NASA’s Perseverance rover investigates geologically rich Mars terrain — ScienceDaily

NASA’s Perseverance rover is well into its second science campaign, collecting rock-core samples from features within an area long considered by scientists to be a top prospect for finding signs of ancient microbial life on Mars. The rover has collected four samples from an ancient river delta in the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater since July … Read more

A ‘grazing encounter’ may have smashed the moon to bits to form Saturn’s rings, a new study suggests — ScienceDaily

Swirling around the planet’s equator, the rings of Saturn are a dead giveaway that the planet is spinning at a tilt. The belted giant rotates at a 26.7-degree angle relative to the plane in which it orbits the sun. Astronomers have long suspected that this tilt comes from gravitational interactions with its neighbor Neptune, as … Read more

Geological discoveries hint at conditions when life arose on Earth — and possibly on Mars — ScienceDaily

The accepted view of Mars is red rocks and craters as far as the eye can see. That’s much what scientists expected when they landed the rover Perseverance in the Jezero Crater, a spot chosen partly for the crater’s history as a lake and as part of a rich river system, back when Mars had … Read more

The moon sustained twice as many impacts as can be seen on its surface, scientists find. — ScienceDaily

Around 4.4 billion years ago, the early solar system resembled a massive game of space rock dodgeball, as asteroids and comets, and, later, smaller rocks and galactic debris pummeled the moon and other infant terrestrial bodies. This period ended around 3.8 billion years ago. On the moon, this tumultuous time left behind a heavily cratered … Read more

Gaia space telescope rocks the science of asteroids — ScienceDaily

The European Gaia space mission has produced an amount of new, improved, and detailed data for almost two billion objects in the Milky Way galaxy and the surrounding cosmos. The Gaia Data Release 3 on Monday revolutionizes our knowledge of the Solar System and the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies. The Gaia space mission … Read more

To find a planet, look for the signatures of planet formation — ScienceDaily

Finding forming planets is a tough but important job for astronomers: Only three planets have ever been discovered in the process of forming, and the most recent of these was found just weeks ago. Evan Rich, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, suggests that instead of looking for individual planets forming, astronomers might … Read more

A team of scientists undertake a comprehensive analysis of samples returned from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 mission and provide invaluable insights into the formation and evolution of our solar system — ScienceDaily

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 mission returned uncontaminated primitive asteroid samples to Earth. A comprehensive analysis of 16 particles from the asteroid Ryugu revealed many insights into the processes that operated before, during and after the formation of the solar system, with some still shaping the surface of the present-day asteroid. Elemental and isotopic … Read more

NASA’s Davinci mission to take the plunge through massive atmosphere of Venus — ScienceDaily

In a recently published paper, NASA scientists and engineers give new details about the agency’s Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission, which will descend through the layered Venus atmosphere to the surface of the planet in mid- 2031. DAVINCI is the first mission to study Venus using both spacecraft … Read more

Gemini north telescope helps explain why Uranus and Neptune are different colors — ScienceDaily

Astronomers may now understand why the similar planets Uranus and Neptune are different colors. Using observations from the Gemini North telescope, the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, and the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have developed a single atmospheric model that matches observations of both planets. The model reveals that excess haze on Uranus builds up in … Read more

The instability at the beginning of the solar system — ScienceDaily

Michigan State University’s Seth Jacobson and colleagues in China and France have unveiled a new theory that could help solve a galactic mystery of how our solar system evolved. Specifically, how did the gas giants — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — end up where they are, orbiting the sun like they do? The research … Read more