More than a thousand years before the first telescopes, Babylonian astronomers tracked the motion of planets across the night sky using simple arithmetic. But a newly translated text reveals that these ancient stargazers also used a far more advanced method, one that foreshadows the development of calculus over a…
Are you awake before dawn? Good. Go outside. Look east. Bask in the astronomical wonder of seeing all the brightest planets out at the same time, pinpricks of worlds drifting up from the horizon. Missed it? Try again any morning for the next month.
Jupiter, that blustery ball of noxious gas, is probably the last place that comes to mind when you hear the words “life supporting.” But for twenty years, astronomers have suspected Jupiter of doing just that: supporting life on Earth, by shielding us from destructive comets. Now, one scientist is saying that’s dead…
Our biggest planet in the solar system is also one of the best: it’s got crazy weather systems, it’s probably saved Earth from enormous impacts, and it’s got hundreds of moons orbiting it. The Atlantic goes over all the ways Jupiter is their favorite planet.
Using data acquired by the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists at NASA have updated their maps of Jupiter. The new images—shown in 4K ultra high definition—reveal changes to the Great Red Spot and rare waves not seen since the Voyager 2 mission.
Saturn’s satellite Dione is less than half the size of our moon, and it orbits a planet which features a radius nine times that of Earth. It’s a stark contrast in size that’s beautifully conveyed in a picture recently captured by the Cassini space probe.
Astronaut Scott Kelly has been providing us some spectacular images during his time in orbit, but this shot might be one of the coolest ones thus far: Venus, Earth, Jupiter and the Moon, all in the frame.
Space is really, really big, and there’s been a couple of great videos out there that show off the relative size of objects. This video puts the scale of the solar system into real perspective by showing how it takes you pass through the solar system at the speed of light.
In preparation for Juno’s approach on Jupiter in 2016, NASA’s InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) took infrared images of Jupiter on May 16, 2015. Doing this now will give context for what Juno’s instruments will get when it gets up close and personal to the gas giant.
In the last week, Venus and Jupiter were at their conjunction, and photographer Adam Tomaszewski took this fantastic picture of the pair. Look closely, and you can see Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto orbiting Jupiter.
A mission to study Europa in detail has cleared its first major review, and will soon be in planning stages. If all goes well, we’ll be headed to the Jovian moon in the 2020s, where we’ll gain new insights into active planetary bodies.
Last week, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft ended its 11-year mission by crashing into Mercury. Of course, Messenger was doomed anyway, but sometimes a mission’s entire point is to smash one thing into a bigger thing and watch the explosion.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that our Solar System — with its inner collection of small rocky planets and an outer region buffeted by gas planets — is quite uncommon. According to a remarkable new study, the reason may have to do with Jupiter and an ancient migratory journey that kickstarted the destruction of…
By studying the subtle shifts of aurorae on Ganymede, scientists working with the Hubble Space Telescope have concluded that Jupiter's largest moon hosts a massive subterranean ocean. Quite suddenly, the outer reaches of our solar system appear to be a very wet place, indeed.
Normally, images as detailed as this infrared shot of Jupiter can only be captured by space-based telescopes or planetary probes. But this picture, taken with a special camera on the Subaru Telescope, was captured from our planet's surface.
NASA's 2016 budget was approved by President Obama last week, and it contained some exciting goals: "A robust planetary science program includes data analysis of ongoing missions, and development of the next Mars rover. NASA will also continue formulating a mission to Europa, Jupiter's icy moon that, data suggests,…
Jupiter's icy moon Europa is perhaps the most tantalizing destination in our solar system. Scientists have been trying for years to kickstart a mission to Jupiter's most enigmatic moon, with very Earth-like concerns over costs keeping missions grounded until now.
Earlier this month, astronomers surveying Jupiter's moon Io received an early Christmas surprise when another Jovian moon, Europa, unexpectedly passed in front of it.
Europa, Jupiter's sixth-closest moon, has long been a source of fascination and wonder for astronomers. Not only is it unique amongst its Jovian peers for having a smooth, ice-covered surface, but it is believed that warm, ocean waters exist beneath that crust – which also makes it a strong candidate for …
Hubble was monitoring changes in Jupiter's Great Red Spot, when it captured this uncanny image of a dark circle moving across the face of the storm.