On Earth snow condenses at altitude because air dilates during ascending movements, and thus cools (at the rate of 1°C approximately every 100 m). On Pluto, methane ice forms on the peaks of mountains when they are high enough to reach upper atmospheric levels, which are hotter and rich in […]

ANIMATION Astronomers confirm bound orbit for planet far from its star, showing that far-flung planets exist. Astronomers are still searching for a hypothetical “Planet Nine” in the distant reaches of our solar system, but an exoplanet 336 light years from Earth is looking more and more like the Planet Nine of its […]

This image shows the disc around the young star AB Aurigae in polarized near-infrared light as seen with the European Very Large Telescope’s SPHERE instrument. Measurements of the molecular components of the disk at millimeter wavelengths reveal several unexpected properties including a warmer temperature, more dust, and a deficiency of […]

Artist’s composition of the two brown dwarfs, in the foreground Oph 98B in purple, in the background Oph 98A in red. Oph 98A is the more massive and therefore more luminous and hotter of the two. The two objects are surrounded by the molecular cloud in which they were formed. […]

Researcher Rachel Slank works with the university’s Mars chamber. Credit: Whit Pruitt, University of Arkansas Researchers considered more variables and took global weather patterns into account to create maps of where water might be found. Water on Mars, in the form of brines, may not be as widespread as previously thought, […]

This Hubble Space Telescope snapshot of the dynamic blue-green planet Neptune reveals a monstrous dark storm (top center) and the emergence of a smaller dark spot nearby (top right). The giant vortex, which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean, was traveling south toward certain doom by atmospheric forces at the […]

In this artistic rendering of the Tau Boötes b system, the lines representing the invisible magnetic field are shown protecting the hot Jupiter planet from solar wind. Credit: Jack Madden/Cornell University By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, an international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating […]

Mars’s crust is thin, which suggests the planet once cooled itself through a kind of plate tectonics. NASA/JPL-CALTECH Two years ago, NASA’s InSight spacecraft alighted on the surface of Mars, aiming to glean clues to the planet’s interior from the shaking of distant earthquakes and deep heat leaking from its […]