Space news stories
“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.
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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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