News

Dawn sees Ceres’ salty spot

24 March 2016 Keith Cooper

The Dawn spacecraft has finally been able to get a good look at the famous bright spot on the surface of Ceres, with NASA releasing new images at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas.

Top Stories 2015

No. 1 New Horizons at Pluto

3 January 2016 Keith Cooper

The long-awaited fly-by of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft, on 14 July 2015, was an event 85 years in the making, following Pluto’s discovery by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Since then, Pluto has gone from planet to dwarf planet, but despite protestations from the New Horizons team, its reclassification never really changed the mission or the importance of what it would find at Pluto.

Top Stories 2015

No. 2 Water on Mars

3 January 2016 Keith Cooper

Liquid water existing on the surface of Mars, in the here and now, has been the holy grail of Martian exploration for some time, but in October 2015 NASA announced that the orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) had turned water-diviner to find compelling evidence that water is bursting out onto the red surface and trickling down the slopes of crater walls and hillsides.

Top Stories 2015

No. 3 Dark matter is ‘sticky’

3 January 2016 Keith Cooper

For years, dark matter seemed to do nothing. It had mass and therefore could influence space gravitationally, but there was no evidence of it interacting with anything else in the Universe in any other way, which made it incredibly frustrating to study. Then, in 2015, a breakthrough occurred.

Top Stories 2015

No. 4 A planet like Earth?

2 January 2016 Keith Cooper

There was great media excitement in July when it was announced that the Kepler Space Telescope had discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, but appearances can be deceiving.

Top Stories 2015

No. 5 The great galaxy shutdown

2 January 2016 Keith Cooper

Stars are not forming in the same great numbers that they did billions of years ago and several advances in 2015 have shed light on why this downturn took place.

Top Stories 2015

No. 6 Our first up close look at Ceres

2 January 2016 Keith Cooper

In spring 2015 NASA’s Dawn mission, coming off the back of exploring the asteroid Vesta, entered into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres and immediately found a puzzle for the space probe to unpick.