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Tracking volcanos on Jupiter’s moon Io

Scientists used earthly telescopes to track hot spots on Io over a period of years and saw that it remains the most volcanically active world in our solar system.

The six most distant known objects in the solar system with orbits exclusively beyond Neptune (magenta) all mysteriously line up in a single direction. Also, when viewed in three dimensions, they tilt nearly identically away from the plane of the solar system. Batygin and Brown show that a planet with 10 times the mass of the earth in a distant eccentric orbit anti-aligned with the other six objects (orange) is required to maintain this configuration. This diagram was created using WorldWide Telescope. (Credit: R. Hurt / IPAC / Caltech)

More evidence for a 9th planet

Is a hypothetical large planet – far beyond Neptune – causing a tilt in the sun? Plus, evidence for a 9th planet based on “extreme Kuiper Belt objects.”


ESA’s Mars craft landed, but not softly

“We have data coming back that allow us to fully understand the steps that did occur, and why the soft landing did not occur.” Meanwhile, the orbiter is A-OK.


What did dinosaurs sound like?

The discovery of the fossil vocal organ of an ancient Antarctic bird suggests that dinosaurs couldn’t sing, but maybe honked.


Animation: Schiaparelli’s descent to Mars

Computer-generated animation of the descent of the Schiaparelli lander to the surface of Mars. Real one will happen this Wednesday, October 19.


Is asteroid 2016 HO3 a second moon?

No, it orbits the sun. But its orbit keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it’ll remain so for centuries to come.


Do you have a 2nd brain … in your gut?

We’re controlled by more than just our thoughts. New video from AsapSCIENCE


Huge gas cloud headed for Milky Way

In about 30 million years, a massive cloud of gas – called Smith’s Cloud – will collide with the Milky Way.


Our future doesn’t have to be dismal

Scientists analyzed sustainability projects around the world and identified overarching trends that can potentially help create a more sustainable future.

Giacobini-Zinner, parent comet of Draconids, via NASA

All you need to know: Draconids in 2016

The Draconids are best seen in the evening hours. In 2016, a wide waxing crescent moon will somewhat interfere, but still … give it a try!

It’s small, it’s hot, and it’s shrinking. Surprising new NASA-funded research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet. Image via NASA/JHUAPL/Carnegie Institution of Washington/USGS/Arizona State University

Mercury is tectonically active

New findings suggest Mercury is contracting and experiences ongoing “mercuryquakes.”


Are we in a sixth mass extinction?

This short video puts modern extinctions in context by comparing them with Earth’s 5 previous mass extinctions.

Image via NASA

Possible water plumes spotted on Europa

Water plumes erupting on Jupiter’s moon Europa might make it easier to investigate whether life exists in the warm ocean believed to be deep beneath its icy surface.


New theory on why time advances

Why does time flow inexorably toward the future? A Berkeley physicist proposes that time is expanding because space is expanding.

This view shows Saturn's northern hemisphere in 2016, as that part of the planet nears its northern hemisphere summer solstice in May 2017. Saturn's year is nearly 30 Earth years long, and during its long time there, Cassini has observed winter and spring in the north, and summer and fall in the south. The spacecraft will complete its mission just after northern summer solstice, having observed long-term changes in the planet's winds, temperatures, clouds and chemistry. Image via NASA JPL.

Cassini begins epic final year at Saturn

The spacecraft will plunge repeatedly between Saturn and its rings, and finally execute a headlong plummet into the body of Saturn itself.

A polar bear tests the strength of thin sea ice. Image via Mario Hoppmann/imaggeo.egu.eu

Melting sea ice leaves polar bears hungry

“Sea ice really is their platform for life. They are capable of existing on land for part of the year, but the sea ice is where they obtain their main prey.”


What if all of Earth’s ice melted?

What would Earth be like if all of its ice melted? New short video from the guys at AsapSCIENCE, featuring Bill Nye.

The image shows an area nicknamed the "Xanadu annex" by members of the Cassini radar team, earlier in the mission. Image via NASA/ JPL.

Glorious new images show Titan’s dunes

Cassini spacecraft will begin its grand finale at Saturn in 2017. This was one of Cassini’s last close flybys of Saturn’s large moon, Titan.


Brown dwarfs hiding in plain sight

Brown dwarfs are like stars, but too small to ignite fusion in their cores and so shine as stars do. If you saw one, it wouldn’t be brown. It’d be magenta.

NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this view as it closed in on Jupiter's north pole, about two hours before closest approach on August, 27, 2016. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Listen to Jupiter’s auroras

Plus more cool stuff from the Juno spacecraft’s August 27 closest-yet flyby of Jupiter.