Scientists show how terrain evolves on an icy comet

With an eye toward a possible return mission years in the future, Cornell astronomers have shown how smooth terrains—a good place to land a spacecraft and to scoop up samples—evolve on the icy world of comets.

Traces of Ceres' icy crust found at occator crater

Anomalies in the distribution of hydrogen at Occator crater on the dwarf planet Ceres reveal an icy crust, says a new paper led by Tom Prettyman, a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. 

Creating exotic 'outer space' ice in the lab

The search for life beyond Earth typically focuses on first looking for water, the basis for life as we know it. Whether the water is a gas, liquid, or solid, its presence and composition can tell researchers a lot about ...

Beyond Jupiter, researchers discover a 'cradle of comets'

Comets are known to have a temper. As they swoop in from the outer edges of our solar system, these icy bodies begin spewing gas and dust as they venture closer to the sun. Their luminous outbursts can result in spectacular ...

Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

Comets that take more than 200 years to make one revolution around the sun are notoriously difficult to study. Because they spend most of their time far from our area of the solar system, many "long-period comets" will never ...

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