Space news stories

XENON1T, the most sensitive detector on Earth searching for WIMP dark matter, releases its first result
25th May 2017 phys.org | Space

“The best result on dark matter so far—and we just got started.” This is how scientists behind XENON1T, now the most sensitive dark matter experiment world-wide, commented on their first result from a short 30-day run presented today to the scientific community.

Stars can start shining at a smaller mass than we thought
25th May 2017 | newscientist.com | Space

They may be small, but they’re still stars. New observations indicate that objects born with a mass just 6.7 per cent that of the sun can shine for trillions of years rather than fizzle out as failed stars known as brown dwarfs.


Related: First radio detection of lonely planet disk shows similarities between stars and planet-like objects

Atmosphere discovery makes Trappist-1 exoplanet priority in hunt for alien life
24th May 2017 | theguardian.com | Space

An Earth-sized world that swings around a star in the constellation of Aquarius has become a priority in the search for extraterrestrial life after scientists found that an atmosphere could have enveloped the planet for billions of years.

Study shows how radioactive decay could support extraterrestrial life
24th May 2017 phys.org | Space

In the icy bodies around our solar system, radiation emitted from rocky cores could break up water molecules and support hydrogen-eating microbes. To address this cosmic possibility, a University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) team modeled a natural water-cracking process called radiolysis. They then applied the model to several worlds with known or suspected interior oceans, including Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Jupiter’s moon Europa, Pluto and its moon Charon, as well as the dwarf planet Ceres.

Hawking says humanity has 100, not 1,000, years to find new planet to live on
24th May 2017 | rt.com | Space

Renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has again called on humanity to redouble its efforts to colonize other worlds before the Earth becomes uninhabitable. This time, however, the deadline is even tighter.

Humans Accidentally Made a Space Cocoon For Ourselves Out of Radio Waves
23rd May 2017 motherboard.vice.com | Space

Humans have accidentally created a protective bubble around Earth by using very low frequency (VLF) radio transmissions to contact submarines in the ocean. It sounds nuts, but according to recent research published in Space Science Reviews, underwater communication through VLF channels has an outer space dimension.


Related: NASA mission uncovers a dance of electrons in space

Supernova Face-Off May Solve 40-Year-Old Antimatter Mystery
23rd May 2017 | space.com | Space

The majority of antimatter that pervades the Milky Way may come from clashing remnants of dead stars, a new study finds.

The work may solve a 40-year-old astrophysics mystery, the study’s researchers said.

Exocomets Light Up 100 Billion Kilometers of Space
23rd May 2017 blogs.scientificamerican.com | Space

A remarkable new image reveals the teething pains of an entire planetary system

Humans have cataloged the star Fomalhaut for at least two thousand years without knowing it as anything more than the 18th brightest stellar object in the night sky.

Comets contributed to Earth’s atmosphere, says study of 3 billion-year-old minerals
22nd May 2017 phys.org | Ancient, Earth, Space

Scientists have revealed that some of Earth’s atmosphere may have been brought to the planet by comets billions of years ago.

The mystery of how the Earth’s atmosphere was formed has long baffled scientists.

How hard did it rain on Mars?
22nd May 2017 | heritagedaily.com | Space

Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet’s impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago. Researchers show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet’s surface as we see on Earth.


Alt: Mars’ Raindrops May Once Have Been Bigger Than Earth’s

Scientists take first tentative steps to explore potential climate of Proxima B
22nd May 2017 phys.org | Space

The quest to discover whether a planet orbiting our closest neighbouring star, Proxima Centauri (4.2 light years or 25 trillion miles from Earth), has the potential to support life has taken a new, exhilarating twist.

Naked singularity might evade cosmic censor
22nd May 2017 | sciencenews.org | Space

Certain stealthy spacetime curiosities might be less hidden than thought, potentially exposing themselves to observers in some curved universes.

These oddities, known as singularities, are points in space where the standard laws of physics break down.

Stars as random number generators could test foundations of physics
22nd May 2017 phys.org | Space, Tech

Stars, quasars, and other celestial objects generate photons in a random way, and now scientists have taken advantage of this randomness to generate random numbers at rates of more than one million numbers per second. Generating random numbers at very high rates has a variety of applications, such as in cryptography and computer simulations.

Mysterious Flashes Coming From Earth That Puzzled Carl Sagan Finally Have An Explanation
22nd May 2017 | universetoday.com | Space

Back in 1993, Carl Sagan encountered a puzzle. The Galileo spacecraft spotted flashes coming from Earth, and nobody could figure out what they were. They called them ‘specular reflections’ and they appeared over ocean areas but not over land.

Space weather events linked to human activity
21st May 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Space

Human activities, like nuclear tests and radio transmissions, have been changing near-Earth space and weather, and have created artificial radiation belts, damaged satellites and induced auroras.

Forget Mars—let’s go colonize Titan!
21st May 2017 arstechnica.com | Space

For a while now, there’s been a debate in the US over how to direct NASA’s next major human spaceflight initiative. Do we build an outpost on the Moon as a step towards Mars, or do we just head straight for the red planet? Which ever destination we choose, it’ll be viewed as the first step toward a permanent human presence outside of the immediate neighborhood of the Earth.

All of that indecision, according to a new book called Beyond Earth, is misguided. Either of these destinations presents so many challenges and compromises that attracting and supporting anything more than short-term visitors will be difficult.

This Company Plans to Mine the Moon — and It’s Not Alone
21st May 2017 | seeker.com | Space

The first-ever private mining operation on the moon is scheduled to kick off in 2020, when a landing craft sent by Florida-based Moon Express will ferry a single scoop of lunar dirt and rocks back to Earth.


Alt: Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

News stories covering Space, from the macro to the micro, including Space exploration, quantum physics and quantum weirdness.