Solar System Exploration Stories


Image of Mars was taken by Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity

Sols 4159-4160: A Fully Loaded First Sol

3 min read

Earth planning date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Curiosity continues to make progress along the margin of upper Gediz Vallis ridge, investigating the broken bedrock in our workspace and acquiring images of the ridge deposit as the rover drives south. Today’s…

Article17 hours ago

NASA’s Juno Gives Aerial Views of Mountain, Lava Lake on Io

6 min read

Imagery from the solar-powered spacecraft provides close-ups of intriguing features on the hellish Jovian moon. Scientists on NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter have transformed data collected during two recent flybys of Io into animations that highlight two of the Jovian…

Article20 hours ago
This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of the barred spiral galaxy UGC 12158. The majestic galaxy has a pinwheel shape made up of bright blue stars wound around a yellow-white hub of central stars. The hub has a slash of stars across it, called a bar. The galaxy is tilted face-on to our view from Earth. A slightly s-shaped white line across the top is a Hubble image is of an asteroid streaking across Hubble's view. It looks dashed because the image is a combination of several exposures of the asteroid flying by like a race car.

Hubble Goes Hunting for Small Main Belt Asteroids

5 min read

Like boulders, rocks, and pebbles scattered across a landscape, asteroids come in a wide range of sizes. Cataloging asteroids in space is tricky because they are faint and they don’t stop to be photographed as they zip along their orbits…

Article23 hours ago

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Team Says Goodbye … for Now

6 min read

The final downlink shift by the Ingenuity team was a time to reflect on a highly successful mission — and to prepare the first aircraft on another world for its new role. Engineers working on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter assembled…

Article2 days ago
The partially illuminated core is visible in this image of Perseverance’s coring bit. The diameter of the core is 1.3 cm.

Comet Geyser: Perseverance’s 21st Rock Core

3 min read

After investigating the high-standing bedrock at the Bunsen Peak workspace deep within the Margin Unit, the unique nature and composition of this rock was deemed worthy for collection of Perseverance’s 21th rock core sample, Comet Geyser! Bunsen Peak is named…

Article3 days ago
Artist’s concept of Dragonfly soaring over the dunes of Saturn’s moon Titan.

NASA’s Dragonfly Rotorcraft Mission to Saturn’s Moon Titan Confirmed

3 min read

NASA has confirmed its Dragonfly rotorcraft mission to Saturn’s organic-rich moon Titan. The decision allows the mission to progress to completion of final design, followed by the construction and testing of the entire spacecraft and science instruments. “Dragonfly is a…

Article3 days ago
The left image shows thin swirls of bright golden material flowing off the Sun's surface. The outline of a white box is over a speckled area of the surface, in gray and bright gold. On the right, is that area in different wavelengths. The image is purple, black, red, orange, and right yellow. In the highlighted area, the speckles are a very bright yellow with some cooler purple areas.

NASA Observations Find What Helps Heat Roots of ‘Moss’ on Sun

3 min read

Did you know the Sun has moss? Due to its resemblance to the earthly plants, scientists have named a small-scale, bright, patchy structure made of plasma in the solar atmosphere “moss.” This moss, which was first identified in 1999 by…

Article3 days ago

NASA Goddard to Build Quake Detector for Artemis III Moon Landing

4 min read

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will build a moonquake detector for astronauts to deploy on the Moon in 2026 during the Artemis III mission, which will return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in…

Article3 days ago
The main phases of the Moon are illustrated in a horizontal row, with the third quarter moon on April 1st, new moon on April 8th, first quarter on April 15th, and full moon on April 23rd.

The next full Moon is the Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Fish Moon, the Pesach or Passover Moon

19 min read

The next full Moon will be Tuesday evening, April 23, 2024, The Moon will appear full for about 3 days around this time, from Monday morning to Thursday morning. 

Article4 days ago
Mars image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity

Sols 4157-4158: What is That??

3 min read

Earth planning date: Monday, April 15, 2024 On most sols of planning, the science team does their best to balance collecting new observations of the “typical”  with the “unusual.” The dividing line between those is subjective, but informed by the…

Article4 days ago