Space news stories

First exoplanet weather report shows clouds of ruby and sapphire
14th December 2016 | | Space

It’s cloudy with a chance of gemstones. A super-sized planet 1000 light years from Earth has clouds that may contain the building blocks of rubies and sapphires, according to the first exoplanet meteorology report.

The planets in our solar system experience a wide variety of weather, from Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot through Mars’s dust devils to Saturn’s hexagonal north polar storm. But planets around other stars are too distant for us to directly discern their short-term weather, such as changes in clouds or wind.

Team hunts tracer of ‘dinosaur killer’ asteroid
13th December 2016 | | Ancient, Space

Scientists say they have a clue that may enable them to find traces of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs in the very crater it made on impact.

This pointer takes the form of a nickel signature in the rocks of the crater that is now buried under ocean sediments in the Gulf of Mexico.

Earth woefully unprepared for surprise comet or asteroid, Nasa scientist warns
13th December 2016 | | Space

Humans are woefully unprepared for a surprise asteroid or comet, a Nasa scientist warned on Monday, at a presentation with nuclear scientists into how humans might deflect cosmic dangers hurtling toward Earth.

“The biggest problem, basically, is there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment,” said Dr Joseph Nuth, a researcher with Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Extinction-Level Superflares May Blast Earth’s Nearest Exoplanet Proxima b
13th December 2016 | | Space

The recent discovery of a planet around the star closest to Earth’s sun has raised hopes that life might exist around the sun’s nearest neighbor, but researchers now find that this world might frequently experience extinction-level “superflares” from its star.

Relationships between chemicals found on comets
13th December 2016 | | Space

A new study has revealed similarities and relationships between certain types of chemicals found on 30 different comets, which vary widely in their overall composition compared to one another. The research is part of ongoing investigations into these primordial bodies, which contain material largely unchanged from the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

Saturn’s bulging core implies moons younger than thought
12th December 2016 | | Space

Freshly harvested data from NASA’s Cassini mission reveals that the ringed planet’s moons may be younger than previously thought.

“All of these Cassini mission measurements are changing our view of the Saturnian system, as it turns our old theories upside down,”

The science behind the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ reveals that it was likely more than one planet
12th December 2016 | | Ancient, Space

right stars top Christmas trees in Christian homes around much of the world. The faithful sing about the “Star of Wonder” that guided the wise men to a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. They’re commemorating the Star of Bethlehem described by the Evangelist Matthew in the New Testament. Is the star’s biblical description a pious fiction, or does it contain some astronomical truth?

Unveiling the Cosmos: Meet One of the Largest Structures in the Known Universe
12th December 2016 | Space

There’s a fascinating sight just about 10 billion light years away from Earth, and an international team of astronomers have their eyes set on it. Because of its distance, what astronomers see is a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies as they were when the universe was just 3 billion years old — called the Spiderweb Galaxy. The surprising thing about it is that it’s not growing how other galaxy clusters have.

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