Planetary Systems Laboratory (693) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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Blue Skies and Water Ice on Pluto

New Horizons found that soot-like particles give Pluto’s atmosphere a striking blue tint, and regions with exposed water ice were detected by the Ralph instrument’s spectral composition mapper, LEISA.

Explore@NASAGoddard 2015 Concludes

Gates opened to the public Sept. 26, 2015, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the first time in four years in celebration of Hubble's 25th anniversary.

Open House Sneak Peek: Explore Goddard’s Latest Science

Since it last opened its gates to the public in 2011, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has seen rapid growth and discovery in its four science disciplines...

The Fact and Fiction of Martian Dust Storms

Goddard scientists discuss the reality of dust storms on Mars, which sometimes kick up enough dust to be seen by telescopes on Earth.

NASA Goddard Opens Doors to Public to Explore@NASA Goddard, Free Event

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is opening its doors for the first time in four years to give the public a chance to explore what happens behind the gates of the campus.

Underground Magma Ocean Could Explain Io's 'Misplaced' Volcanoes

Tides flowing in a subsurface magma ocean may explain why volcanoes on Io are in the "wrong" place. Such oceans may be more common on tidally stressed moons and last longer than expected.

Goddard Involved in New Horizons from Start

Goddard staff developed the LEISA component of the Ralph instrument on New Horizons, and played other key roles throughout the extended process of conceptualizing, developing and testing the mission.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: A Swirling Mystery

Jupiter's Great Red Spot has been swirling wildly for the past 150 years — and maybe much longer — yet we still don't know exactly why it's red. Goddard scientists are finding answers.

Lunar IceCube to Take on Big Mission From Small Package

Goddard is part of the team developing a shoebox-sized mission called Lunar IceCube to search for water ice and other resources from above the surface of the moon.

NASA's Three-Billion-Mile Journey to Pluto Reaches Historic Encounter

After a decade-long journey, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto - passing about 7,750 miles above the surface - making it the first mission to explore a world so far from Earth.

Pluto and Charon Shine in Enhanced Color

In these New Horizons images of Pluto and Charon, the color data (from the Ralph camera) provides information about the composition of ices, surface changes, and the ages of geological features.

Science Jamboree Attracts Interns, Scientists from Across Goddard

From cryogenically frozen marshmallows and pennies to 3D printed supernova, Tuesday’s Science Jamboree filled the atrium in Building 28 with science displays and demonstrations.

Pluto and Charon: New Horizons’ Dynamic Duo

New Horizons was about 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Pluto and Charon when it snapped this portrait late on July 8, 2015. The color information comes from the Ralph instrument.

Second Instrument Delivered for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission

The OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer, which will explore the surface of the primitive asteroid Bennu in search of water and organic materials, has arrived at Lockheed Martin.

A “Heart” from Pluto as New Horizons Flyby Begins

This unique view of Pluto was taken on July 7, when New Horizons was just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto. The color information comes from the Ralph instrument.

New Horizons Map of Pluto

This map was created from images taken by LORRI, with color data from the Ralph instrument. The center of the map corresponds to the side of Pluto that will be seen up close during the flyby.

Team Prepares for Next Step in NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission

With launch only 15 months away, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team is preparing to deliver instruments for integration with the spacecraft that will travel to, and collect a sample from, an asteroid.

NASA’s Hubble Telescope Detects ‘Sunscreen’ Layer on Distant Planet

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth’s atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.

NASA GISS to Help Lead Search For Habitable Exoplanets

NASA announced the creation of the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science network that will study planets beyond our solar system for habitability, tapping the expertise of researchers at GISS and GSFC.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Passes Critical Milestone

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to retrieve a sample from an asteroid has passed the critical milestone that represents the transition from development to delivery of systems, testing and integration.

OSIRIS-REx Mission Successfully Completes System Integration Review

With the successful completion of the System Integration Review, the project can proceed with assembling and testing the spacecraft in preparation for launch in September 2016.

The Long, Strange Trip of Asteroid Bennu

A new animation from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center depicts what is known and what remains mysterious about the early solar system and asteroid Bennu, the target for the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Here’s Looking at You: Spooky Shadow Gives Jupiter a Giant Eye

In this view, the shadow of the Jovian moon Ganymede swept across the center of the Great Red Spot. This gave Jupiter the uncanny appearance of having a pupil in the center of an "eye"

NASA Identifies Ice Cloud Above Cruising Altitude on Titan

NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.

NASA-led Study Sees Titan Glowing at Dusk and Dawn

New maps of Saturn’s moon Titan reveal large patches of two trace gases shining brightly near the north pole, on the dusk side of the moon, and near the south pole, on the dawn side.
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