Solar System Exploration
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By the Numbers
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New Horizons continues to shed light on the mysterious planets and smaller bodies of the outer solar system.
New Horizons Team Discusses Discoveries from the Kuiper Belt
Research reveals a new explanation for how the icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa rotates at a different rate than its interior.
Ocean Currents May Affect Rotation of Europa's Icy Crust
NASA-funded scientists have discovered shaded locations within pits on the Moon that always hover around a comfortable 63 F.
NASA's LRO Finds Lunar Pits Harbor Comfortable Temperatures
Neptune and Uranus have much in common yet their appearances are notably different. Astronomers now have an explanation for why the two planets are different colors.
Why Uranus and Neptune Are Different Colors
The average global temperature on Neptune unexpectedly fluctuated during a recent 17-year period, according to a new study.
New Study Finds Unexpected Temperature Changes on Neptune
Finding plumes at Europa is an exciting prospect, but scientists warn it’ll be tricky, even from up close.
Are Water Plumes Spraying from Europa? NASA's Europa Clipper is on the Case
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has completed this year's grand tour of the outer solar system.
Hubble's Grand Tour of the Outer Solar System
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson laid out the path forward for early Artemis missions that will pave the way for lunar surface missions.
NASA Outlines Challenges, Progress for Artemis Moon Missions
A study shows how the chemicals in an exoplanet’s atmosphere can reveal whether the temperature on its surface is too hot for liquid water.
How to Find Hidden Oceans on Distant Worlds? Use Chemistry
JPL's lucky peanuts are an unofficial tradition at big mission events.
What Are JPL's Lucky Peanuts?
In 2023, NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will land near the western edge of the Nobile Crater at the Moon’s South Pole.
NASA's Artemis Rover to Land Near Nobile Region of Moon's South Pole
The rover will be delivered to the Moon's surface in late 2023. VIPER is the first resource-mapping mission on the surface of another celestial body.
NASA to Announce Landing Site for Artemis Lunar Robotic Rover
The Next Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, the Fruit Moon, the Barley Moon, and the Corn Moon.
September 2021: The Next Full Moon is the Harvest Moon; the Fruit or Barley Moon
The shadows cast by the roughness of the Moon’s surface create small cold spots for water ice to accumulate even during the harsh lunar daytime.
NASA Study Highlights Importance of Surface Shadows in Moon Water Puzzle
For the first time, astronomers have uncovered evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Ganymede.
Hubble Finds First Evidence of Water Vapor at Jupiter's Moon Ganymede
NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed investigations of Jupiter's moon Europa.
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Europa Clipper Mission
A technique for scanning Mars rocks for microscopic fossils is also being developed to hunt for microbes on Enceladus, Titan, and Europa.
Probing for Life in the Icy Crusts of Ocean Worlds
A proposed mission called Io Volcano Observer (IVO) would visit Jupiter’s moon Io, which is a true volcanic wonderland.
Io Volcano Observer: Following the Heat and Hunting Clues to Planet Evolution
Phobos orbits through a stream of charged atoms and molecules that flow off the atmosphere of Mars, new research shows.
Could Phobos Help Reveal Secrets of the Martian Past?
Astronomers using Hubble watched a mysterious dark vortex on Neptune abruptly steer away from a likely death on the giant blue planet.
Dark Storm on Neptune Reverses Direction
NASA’s VIPER will be the first off-world rover to have its brains split in two as it explores the Moon’s surface in search of water ice.
VIPER's Many Brains are Better than One
For Artemis astronauts traveling to the Moon, two space weather instrument suites, NASA’s HERMES and ESA’s ERSA, will provide an early forecast.
Lunar Gateway Instruments to Improve Forecasting for Artemis Astronauts
Plumes of water vapor that may be venting into space from Jupiter's moon Europa could come from within the icy crust itself, according to new research.
Potential Plumes on Europa Could Come From Water in the Crust
New experiments re-create the environment of Europa and find that the icy moon shines, even on its nightside. The effect is more than just a cool visual.
Europa Glows: Radiation Does a Bright Number on Jupiter's Moon