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Everything You Need to Know About Cassini's Final Enceladus Flyby

An important chapter in our exploration of the solar system concludes tomorrow, when NASA’s Cassini probe makes its final close flyby of Enceladus, an icy moon orbiting Saturn with a global ocean beneath its surface. Cassini has already collected samples to determine if Enceladus’ seawater might be habitable—but we…

We Finally Have the Full Story on Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots

Water ice from a subterranean ocean? Giant salt deposits from an alien mining operation? Since March, dwarf planet Ceres’ bright spots have mystified scientists, dazzled space nerds, and sparked all manner of wild speculation. A study published today in Nature has the answers we’ve been waiting for. Ceres, you are one…

A New Study Challenges Assumptions About the Origins of Earth's Water

Water, water everywhere, but how on Earth did it get here? Many scientists believe that Baby Earth formed dry and was later soaked by an onslaught of extraterrestrial impacts. But a new study challenges that view, arguing that our planet has had water from the start. In fact, we have have inherited it from the tiny…

An Earth-Sized Neighbor May Be the Most Important Exoplanet Yet

Astronomers have discovered a rocky, Earth-sized planet 39 light years from home—right in our cosmic backyard. With a surface temperature of 440 degrees Fahrenheit, GJ 1132b is more of an intergalactic furnace than a vacation prospect. Yet some are hailing it “the most important planet ever found outside our solar…

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