Space news stories

A Region On Mars With Recent Water Is About To Get Major Attention
23rd February 2017 | universetoday.com | Space

Researcher Dr. Mary Bourke from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley in Mars’ Lucaya Crater that appears to have held water in the not-too-distant past, making it a prime target to search for past life forms on the Red Planet. Signs of water past and present pop up everywhere on Mars from now-dry, wriggly riverbeds snaking across arid plains to water ice exposed at the poles during the Martian summer.

‘Quartz’ crystals at the Earth’s core power its magnetic field
23rd February 2017 phys.org | Earth, Space

The Earth’s core consists mostly of a huge ball of liquid metal lying at 3000 km beneath its surface, surrounded by a mantle of hot rock. Notably, at such great depths, both the core and mantle are subject to extremely high pressures and temperatures.

New Evidence for the Strange Idea that the Universe Is a Hologram
23rd February 2017 nautil.us | Space

One of the great mysteries of modern cosmology is how our universe can be so thermally uniform—the vast cosmos is filled with the lingering heat of the Big Bang. Over time, it has cooled to a few degrees above absolute zero, but it can still be seen in the faint glow of microwave radiation, known as the cosmic microwave background. In any direction we look, the temperature of this cosmic background is basically the same, varying by only tiny amounts. But according to the standard “cold dark matter” model of cosmology, there wasn’t enough time for hotter and cooler regions of the early universe to even out.

Planet Nine breakthrough as astronomers find asteroids that may have been victims of a ‘smash and grab’ by mysterious body
23rd February 2017 | dailymail.co.uk | Space

Two faraway objects may once have made up a binary asteroid in our solar system before being separated and pushed into their current orbits by the mysterious Planet Nine millions of years ago.

This is the conclusion of a new study, which conducted the first spectroscopic observations of asteroids 2004 VN112 and 2013 RF98 – a pair with nearly identical orbits.


Related: Scientists need your help to find the mysterious planet they suspect is lurking in our solar system

There Are Organic Molecules on the Dwarf Planet Ceres
22nd February 2017 | popularmechanics.com | Space

Scientists have just found organic molecules on the Ceres, the dwarf planet hidden in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The find is particularly exciting because this is the very first, unambiguous detection of organic molecules on an asteroid.


Alt: Life’s Building Blocks Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres

New delta Scuti: Rare pulsating star 7,000 light years away is 1 of only 7 in Milky Way
22nd February 2017 | eurekalert.org | Space

A star — as big or bigger than our sun — in Pegasus constellation is expanding and contracting in 3 directions at once every 2.5 hours, the result of heating and cooling of hydrogen fuel burning 28 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core


Related: A bridge of stars connects two dwarf galaxies
Related: Research team finds radial acceleration relation in all common types of galaxies

An Enormous Exoplanet Is Having a Strange Influence on Its Star
22nd February 2017 gizmodo.com | Space

There’s a star about 370 light-years from here that’s pulsating in response to its unusually heavy planetary companion. It’s the first time that astronomers have seen this sort of interaction between a planet and its host star.

Black hole is producing its own fuel for star-making
22nd February 2017 | eurekalert.org | Space

The Phoenix cluster is an enormous accumulation of about 1,000 galaxies, located 5.7 billion light years from Earth. At its center lies a massive galaxy, which appears to be spitting out stars at a rate of about 1,000 per year.

Space Poop Problem-Solvers Take Home Cash Prizes From NASA
22nd February 2017 | npr.org | Space

On Wednesday morning, NASA rewarded five members of the public — two doctors, a dentist, an engineer and a product designer — for their creative ideas for how to poop in a spacesuit.

Yes, it sounds a little bit funny. But unmet toilet needs could have life or death consequences for an astronaut in an emergency situation.


Related: 3D-Printed ‘Laugh’ Is 1st Major Artwork to Be Made in Space

Researchers pinpoint watery past on Mars
19th February 2017 phys.org | Space

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley on Mars that appears to have been flooded by water in the not-too-distant past. In doing so, they have pinpointed a prime target to begin searching for past life forms on the Red Planet.

Planet Nine Just Got An Unexpected New Team of Hunters
19th February 2017 gizmodo.com | Space

Since Pluto was infamously demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006, some astronomers have turned their attention to finding the true Planet 9, a hypothetical, Neptune-sized world that orbits the Sun at least a few hundred times further out than Earth.

This Is Why Sending Messages to Aliens Might Be a Good Idea
19th February 2017 | seeker.com | Space

With SETI — the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence — we use radio telescopes to search for signals from alien civilizations. This is a relatively passive system, where we sit back and listen for what signals might be out there. As of yet, the search has come up empty handed.

By contrast, “Active SETI” or what is now called Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, or METI, is a proactive system of sending a message to a specific place to say “hello” to let potential alien astronomers know we’re here.

Turn satellites into sparkling fireworks to burn up space junk
19th February 2017 | newscientist.com | Space

The chemistry that gives festive sparklers their sparkle could be used to reduce the hazards of falling space junk. Researchers have demonstrated that a mixture similar to that used in fireworks can help bring dead satellites back to Earth safely.

Far-off asteroid caught cohabiting with Uranus around the sun
19th February 2017 | newscientist.com | Space

A rare Trojan asteroid of Uranus has been found, following the same orbit as the planet. Its existence implies there could be many more of these companion asteroids, and that they are more common than we thought.

Ancient Jars Hold Clues About Earth’s Fluctuating Magnetic Fields
18th February 2017 | nytimes.com | Ancient, Earth, Space

The Earth’s magnetic field — which deflects harmful space radiation from the surface — has been weakening, losing about 10 percent of its strength over the last two centuries, and the decay may have been accelerating in recent years.

That weakening led to speculation that the magnetic field may be on the cusp of disappearing during a reversal, when the planet’s north and south poles flip, which could have consequences for civilization and life. But geoscientists have little knowledge of what has been occurring with the magnetic field during recent millenniums.


Alt: Astonishing geomagnetic spike hit the ancient kingdom of Judah

Winston Churchill’s views on aliens revealed in lost essay
18th February 2017 | bbc.com | Ancient, Space, Weird

A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill reveals he was open to the possibility of life on other planets.

Churchill’s interest in science is well-known: he was the first British prime minister to employ a science adviser, Frederick Lindemann, and met regularly with scientists such as Sir Bernard Lovell, a pioneer of radio astronomy.

Will moon mining be BANNED? International space law could prevent billionaires from extracting precious metals from the lunar surface
17th February 2017 | dailymail.co.uk | Space

This year, five space mining companies plan to send missions to the lunar surface in the hopes of mining the moon for precious metals.

But a caveat in international space law could prevent the firms from cashing in.

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