up to be far more interesting. These ruddy satellites could be the lone survivors of a giant impact that eviscerated half of Mars’ surface billions of years ago.
Fact: There are two moons hiding in this picture. But can you spot them? Are you sure?
This week, the Cassini spacecraft made its fifth and final flyby of Dione, Saturn’s fourth-largest moon. This image, in which Saturn and its rings can be seen looming behind the moon, was captured in the leadup to the mission’s last close approach, on August 17, 2015.
A new theory proposes that Saturn’s outermost ring formed in the wake of an ancient collision between two icy satellites, and that similar collisions may account for comparable ringed structures around other planets.
Recently acquired images of Tethys, one of the ice moons of Saturn, have given scientists their best view yet of several “unusual, arc-shaped reddish streaks” that sweep across the satellite’s surface.
Countries are scrambling to get to Mars in a good ol’ fashioned space race. But focus might be shifting to the red planet’s two moons. According to reports, Japan announced plans yesterday to bring its asteroid-probing technology to the tiny Martian satellites.
This week on Meanwhile in the Future, we ask what would happen if Earth had a second moon. How exactly that happens I won’t reveal — you’ll have to listen! But once it does, there are some really interesting things that we might notice on Earth, from tides and the night sky, to the potential destruction of Earth.
Aside from having the coolest name for a moon ever, Hyperion is known for its potato-like shape and a surface that looks — and even acts — like a sponge. But as the Cassini spacecraft discovered back in 2005, this Saturnian moon also packs an unexpected punch.
What happens when a planetary scientist has a love for order? He creates code that sorts everything from our solar system’s moons to exoplanets into graceful spirals where every object is slightly smaller than the one before. Astronomical knolling is my new favourite way to contemplate the vast scale of space.
Submoons — satellites of satellites — are theoretically possible. However, they'd suffer the same eventual fate of the things we launch into orbit of our planet: eventual decay of orbit and crash into the planet below. That's a fascinating location to set a story on.
There's a strange bulge on the Solar System's largest moon, one that measures 375 miles wide and nearly two miles tall. Scientists aren't entirely sure why it's there or what caused it, but it may have something to do with the Jovian moon's subsurface ocean.
We all know and love the moon. We're so assured that we only have one that we don't even give it a specific name. It's just The Moon. But the moon is not the Earth's only natural satellite. Here's what you need to know about 3753 Cruithne and what its weird orbit reveals about the solar system.
Eighty-five years ago today, Clyde Tombaugh found a small dot of light shifting position while hunting for the trans-Neptune planet predicted by Percival Lowell. Now, the New Horizons probe en route to Pluto has photographed its tiny moons, Nix and Hydra.