Artist’s concept of Lucy Mission. Credit: SwRI In the 1970s four spacecraft began their one-way trips out of our Solar System. As the first human-built objects to ever venture into interstellar space, NASA chose to place plaques on Pioneer 10 and 11 and golden records on Voyager 1 and 2 […]

The SwRI-led Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS) orbiting Jupiter aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft allowed scientists to discover faint aurora features likely triggered by charged particles coming from the edge of Jupiter’s massive magnetosphere. This occurrence, shown in the false color series of images recorded 30 seconds apart (red panels), displays the characteristically […]

ANIMATION Jovian jet streams above the cloud tops measured using the aftermath of comet collision. Working with a team led by French astronomers, Southwest Research Institute scientists helped identify incredibly powerful winds in Jupiter’s middle atmosphere for the first time. The team measured molecules exhumed by the 1994 impact of comet […]

Interior water ocean worlds like Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, are prevalent throughout the universe. New research from Southwest Research Institute suggests that layers of rock and ice may shield life within such oceans, protecting it from impacts, radiation and other hazards and concealing it from detection. Layers of rock and ice […]

An SwRI scientist used a new model to estimate Mars’ bombardment history. This new model indicated that some of the most prominent terrains associated with ancient water activity may be hundreds of millions of years older than previously thought, important data as NASA’s Perseverance rover prepares to land in one […]

SwRI scientists studied the composition of a small shard of a meteoroid to determine that it likely originated from a previously unknown parent asteroid. This false-color micrograph of the meteoroid sample shows the unexpected amphibole crystals identified in orange. Credit: NASA/USRA/Lunar and Planetary Institute Mineralogy points to large, water-rich parent […]

This figure illustrates a cross-section of Enceladus, showing a summary of the processes SwRI scientists modeled in the Saturn moon. Oxidants produced in the surface ice when water molecules are broken apart by radiation can combine with reductants produced by hydrothermal activity and other water-rock reactions, creating an energy source […]