Space Probes

Blogs about space probes: launch and operations.

Underground ice exposed at the steep slope that appears bright blue in this enhanced-color view (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/USGS)

An article published in the journal “Science” describes the discovery of eight areas on the planet Mars where soil erosion revealed the presence of large glaciers. A team of researchers located and studied the areas thanks to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) space probe’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The slopes generated by erosion offer new information on those glaciers’ stratified structure and consequently on the red planet’s climate history.

Simulated perspective view of Occator Crater on Ceres (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

At the annual American Geophysical Union meeting, NASA scientists presented the results of the latest research on bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. In particular, the activity detected over time, especially by NASA’s Dawn space probe with variations in their brightness confirm the possibility that on Ceres there’s still a geological activity that is modifying this dwarf planet’s surface.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot' layers (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI)

Yesterday at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting the new discoveries concerning Jupiter’s Great Red Spot of Jupiter and a new ​​radiation area were announced. The data collected by NASA’s space probe Juno during a flyby on July 11, 2017 allowed to discover something new about that storm bigger than Earth, for example finding an answer to one of the crucial questions about it establishing that it’s about 300 kilometers (200 miles) deep.

Fractures in the Sirenum Fossae (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has released images captured by its Mars Express space probe that show the Mars area called Sirenum Fossae. The High Resolution Camera Stereo Camera (HRSC) camera allowed to take photos of an area whose appearance was determined by an ancient volcanic activity, with the result that a system of tectonic faults called graben in jargon stretched for thousands of kilometers on the red planet’s surface.

RSLs in Tivat Crater on Mars (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/USGS)

An article published in the journal “Nature Geoscience” describes a research in which a team of researchers argues that the signs of liquid water flows found on Mars are actually made up of dry sand. The possible existence of what are technically called RSLs (recurring slope lineae), streaks of sand washed by liquid water, was announced in September 2015 by NASA. A new study of data collected by NASA’s MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) space probe may, however, show a different situation.