What’s Hiding Below Jupiter’s Clouds?

Just one month before the Juno spacecraft arrives at the gas giant Jupiter, the most detailed radio-wave maps ever of the planet’s atmosphere dig beneath surface-level clouds to reveal the whirling ammonia flows that help form its distinctive features. Researchers used the upgraded Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico to probe 60 miles (100 kilometers)…

Jupiter’s auroras

Solar storms trigger X-ray auroras on Jupiter that are about eight times brighter than normal over a large area of the planet and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth’s northern lights. That’s according to a new study published March 22, 2016 in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The research – using data from NASA’s…

Did Comets Spark Alien Life in Europa’s Oceans?

If alien life swims in the ocean beneath Europa’s icy surface, it might have got its start from comets cracking the icy shell to deliver vital pre-life ingredients, say researchers. New simulations show that a specific family of comets have the mass, velocity and opportunity to do the job — penetrating the full range of…