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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Marks Eight Years of Mars Exploration
NASA’s Curiosity rover has seen a lot since August 5, 2012, when it first set its wheels inside the huge basin of Gale Crater. Curiosity, the fourth rover the United States has sent to Mars, launched November 26, 2011 and landed on the Red Planet at 10:32 p.m. PDT on August 5, 2012 (1:32 a.m. [...]
Strange lightning on Jupiter may be caused by ammonia snowballs
The Juno spacecraft has spotted lightning on Jupiter that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, and it may be caused by strange, slushy balls of ammonia and ice
Astronomers Catch X-Rays from Calcium-Rich Supernova
Astronomers have for the first time used X-ray imaging to examine a calcium-rich supernova. Their findings, published in the Astrophysical Journal, show that a calcium-rich supernova is a compact star that sheds an outer layer of gas during the final stages of its life; when the star explodes, its matter collides with the loose material [...]
Radio Astronomers Discover Saturn-Sized Exoplanet around Ultracool Dwarf
Astronomers using NSF’s Very Long Baseline Array, a continentwide system of 10 radio telescope antennas located between Hawaii and Puerto Rico, have detected a giant exoplanet in orbit around the ultracool dwarf TVLM 513-46546 (TVLM 513 for short). This is the first astrometric detection of a planet at radio wavelengths. The presence of this Saturn-like [...]
Weightless action on the Space Station – power, bones and bubbles
European science progressed at a slower pace on the International Space Station in the past month. As a series of spacewalks to power up the space habitat came to an end and two of its passengers left for home Earth, intriguing bubbles puzzled researchers and left them wanting to know more.
SpaceX’s prototype Mars rocket has flown for the first time
A prototype of Starship, the rocket SpaceX intends to use to bring explorers to the moon and Mars, has hopped 150 metres into the air in its first flight
Discovering new penguin colonies from space
Satellite images have revealed that there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than previously thought. Scientists, at the British Antarctic Survey, have used satellite data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to track penguin guano, or penguin poo, to monitor the presence of thousands of penguins.
Stars Rich In Phosphorus: Seeds Of Life In The Universe
All the chemical elements in the universe, except for hydrogen and most of the helium, were produced inside stars. But among them there are a few (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur and phosphorus) which are particularly interesting because they are basic...
The Habitability of the Galactic Bulge
We present a new investigation of the habitability of the Milky Way bulge, that expands previous studies on the Galactic Habitable Zone....
Stellar Pulsations Distribute Key Ingredient for Life
As Carl Sagan famously said, "We're made of star stuff" -- but how do stars distribute their essential "stuff" for life into space? NASA's telescope on an airplane, SOFIA, is finding some answers by watching pulsating stars as they expand...