Image: Testing InSight

Testing continued on NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, or InSight, spacecraft on inside the Astrotech processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in early March 2018.

Magnetic memories of a metal world

4.5 billion years ago in the violent, high-speed environment of the early solar system, a protoplanet roughly the size of Mars was involved in a series of fierce collisions with other large planetary bodies.

Vesta—Ceres' little sister

Only around 60 million kilometres closer to the Sun than Ceres, another large rock is orbiting in the remote asteroid belt: Vesta. Although its diameter of approximately 530 kilometres makes it a bit too small to be counted ...

Is iron rain the reason why Earth and the moon are so different?

New experiments show that the asteroids that slammed into Earth and the moon more than 4 billion years ago were vaporised into a mist of iron. The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, suggest that the iron mist thrown ...

Rare meteorites created in violent celestial collision

A tiny fraction of meteorites on earth contain strikingly beautiful, translucent, olive-green crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. Called pallasites, these "space gems" have fascinated scientists since they were first ...

Giant impact scenario may explain the unusual moons of Saturn

Among the oddities of the outer solar system are the middle-sized moons of Saturn, a half-dozen icy bodies dwarfed by Saturn's massive moon Titan. According to a new model for the origin of the Saturn system, these middle-sized ...

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