World’s Strangest

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Saturn’s Swirling Megastorm That’s Bigger Than Multiple Earths

The colored swirls indicate the tail end of Saturn’s massive storm that occurred sometime between 2010 and 2011. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science East Coasters panicked by this weekend’s oncoming Frankenstorm haven’t seen anything yet. New readings from NASA’s Cassini orbital spacecraft have discovered that a massive maelstrom first spotted on Saturn in 2010 was more intense than initially [...]

Lincoln on Mars

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech I’ve been waiting for NASA’s rover Curiosity to land safely so I can tell you that we now have Lincoln on Mars. Yes, Abraham Lincoln on the Red Planet. The penny, a 1909 [...]

Panorama of Mars

Image: NASA/JPL Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ. Opportunity rover spent the Martian winter perched on the northern slope of Greeley Haven on the Red Planet, and snapped hundreds of images that NASA scientists stitched together to [...]

Dust Devil on Mars

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona For such a dead planet, Mars sure has got a lot of things going on. LIke this mini tornado, as captured by camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: A towering [...]

Martian Life’s Last Stand?

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech A maze-like system of deep valleys in Mars called Noctis Labyrinthus ("the labyrinth of the night") may just be Martian life’s last stand on the Red Planet: Scientists have found water-bearing deposits on [...]

Auroras on Saturn

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester Earth is not the only planet with the phenomenon of polar lights, Saturn has ‘em too! NASA’s Cassini orbiter captured infrared images that revealed the stunning sights. From National Geographic’s Breaking Orbit Blog: In the picture, the ring of green auroras might seem faint, but that curtain of light is shooting [...]

Dune Sea in Mars Crater

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera recently revealed fascinating shots of a dune sea of sorts in a crater of the Hellas impact basin. What has officials at NASA excited about the dunes is their symmetric nature. The dunes here are linear, thought to be due to shifting wind directions. In places, each dune [...]

Martian Tendrils

Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy blog explains that the weird looking tendrils on Mars, as shown above in a photo taken by HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as: In the Martian winter, carbon dioxide freezes out of the air (and you thought it was cold [...]

Martian Landscape

Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona Alan Taylor’s excellent photoblog The Big Picture over at Boston.com has a really nifty collection of images of the Martian landscape: Since 2006, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars, currently circling approximately 300 km (187 mi) above the Martian surface. On board the MRO is HiRISE, the High Resolution Imaging [...]

Spitzer Telescope Captures Images of Forming Planet

Image: Artist’s conception of LRLL 31 system, courtesty of NASA/JPL-CatlTech NASA’s Spitzer Telescope spent five months observing LRLL 31, a young star with a ring of materials orbiting it. Astronomers believe that it is in an early stage of planetary formation and that a sizeable lump in the ring system may be a protoplanet: One theory of [...]