1. Planets

    Pluto’s heart has dunes of methane ice

    Pluto’s heart-shaped plains are striped with sand dunes. The sand is made of methane ice.

  2. Chemistry

    Diamonds and more suggest unusual origins for asteroids

    Inside a meteorite, scientists found sulfur and iron wrapped in tiny diamonds. Those gems hint the rock formed inside a long-lost planet.

  3. Planets

    Uranus has stinky clouds

    Hydrogen sulfide makes Uranus reek of rotten eggs.

  4. Planets

    Asteroids may have delivered water to early Earth

    Scientists shot mineral pellets at a simulated planet. It showed an impact wouldn’t have boiled off all of an asteroid’s water.

  5. Planets

    Flared! How a planetary ‘neighbor’ may have been fried

    Hoping for life on the planet our stellar neighbor Proxima Centauri? Don’t hold your breath. Its star may have sterilized its Earthlike exoplanet.

  6. Planets

    Here’s why Venus is so unwelcoming

    Venus is hard to study. Scientists also find it hard to get money to send spacecraft there. But researchers have ideas about how to tackle both challenges.

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    Preparing for that trip to Mars

    These scientists are working to make a human mission to Mars a reality.

  8. Planets

    Saturn’s rings might be shredded moons

    Final data from the Cassini spacecraft put a mass and a date of birth on the gas giant’s iconic rings.

  9. Earth

    Hot on the trail of Antarctic meteorites

    For intrepid scientists, spotting meteorites against Antarctica’s dazzling whiteness is easy. Then what?

  10. Planets

    Space toilet may teach scientists how to scout for life on distant icy moons

    Lessons learned from flushing space toilets may help plan life-hunting missions on distant icy moons.

  11. Space

    Cassini spacecraft takes its final bow

    Twenty years after it left Earth, NASA’s Cassini mission is about to end — with a crash into Saturn.

  12. Planets

    Early Earth may have been a hot doughnut

    Synestia is the name some scientists are giving to the smooshed shape Earth might have developed after undergoing a violent cosmic smashup early in its infancy.