Space news stories

We might be able to make Mars habitable
14th March 2017 | Space

A group of scientists have devised a plan to make Mars a little more hospitable to human life.

A computer modeling experiment suggests that we can use a spacecraft to create a magnetic field around Mars, shielding it from the solar wind that’s stripping its thin atmosphere away, oxygen ion by oxygen ion.

NASA is Going to Create The Coldest Spot in the Known Universe
14th March 2017 | Space, Tech

This summer, a box the size of an ice chest will journey to the International Space Station (ISS). Once there, it will become the coldest spot in the universe—more than 100 million times colder than deep space itself. The instruments inside the box — an electromagnetic “knife,” lasers, and a vacuum chamber — will slow down gas particles until they are almost motionless, bringing them just a billionth of a degree above absolute zero.

Physicists Catch Antimatter and Matter Misbehaving
11th March 2017 | | Space

One of the biggest mysteries in physics is why there’s matter in the universe at all. This week, a group of physicists at the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, might be closer to an answer: They found that particles in the same family as the protons and neutrons that make up familiar objects behave in a slightly different way from their antimatter counterparts.

Astronomy: Dark matter mapped
11th March 2017 | | Space

One of the highest-resolution maps of dark matter ever created has now been revealed, offering a detailed case for the existence of cold dark matter — sluggish particles that comprise the bulk of matter in the universe.

Rare triplet of high-energy neutrinos detected from an unknown source
11th March 2017 | | Space

Three high-energy neutrinos have been spotted traveling in tandem.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica detected the trio of lilliputian particles on February 17, 2016. This is the first time the experiment has seen a triplet of neutrinos that all seemed to come from the same place in the sky and within 100 seconds of one another.

Quantum entanglement between a single photon and a trillion rubidium atoms
11th March 2017 | Space

A group of researchers from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw has shed new light on the famous paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen after 80 years. They created a multidimensional entangled state of a single photon and a trillion hot rubidium atoms, and stored this hybrid entanglement in the laboratory for several microseconds

Astronomers detect flickering from the star EF Aquilae
11th March 2017 | Space

European researchers have detected optical flickering from a distant symbiotic star known as EF Aquilae (EF Aql for short). The new findings, presented Feb. 27 on the arXiv pre-print server, offer important hints on the nature and composition of this binary star.

How a mineral found in Martian meteorites may provide clues to ancient abundance of water
11th March 2017 | Space

Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to research on simulated Martian meteorites conducted, in part, at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Synthetic biology to help colonize Mars
11th March 2017 | Space

Shannon Dangle finished her PhD ready to take on a new challenge and set her sights on research to help make Mars colonization possible. But she isn’t pursuing research on rocket fuels or space suits. She’s using synthetic biology to improve biomanufacturing of needed resources using simple inputs like sunlight, water, and CO2.

When Humans Begin Colonizing Other Planets, Who Should Be in Charge?
9th March 2017 | | Space

Every summer for the past 20 years, Pascal Lee has traveled to the remote Canadian Arctic to pretend he’s on Mars. This cold, dry, pockmarked and essentially lifeless environment is one of the closest to the red planet that you can find on Earth—making it a great practice ground for driving Mars rovers.

NASA Considers Magnetic Shield to Help Mars Grow Its Atmosphere
8th March 2017 | | Space

Such a shield could leave Mars in the relatively protected magnetotail of the magnetic field created by the object, allowing the Red Planet to slowly restore its atmosphere. About 90 percent of Mars’s atmosphere was stripped away by solar particles in the lifetime of the planet, which was likely temperate and had surface water about 3.5 billion years ago.

Some Active Process is Cracking Open These Faults on Mars. But What is it?
8th March 2017 | | Space

Mars has many characteristics that put one in mind of Earth. Consider its polar ice caps, which are quite similar to the ones in the Arctic and Antarctic circle. But upon closer examination, Mars’ icy polar regions have numerous features that hint at some unusual processes. Consider the northern polar ice cap, which consists predominantly of frozen water ice, but also a seasonal veneer of frozen carbon dioxide (“dry ice”).

Related: New Mars research shows evidence of a complex mantle beneath the Elysium volcanic province

Hydrogen volcanoes might boost planets’ potential for life
8th March 2017 | | Space

Volcanoes that belch hydrogen could bump up the number of potentially habitable planets in the universe.

Ramses Ramirez and Lisa Kaltenegger, both of Cornell University, modeled the atmospheres of planets blemished with hydrogen-spewing volcanoes.

Moon tourists risk rough ride, experts say
8th March 2017 | Space

Non-stop vomiting, a puffy face and the constant need to pee: Volunteers for a week-long loop around the Moon may be in for a rough ride even if all goes to plan.

In the week that SpaceX announced it would launch two tourists to skirt Earth’s satellite in 2018, experts agreed the health effects would chiefly be minor and short-lived.

How Scientists Collected a Piece of the Sun
8th March 2017 | | Space

Our mighty Sun bathes Earth in a tender glow. Reach overhead on a cloud-free, summer day, and it almost feels like you can catch a few of its caressing rays. While your relaxing efforts will technically be unsuccessful, it should warm your heart to know that scientists have literally caught some of the Sun’s rays. And you know what’s even cooler? There’s a place on Earth where you can actually hold a piece of the Sun!

Existence of a new quasiparticle demonstrated
6th March 2017 | Space, Tech

How do molecules rotate in a solvent? Answering this question is complicated, since molecular rotation is perturbed by a very large number of surrounding atoms. For a long time, large-scale computer simulations have been the main approach to model molecule-solvent interactions.

Edge of darkness: looking into the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way
6th March 2017 | | Space

At the heart of our galaxy, a vast black hole is devouring matter from the dust clouds that surround it. Little by little, expanses of interstellar material are being swallowed up by this voracious galactic carnivore that, in the process, has reached a mass that is 4m times that of our sun.

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