Solar System Archives - Page 7 of 11 -
NASA’s focus for human spaceflight seems to change every few years as we learn something new about what it will take to keep human beings alive out there. However, NASA usually picks one of a few targets. Will we go to Mars next, maybe back to the Moon, or perhaps an asteroid is a better option? NASA’s Langley Research Center has put forward an interesting proposal — instead of the traditional choices, why not make the trip to Venus?
A NASA spacecraft that recently arrived in orbit around Mars is already helping to solve a Martian mystery. Scientists are using the space agency’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft to gather more data about how Mars’ atmosphere bled molecules out into space over time.
Ever imagine that the red planet’s surface may once have had a different appearance? Well while researchers at NASA have had rovers scoping out Mars’ surface for years, new information received from NASA’s Curiosity Rover suggests that the planet’s craters may once have served a different purpose, and that the arid red planet may once have had long-lasting above ground lakes.
Take a virtual trip around the Solar System and you’ll come to one conclusion pretty quickly: Earth is odd. One of the most significant oddities about our pale blue dot is the vast quantity of liquid water. Astronomers and other scientists have proposed various arguments for how Earth ended up with huge, stable liquid oceans — and now, thanks to research from the Rosetta probe, we’ve got evidence that one prominent theory may not be correct.
When New Horizons left Earth nine years ago, its destination was still being taught to schoolchildren as one of the 9 planets in our solar system. The spacecraft’s final destination of Pluto has since lost its planet status, but that doesn’t make its upcoming arrival at the mysterious dwarf planet any less exciting.
It’s a well-known fact that Earth’s ozone layer protects us from a great deal of the Sun’s ultra-violet radiation. Were it not for this protective barrier around our planet, chances are our surface would be similar to the rugged and lifeless landscape we observe on Mars.
In the recent past, a lot of unusual features are rportedly being noticed in Mars. The latest to join the numerous other things that have been allegedly found is an alien skull that looked like it was buried in Martian sand.
2005 cassini captures an astonishing sight, a hundred geysers shooting ice particles miles into space from cracks in the south pole. Enceladus is hurdling its guts into space at a colossal rate. As enceladus orbits saturn, these icy plumes feed a vast shimmering halo around the planet the mysterious e ring.
According to new research from a team of scientists at MIT, Cambridge University, and other various institutions, the shape of the early solar system was likely determined a massively powerful magnetic fields, the likes of which has never been seen.
Discovered by Sir William Herschel in March 1781, gas giant Uranus is the penultimate planet of the Solar System and currently well placed for observation in the constellation of Pisces. Despite being four times the diameter of Earth, its immense distance from the Sun (2,870 million kilometres) means that most visual observers consider discerning its tiny 3.7-arcsecond, magnitude +6, blue-green disc in backyard telescopes is achievement enough.
Large enough to swallow three planets the size of the Earth, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is the greatest and most persistent anticyclonic storm in the Solar System, having raged in the planet’s atmosphere for at least 400 years.
One of the biggest challenges to manned space missions is the expense. The NASA rule-of-thumb is that every unit mass of payload launched requires the support of an additional 99 units of mass, with “support” encompassing everything from fuel to oxygen to food and medicine for the astronauts, etc.