Outer Planets

Pluto’s “Heart” May Be Proof Of An Ocean Below

Pluto’s “Heart” May Be Proof Of An Ocean Below

When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sailed past Pluto on July 14th, 2015, it gathered a treasure trove of information regarding what used to be the 9th planet. Among the most intriguing was an odd “heart shaped” feature on Pluto’s surface which is clearly of more recent origin than what surrounds it. Now, a new study […]

Posted in: NASA, Outer Planets
Newly Discovered Deep Space Object Builds the Case for Planet 9

Newly Discovered Deep Space Object Builds the Case for Planet 9

  One ongoing subject of fascination at InnerSpace is the cascade of discoveries of new objects at the extreme reaches of the solar system. Although all are incredibly distant, and may strike many as cold, dim, dirty balls of ice and rock, the fact that we still don’t know what all is out there is […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
Another Day, Another Water World in Our Own Solar System

Another Day, Another Water World in Our Own Solar System

The solar system just keeps getting wetter and wetter. According to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, Enceladus is not the only Saturnian moon harboring a global ocean beneath its frozen surface. Based on new modeling, Dione, the fourth largest moon in the system, can now be called a water world as well. […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
NASA: Ocean World Europa Is Almost Certainly Venting Water Plumes into Space

NASA: Ocean World Europa Is Almost Certainly Venting Water Plumes into Space

NASA today announced further evidence supporting the existence of plumes erupting from the global salt water ocean which is believed to exist on Jupiter’s moon Europa. The discovery is based on a series of observations in the extreme ultra-violet end of the visible light spectrum as Europa passed in front of Jupiter during its the […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
Io’s Where to Go When the Volcano Blows

Io’s Where to Go When the Volcano Blows

While NASA’s Juno spacecraft is just getting settled in for its stay in orbit around the solar system’s largest planet, a new study based on information from ground based instruments sheds light on how Jupiter’s gravity and shadow affect one of its moons. Perhaps one of the most tortured bodies in the solar system, Io’s […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
Juno Arrives at Jupiter, NASA Extends A Host of Other Missions As Well

Juno Arrives at Jupiter, NASA Extends A Host of Other Missions As Well

It is in many ways high summer for NASA’s fleet of robotic spacecraft deployed throughout the solar system. On Monday evening, as the fireworks were lighting up the night sky across much of the United States, the space agency’s latest probe, Juno, arrived in orbit around Jupiter. Coming nearly five years after it launched from […]

Posted in: NASA, Outer Planets
NASA Triple Header: Juno, Jupiter and the 4th of July

NASA Triple Header: Juno, Jupiter and the 4th of July

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has entered Jupiter’s magnetic field on its way to a July 4th orbital insertion around the solar system’s largest planet. The Juno spacecraft, which launched on August 5th, 2011 will spend 20 months looking deep into the gas giant’s atmosphere, hopefully yielding a treasure trove of information regarding its origins, and inner […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
Now Even Pluto May Be Harboring A Subsurface Ocean

Now Even Pluto May Be Harboring A Subsurface Ocean

A new study of Pluto’s massive chasms strongly suggests that the former planet is concealing a liquid water ocean beneath its bizarre and wildly varying surface. From the abstract in Geophysical Research Letters: The New Horizons spacecraft has found evidence for geologic activity on the surface of Pluto, including extensional tectonic deformation of its water […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
Hubble Astronomers Discover a Moon Around Dwarf Planet Makemake

Hubble Astronomers Discover a Moon Around Dwarf Planet Makemake

Here is yet another entry in the “look how fascinating our solar system is” column, courtesy of NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. From NASA.gov: Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake Peering to the outskirts of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, the second […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
9 Discoveries About Pluto’s System Revealed in New Horizons Papers

9 Discoveries About Pluto’s System Revealed in New Horizons Papers

It will still be quite some time before scientists receive all the 50 gigabits of data gathered by the New Horizons probe as it sped past Pluto’s system last July, but the first comprehensive set of papers to be published from the history making mission have come out in the journal Science. According to New Horizons […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
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