At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland, A research was presented about Phobos, a moon of Mars. Terry Hurford of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center led a team of scientists who analyzed the grooves on Phobos surface. The conclusion is that these are the first signs of structural failure that will lead to the destruction of this moon.
In recent days, the Cassini spacecraft made one of the closesest flybys with Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, passing at a distance of about 1,840 kilometers (almost 1,140 miles) from its surface. The first pictures received at the mission control center show that Enceladus north pole has many fractures in the ice crust that covers this moon but there are also thin cracks running through it and many craters around it.
If the images of the dwarf planet Pluto published by NASA in recent months haven’t been enough for you, now high-resolution photos of Charon, its largest moon, have been released. The first images arrived soon after the New Horizons space probe’s July 14, 2015 flyby had already shown a moon with a complex geology. These new images show even better the deep chasms that ply its equator and the curious color of its north pole.
An article just published in the journal “Icarus” describes a research that used data collected by the Cassini space probe to determine that Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, has a global underground ocean. That there was an ocean beneath the icy surface of Enceladus was a well-established fact from previous research but it remained to be seen whether the water was liquid all over beneath the surface or only in some warm enough areas.
An article published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters” describes a research on the implications of multiple asteroid impacts on the Moon some four billion years ago. Using data collected by NASA’s GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) twin space probes, a team of scientists led by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) discovered a significant porosity in the lunar surface and a network of large seams below it.