Do You See a Mountain or a Crater in This Picture?

Yesterday, we posted an image taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of an unusual crater formed by a triple-asteroid. We noticed some comments on the article and on social media of people who said, “hey, that looks like a mountain, not a crater!” Thanks to our brains, this is a […]

Amazing Impact Crater Where a Triple Asteroid Smashed into Mars

At first glance, you many not guess that this feature on Mars is an impact crater. The reason it looks so unusual is that it likely is a triple impact crater, formed when three asteroids struck all at once in the Elysium Planitia region. Why do planetary scientists think the three craters did not form […]

Were Lunar Volcanoes Active When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth?

The Moon’s a very dusty museum where the exhibits haven’t changed much over the last 4 billion years. Or so we thought. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has provided researchers strong evidence the Moon’s volcanic activity slowed gradually instead of stopping abruptly a billion years ago. Some volcanic deposits are estimated to be 100 million years […]

Getting to Know Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

We’re finally getting to know the icy nucleus behind comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For all the wonder that comets evoke, we on Earth never see directly what whips up the coma and tail. Even professional telescopes can’t burrow through the dust and vapor cloaking the nucleus to distinguish the clear outline of a comet’s heart. The only way […]

How Humanity’s Next Moon Explorers Could Live In Lunar ‘Pits’

Just look at that new video from NASA showing the first moon landing site in three dimensions. It’s tempting to touch on the surface nearby the Eagle lander there in the center and do some prospecting. You’ll notice a lot of craters in that video, which is based on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data. Across the […]