NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.
In a few million years, Mars’s moon Phobos will be shredded into pieces that will settle into a flat ring like Saturn’s. But bits of Mars’s two moons may already be circling the Red Planet, some of it in the form of nascent rings.
Astronomers have long thought it was possible for Mars to be encircled by rings made of bits of rock kicked up from its moons Phobos and Deimos, but no one had ever observed them.
Researcher Dr. Mary Bourke from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley in Mars’ Lucaya Crater that appears to have held water in the not-too-distant past, making it a prime target to search for past life forms on the Red Planet. Signs of water past and present pop up everywhere on Mars from now-dry, wriggly riverbeds snaking across arid plains to water ice exposed at the poles during the Martian summer.
The Earth’s core consists mostly of a huge ball of liquid metal lying at 3000 km beneath its surface, surrounded by a mantle of hot rock. Notably, at such great depths, both the core and mantle are subject to extremely high pressures and temperatures.
An “atmospheric river” is a colorful term for a sinuous plume of moisture that travels up from the tropics — a single plume can carry more water than the Mississippi River at its mouth. But new research shows that atmospheric rivers are also among the most damaging weather systems around.
Each year, 2 to 16 percent of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill hydrocarbons, chemical-laden water, hydraulic fracturing fluids and other substances, according to a new study. The analysis identified 6,648 spills reported across Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania during a 10-year period.
Related: These Are the Defiant “Water Protectors” of Standing Rock
As 3D printing continues to transform manufacturing, doctors are hoping it could also help the 30 million people worldwide in need of artificial limbs and braces
When it comes to growing intestines, the first inch is the hardest—especially in a petri dish. Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have met that benchmark: they recently reported in Nature Medicine that they had grown a piece of gut—nerves, muscles and all—from a single line of human stem cells. In the future such tissue could be used for studying disease and more.
Microscopic machines that swim through the bloodstream to deliver drugs or perform minor surgeries have been a dream of scientists for decades. In the past 15 years researchers have created micro-engine variants that rely on chemical reactions, magnetism or vibration for thrust—but they often motor around erratically. The main challenge is guiding them to where they are needed
Related: Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
New details of the aging process have been uncovered by a research team. They discovered an altered balance between certain signaling molecules in the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and the heart. The team also discovered a new class of drugs that combats an important part of the aging process.
Robotic movement sensing systems in the homes of elderly people can predict with a high level of accuracy when a person is at high risk of having a fall and send warnings to support workers or relatives, say researchers
Artificial intelligence has a new job: setting a good example for your kids. It seems that children’s behaviour can be influenced by the personality of a robot companion – playing with an enthusiastic or attentive robot, for instance, made them engage more and work harder.
Earlier this month, a company named Agility Robotics unveiled its first ever robot: a bipedal creation named Cassie that looks like a headless, wingless ostrich. Cassie has reverse knees, motor-powered ankles, and can walk over different sorts of terrain at a decent clip.
Related: Are Cyborgs In Our Future? ‘Homo Deus’ Author Thinks So
In 2015 UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineer and materials scientist Jonathan Berger developed an idea that could change the way people think about high-performance structural materials. Two years later, his concept is paying research dividends.
One of the great mysteries of modern cosmology is how our universe can be so thermally uniform—the vast cosmos is filled with the lingering heat of the Big Bang. Over time, it has cooled to a few degrees above absolute zero, but it can still be seen in the faint glow of microwave radiation, known as the cosmic microwave background. In any direction we look, the temperature of this cosmic background is basically the same, varying by only tiny amounts. But according to the standard “cold dark matter” model of cosmology, there wasn’t enough time for hotter and cooler regions of the early universe to even out.
Two faraway objects may once have made up a binary asteroid in our solar system before being separated and pushed into their current orbits by the mysterious Planet Nine millions of years ago.
This is the conclusion of a new study, which conducted the first spectroscopic observations of asteroids 2004 VN112 and 2013 RF98 – a pair with nearly identical orbits.
Related: Scientists need your help to find the mysterious planet they suspect is lurking in our solar system
Scientists have just found organic molecules on the Ceres, the dwarf planet hidden in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The find is particularly exciting because this is the very first, unambiguous detection of organic molecules on an asteroid.
Alt: Life’s Building Blocks Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres