IBEX helps paint picture of the magnetic system beyond the solar wind

Understanding the region of interstellar space through which the solar system travels is no easy task. Interstellar space begins beyond the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles surrounding the sun that reaches far beyond the outer planets. Voyager 1 has crossed into this space, but it’s difficult to gain a complete global picture from measurements in only one direction.

Solar wind brought water to the moon

The water found locked inside soil on the moon's surface derives from hydrogen in the solar wind - meaning there could be water on other apparently-dry bodies in the solar system too.

'Deflector shield' protects moon from radiation

Scientists from the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have made a discovery that could help future astronauts shelter from radiation on the moon.

Electric moon pushes the solar wind

A recent study by an international team of astronomers has determined that Earth's moon does indeed have a far-reaching, invisible influence on the Sun's solar wind.

Astronomers watch replay of celestial eruption

In the mid-nineteenth century, one of the most massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy suddenly got much brighter. For ten years, indeed, it was the second-brightest star in the sky.

Solar storms 'sandblasting' the moon

Solar storms and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are powerful enough to erode the surface of the moon, NASA simulations indicate.

'Dirty hack' brings Cluster mission project back to life

ESA has recovered a crucial science package on its Cluster mission, using a series of commands invented for the occasion.

Sun and planets built of different materials

Our sun and its inner planets may not have formed from the same materials, as previously thought, samples returned by NASA’s Genesis mission indicate.

Voyager 1 enters the doldrums

After 33 years' traveling, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached the point at the edge of the solar system where the solar wind has died down.

Fastest-ever man-made craft gets EU go-ahead

The EU has agreed funding for a project to create the largest and fastest man-made craft in history.

NASA approves mission to investigate Martian atmosphere

NASA has given the green light to the development and 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) mission, which aims to investigate how Mars lost so much of its atmosphere.

Probe to plunge into sun's atmosphere

In a project reminiscent of Prometheus' theft of fire from the gods, NASA's planning to dive into the sun and capture some of its atmosphere.

Moon's polar craters may be electrified

Lunar explorers may have another hazard to contend with - new calculations by NASA's Lunar Science Institute team indicate that the moon's polar craters may be charged to hundreds of volts.

Scientists create the music of the spheres

Scientists can now listen to a set of solar wind data that's usually represented visually, as numbers or graphs.