NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first close-up, visible-light views of a behemoth hurricane swirling around Saturn's north pole.
Scientists eagerly await the arrival of a recently discovered, highly active comet that will skim 730,000 miles above the Sun's surface on Nov. 28 and has the potential to be readily visible from Earth.
The comet, C/2012 S1 (ISON), is highly unusual in that it comes to the inner solar system for the first time and will skirt around the Sun within less than two solar radii from the Sun's surface on Nov. 28.
The M6.5 flare on the morning of April 11, 2013, was also associated with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), another solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later. CMEs can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models show that the CME began at 3:36 a.m. EDT on April 11, leaving the sun at over 600 miles per second.
Dramatic underground explosions, perhaps involving ice, are responsible for the pits inside these two large martian impact craters, imaged by ESA's Mars Express on 4 January. The 'twin' craters are in the Thaumasia Planum region, a large plateau that lies immediately to the south of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System.
This image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument at 171 Angstrom shows the current conditions of the quiet corona and upper transition region of the Sun. Image Credit: NASA/SDO. Larger image
Photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how the parachute that helped NASA's Curiosity rover land on Mars last summer has subsequently changed its shape on the ground. The images were obtained by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Seven images taken by HiRISE between Aug. 12, 2012, and Jan. 13, 2013, show the used parachute shifting its shape at least twice in response to wind.