Planets

The research vessel Ocean Zephyr lays off Victoria, the Seychelles, on Friday March 1, 2019, where it will spend several days loading and testing equipment ahead of a weeks-long expedition to explore the depths of the Indian Ocean. The Ocean Zephyr is the mothership of the British-based Nekton Mission for scientists to document the impact of global warming in the unexplored frontier of the Indian Ocean that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. (AP Photo/Steve Barker)
March 01, 2019 - 10:49 am
VICTORIA, Seychelles (AP) — The science vessel of British-based Nekton Mission arrived in the Seychelles on Friday to begin the first stage of a multi-year mission to explore the depths of the Indian Ocean and document the effects of global warming on one of the planet's last major unexplored...
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This annotated image made available by researcher Mark R. Showalter in February 2019 shows the planet Neptune and its moons, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004. The recently discovered moon, Hippocamp, is indicated by a red box and an enlarged version is inset at upper right. (Mark R. Showalter via AP)
February 20, 2019 - 1:15 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Neptune's newest and tiniest moon is probably an ancient fragment of a much larger moon orbiting unusually close. In the journal Nature on Wednesday, California astronomers shine a light on the 21-mile-wide (34-kilometer-wide) moon Hippocamp, named after the mythological...
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FILE - In this March 26, 2015 file photo, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, right, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, stands behind glass in a quarantine room, behind his brother, Mark Kelly, also an astronaut, after a news conference in the Russian-leased Baikonur, Kazakhstan cosmodrome. Nearly a year in space put Scott Kelly's immune system on high alert and changed the activity of some of his genes compared to his Earth-bound identical twin, according to a report released on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
February 15, 2019 - 2:10 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly a year in space put astronaut Scott Kelly's immune system on high alert and changed the activity of some of his genes compared to his Earth-bound identical twin, researchers said Friday. Scientists don't know if the changes were good or bad but results from a unique NASA...
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FILE - This illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars. The exploratory vehicle landed on Jan. 24, 2004, and logged more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) before falling silent during a global dust storm in June 2018. There was so much dust in the Martian atmosphere that sunlight could not reach Opportunity's solar panels for power generation. (NASA via AP)
February 13, 2019 - 4:42 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's Opportunity, the Mars rover that was built to operate for just three months but kept going and going, rolling across the rocky red soil, was pronounced dead Wednesday, 15 years after it landed on the planet. The six-wheeled vehicle that helped gather critical...
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FILE - This illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars. The exploratory vehicle landed on Jan. 24, 2004, and logged more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) before falling silent during a global dust storm in June 2018. There was so much dust in the Martian atmosphere that sunlight could not reach Opportunity's solar panels for power generation. (NASA via AP)
February 12, 2019 - 4:59 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is trying one last time to contact its record-setting Mars rover Opportunity, before calling it quits. The rover has been silent for eight months, victim of one of the most intense dust storms in decades. Thick dust darkened the sky last summer and, for months,...
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FILE - This illustration made available by NASA on March 29, 2018 shows the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft flying over Mars with Earth and the sun in the distance. As of Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, NASA hasn’t heard from the briefcase-size spacecraft for more than a month - and doubts it ever will. The twin satellites shadowed NASA’s InSight lander to Mars in 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)
February 06, 2019 - 1:54 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Two tiny satellites have fallen silent hundreds of millions of miles away, after proving new technology at Mars. The twin CubeSats, nicknamed WALL-E and EVE, shadowed NASA's InSight lander to Mars last year. As the lander descended to the Martian surface in November, the...
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In this photo provided Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.(China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
January 03, 2019 - 7:27 pm
BEIJING (AP) — China's burgeoning space program achieved a lunar milestone on Thursday: landing a probe on the mysterious and misnamed "dark" side of the moon. Exploring the cosmos from that far side of the moon, which people can't see from Earth, could eventually help scientists learn more about...
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This photo provided by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shows the new Mars lander placing a quake monitor on the planet’s dusty red surface. The unprecedented milestone occurred less than a month after Mars InSight’s touchdown. InSight’s robotic arm removed the seismometer from the spacecraft deck and set it directly on the ground Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 to monitor Mars quakes.(NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory via AP)
December 20, 2018 - 2:25 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new Mars lander has placed a quake monitor on the planet's dusty red surface, just a few weeks after its arrival. Mars InSight 's robotic arm removed the seismometer from the spacecraft deck and set it on the ground Wednesday to monitor Mars quakes. Project...
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FILE - This Dec. 24, 1968, file photo made available by NASA shows the Earth behind the surface of the moon during the Apollo 8 mission. (William Anders/NASA via AP, File)
December 18, 2018 - 12:35 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve, a tumultuous year of assassinations, riots and war drew to a close in heroic and hopeful fashion with the three Apollo 8 astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis on live TV as they orbited the moon. To this day, that 1968 mission is...
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This image provided by the Carnegie Institution for Science shows an artist's concept of a dwarf planet that astronomers say is the farthest known object in our solar system, which they have nicknamed "Farout." The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center announced the discovery of the pink cosmic body Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science via AP)
December 17, 2018 - 4:20 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have spotted the farthest known object in our solar system — and they've nicknamed the pink cosmic body "Farout." The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center announced the discovery Monday. "Farout" is about 120 astronomical units away — that's...
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