Solar System Archives - Page 4 of 11 -
Billion years ago, galaxies like our Milky Way underwent an era of prolific star formation, churning out stars at a frenzy rate, 30 times faster than they do today.
Climbing up Mt. Sharp in the middle of Gale Crater, NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered two-tone mineral veins on a layered mountain which provides new clues of multiple fluid movement episodes on Mars, including some that occurred later than the wet conditions that formed after lake-bed deposits at its base.
Scientists for a long time were fairly certain that at one point in the universe’s history, Mars was host to forms of life, but that theory might have just been confirmed by NASA’ rover. Curiosity rover tasked with surveying the Red Planet has come up with surprising results when gathering samples from the soil and the environment of Mars.
As astronomers have gained the ability gaze at far-off exoplanets, they have started to realize our solar system is more unique than they could have imagined. Many other alien’ systems have ‘super-Earths’ and other planets in tight orbits close to their star, but ours does not. And now we might know why.
It seems that despite the fact that humanity has had orbiters in the sky and landers on the Martian surface since the 1970s, the Red Planet is still full of surprises. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has caught sight of something quite unexpected in the Martian atmosphere. High above the surface is a massive dust cloud, and a glowing aurora not unlike the Northern Lights on Earth.
Earlier, only four entities in our solar system were known to possess rings; all of them are planets. Saturn is obviously the most prominent name in the list; it is joined by three other planets Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter, each of which has rings made up of dust and gas encircling them.
There’s no denying it—volcanoes are pretty awesome. As you gaze upon these looming mountains spewing forth fire so hot it causes the ground itself to melt into a gooey pool, you get a sense of just how destructive and chaotic Mother Nature can be. But what’s even cooler than the inspiration for Mount Doom? Space volcanoes. And they’re way more explosive, awe-inspiring, and destructive than anything you’ll find on Earth.
A powerful solar flare that erupted on the Sun on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, and reached us here on Friday was large enough to effect radio signals all over the western hemisphere. The X-class solar flare was also captured on video by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Believe it or not, astronomers are abuzz about another sea that may be a home for life, and it’s not on Saturn’s Titan or Enceladus, or Jupiter’s icy satellite Europa. New data suggests Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, the largest in the solar system, has an underground ocean which contains more water than all of Earth’s surface water combined, according to NASA.
Saturn’s moon Enceladus is a mystery. From Earth it looks tiny and cold, and yet it’s not a dead hunk of rock. Actually, Enceladus makes the short list for most interesting places in the Solar System. Passing spacecraft see trenches and ridges, similar to Earth’s, and in 2005 NASA’s Cassini mission spotted ice geysers streaming from its south pole.
As a planet, Venus, shrouded in thick clouds of carbon dioxide, doesn’t lend itself to visual observation. To lift the veil on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, spacecraft such as NASA’s Magellan probe use radar to penetrate Venus’ clouds.