NASA’s Juno will perform close flyby of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa

This image of Jupiter’s moon Europa was taken by the JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021, from a distance of about 51,000 miles (82,000 kilometers). Credit: Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS / Image processing by Andrea Luck On Thursday, Sept. 29, at 2:36 am PDT (5:36 am EDT), NASA’s Juno spacecraft will come … Read more

NASA’s Juno probe will peer beneath the icy crust of Europa

On Sept. 29, NASA’s Juno probe will perform the closest flyby of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in over 20 years as the spacecraft embarks on a mission to deep probe into Europa’s ice in search of pockets of liquid water. Europe contains a global ocean beneath a solid crust of ice, making this moon one … Read more

Research team confirms icy conditions existed in South Pole region during Late Cretaceous period

Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32736-9″ width=”800″ height=”529″/> Bedrock map of Northern and Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica, showing the distribution of outcrop and location of the Butcher Ridge Igneous Complex (BRIC) and other localities referred to in the text with demonstrated mid to late-Cretaceous alteration ages. Basemap constructed using Quantarctica v3.2 from the Norwegian Polar Institute … Read more

‘Diamond rain’ on giant icy planets could be more common than previously thought

Studying a material that even more closely resembles the researchers composition of ice giants, found that oxygen boosts the formation of diamond rain. The team also found evidence that, in combination with the diamonds, a recently discovered phase of water, often described as “hot, black ice” could form. Credit: Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory A … Read more

Jupiter’s icy moon Europa to block out star for skywatchers

Later this month, skywatchers in Africa can watch a star blink out of sight thanks to a quirk of celestial arrangements. The European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia, which launched in 2013, has been a powerhouse of observational astronomy, making a wide impact on the way scientists study the sky. From mapping the galaxy in … Read more

What’s the Right Depth to Search for Life on Icy Worlds?

Are we alone? Is there life beyond Earth? These are the questions that plague the very essence of science, and in particular, planetary science. Unfortunately, robotic exploration of exoplanetary systems currently remains out of reach due to the literal astronomical distances to get there. For context, our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.25 light years … Read more