Charon Serenity crop_FEA

Ice Makes Pluto’s Moon Charon Split A Gut

For the same reason a glass bottle filled with water shatters when left to freeze, ice may have split Pluto’s moon Charon wide open. Ice expands when it freezes. This simple fact of physics has wide-ranging consequences from busting your water pipes during a cold spell to spalling rocks and shifting home foundations during freeze-thaw cycles. Images…
Read More

67P Jan18_2015 Damian Peach FEA

Rosetta’s Comet Flies By The Galaxies / Moon Buzzes Jupiter

I miss you guys. I’ve been in a white heat the past couple weeks finishing writing a book about the stars with little time to devote to much else. But this beautiful photo taken by Damian Peach of Rosetta’s Comet deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The photo shows the comet against a fantastic…
Read More

Breathtaking photo of the crescent Pluto surrounded by a hazy atmosphere taken by New Horizons This image was made just 15 minutes after New Horizons' closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, as the spacecraft looked back at Pluto toward the sun. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Pluto Pandemonium: Ice Volcanoes, Tumbling Moons And Busy Geology

Pluto never stops amazing. Scientists have now tentatively identified two huge cryovolcanoes — ice volcanoes that erupt with a melted slurry of materials such as water ice, nitrogen, ammonia, or methane — on the dwarf planet. “These are big mountains with a large hole in their summit, and on Earth that generally means one thing – a volcano,” said Oliver White,…
Read More

Ice lake May 23 featured

Astronaut Photographs Lingering Ice On Lake Superior

I’d forgotten all about the ice, but space station astronaut Terry Virts reminded me it was still there – on May 23 – hiding out on Lake Superior north of Batchawana Bay in western Ontario. His eye was taken by the artful patterns created by the remains of a once-massive ice sheet that covered nearly 95%…
Read More

Ceres Bright Spots May Be Ice; Dawn Slips Into Orbit Friday

Ceres mysterious bright spots = icy volcanoes? Probably not, but the alternatives are just as intriguing. In a press conference Tuesday with scientists behind the Dawn mission, deputy principal investigator Carol Raymond explained that the brightest spot isn’t associated with a mound or peak as it would be if it were produced by oozing or eruption of…
Read More