Space news stories

Moon found to be periodically showered with oxygen ions from Earth
2nd February 2017 | Space

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan, examining data from that country’s moon-orbiting Kaguya spacecraft, has found evidence of oxygen from Earth’s atmosphere making its way to the surface of the moon for a few days every month. In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers describe what data from the spacecraft revealed.

Alt: Traces of Oxygen on the Moon Come from Earth’s Plants

Signatures of Earthly life may be etched in moon rock
2nd February 2017 | | Space

The Earth may be leaving its mark on the moon in more ways than previously thought.

A little bit of oxygen from our planet’s atmosphere is escaping and ending up on the lunar surface, according to new research – and this may have been happening for billions of years.

World’s first time crystals cooked up using new recipe
2nd February 2017 | | Space, Tech

It’s no longer just a wild theory. Two independent teams of physicists have followed a recipe to build the world’s first versions of an enigmatic form of matter – time crystals.

Bursts of methane may have warmed early Mars
1st February 2017 | | Ancient, Space

The presence of water on ancient Mars is a paradox. There’s plenty of geographical evidence that rivers periodically flowed across the planet’s surface. Yet in the time period when these waters are supposed to have run — three to four billion years ago — Mars should have been too cold to support liquid water.

Earth’s water must have arrived here earlier than we thought
1st February 2017 | | Earth, Space

The arrival of water on our planet wasn’t a last-minute job.

Water came to Earth on icy comets after most of the planet and its core were formed, about 4.5 billion years ago, according to a leading theory.

Can Humans Ever Harness the Power of Hibernation?
1st February 2017 | | Humans, Space

Scientists want to know if astronauts can hibernate during long spaceflights. First, they need to understand what hibernation is

India, Israel Officially in Race for First Private Moon Landing
1st February 2017 | Space

For five teams racing to reach the moon, it’s 2017 or bust.

Today, X Prize and Google announced that just five of 33 initial teams have secured an elusive—yet essential—launch contract, which means they have rides on rockets that will send them toward the moon, and so they are able to vie for the coveted Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Plasma tidal wave may tell us if black holes destroy information
1st February 2017 | | Space

A laser-driven tidal wave could test a question that has long plagued physics: is the information inside a black hole lost forever or somehow preserved through the mysterious machinations of quantum mechanics?

The defining feature of a black hole is thought to be that anything that crosses the event horizon – the proverbial point of no return – can never escape and is lost forever.

The Multiple Multiverses May Be One and the Same
1st February 2017 | Space

If multiverses seem weird, it’s because we need to revamp our notions of time and space.

The name of the image—the “Flammarion engraving”—may not ring a bell, but you’ve seen it many times. It depicts a traveler wearing a cloak and clutching a walking-stick; behind him is a varied landscape of towns and trees; surrounding all is a crystalline shell fretted with countless stars.

Scientists unveil new form of matter: Time crystals
1st February 2017 | | Space

To most people, crystals mean diamond bling, semiprecious gems or perhaps the jagged amethyst or quartz crystals beloved by collectors.

To Norman Yao, these inert crystals are the tip of the iceberg.

Astronomers measure universe expansion, get hints of ‘new physics’
31st January 2017 | Space

Astronomers have just made a new measurement of the Hubble Constant, the rate at which the universe is expanding, and it doesn’t quite line up with a different estimate of the same number. That discrepancy could hint at “new physics” beyond the standard model of cosmology

Alt: Speedy universe expansion challenges Einstein’s theory

Presumed young star turns out to be a galactic senior citizen
31st January 2017 | Space

It was considered a teenager among the stars. But now one thing has become clear: this celestial object was formed when our galaxy was born. Why did researchers get it wrong for many decades?

Clingy Alien Planets May Fling Their Moons Out of Orbit
31st January 2017 | | Space

Alien planets that orbit especially close to their stars have a bigger chance of losing their moons, which may reduce the chances that habitable alien moons will survive for very long around those planets, a new study finds.

Here’s Why Venus’ Mysterious Atmosphere Is so Weird
31st January 2017 | | Space

Venus is completely shrouded by cloud, making it hard to see the surface below — but the clouds themselves are revealing some fascinating secrets about Earth’s toxic twin.

Why the Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to swap places – and how it would affect us
30th January 2017 | Earth, Space

The Earth’s magnetic field surrounds our planet like an invisible force field – protecting life from harmful solar radiation by deflecting charged particles away. Far from being constant, this field is continuously changing. Indeed, our planet’s history includes at least several hundred global magnetic reversals, where north and south magnetic poles swap places. So when’s the next one happening and how will it affect life on Earth?

What to Do With Nukes? Blow Up Dangerous Comets, of Course
30th January 2017 | | Space

Should a comet be detected on a collision course with Earth, we’d have very little time to prepare, but our stockpile of nuclear warheads could be repurposed as insurance against this existential threat.

Hit threatening asteroids’ bright spots to deflect them
30th January 2017 | | Space

WHEN you need to save Earth from an incoming asteroid, try shooting at its bright spots. A new analysis of fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteor, which exploded over Russia in 2013, suggests that firing something at an asteroid’s lighter areas may be the best way to deflect it.

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