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The Downlink

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More Issues

Feature: Exoplanets

2 March 2020

Your Guide to Exoplanets

Learn why and how we study exoplanets, and how you can get involved.

2 March 2020

Our Exoplanets Research

Scientists are searching for 100 Earth-like planets around other stars, and you can help.

Swapna Krishna ● 12 March 2020

What is the Habitable Zone?

The habitable zone is the not-too-hot, not-too-cold region around a star where liquid water can exist.

Emily Lakdawalla ● 2 March 2020

The Different Kinds of Exoplanets
You Meet in the Milky Way

Lava worlds. Hot Jupiters. Earth 2.0 candidates. Here's a rundown of some notable exoplanets.

Emily Lakdawalla & Staff ● 2 March 2020

How to Search for Exoplanets

Some methods almost sound like science fiction: Using gravity as a magnifying glass, watching stars wobble at turtle-like speeds, and searching for tiny dips in starlight.

2 March 2020

Your guide to WFIRST

WFIRST, NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, is the next step in our hunt for Earth-sized exoplanets.

Blogs & Articles

The Downlink: Crew Dragon Completes Crucial Test, More Mars Mole Problems

Jason Davis • January 24, 2020 • 3

Planetary exploration news for busy people

The Downlink: ExoMars Rover Testing, Bennu's Mysterious Particle Ejections

Jason Davis • December 06, 2019

Planetary exploration news for busy people

The Downlink: Europe Funds Planetary Defense Mission and Mars Sample Return

Jason Davis • November 29, 2019

Planetary exploration news for busy people

The Downlink: Mercury Transits the Sun, Hayabusa2 Leaves Ryugu

Jason Davis • November 15, 2019 • 3

Planetary exploration news for busy people

The Downlink: Station Crew Home, Hayabusa2 Deploys Rover

Jason Davis • October 04, 2019 • 2

Planetary exploration news for busy people

Hayabusa2 Lander Mania: Results from MASCOT, Plans for MINERVA-II2

Jason Davis • August 28, 2019 • 1

Japan's sample return spacecraft only has about 3 months left at asteroid Ryugu. Its next action will be to drop more stuff on the surface.

Hayabusa2 Nailed its Second Touchdown on Asteroid Ryugu

Jason Davis • August 12, 2019

JAXA's sample collection spacecraft touched down just 60 centimeters away from its aimpoint.

Hayabusa2 makes second touchdown on asteroid Ryugu

Andrew Jones • July 11, 2019

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has touched down on Ryugu for a second time, bagging samples which hopefully contain material from the subsurface of the asteroid.

The June Solstice 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2019

Two feature articles bring you the excitement and science of exploring two very different representatives of the solar system's smaller worlds.

Treasure Hunting With Hayabusa2

The Planetary Report • June Solstice 2019

IN THE EARLY hours of 22 February, light was just beginning to brighten the campus of JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) in Kanagawa, Japan. It should have been a quiet time, but the Hayabusa2 control room was packed with people. We were about to land on an asteroid.

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