CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A rover scanning the surface of Mars for evidence of life might want to check for rocks that look like pasta, researchers report in the journal Astrobiology.
LAWRENCE -- Did ancient supernovae induce proto-humans to walk on two legs, eventually resulting in homo sapiens with hands-free to build cathedrals, design rockets and snap iPhone selfies?
Science fiction stories are chock full of terraforming schemes and oxygen generators for a very good reason--we humans need molecular oxygen (O2) to breathe, and space is essentially devoid of it. Even on other planets with thick atmospheres, O2 is hard to come by.
The wind has shaped the face of Mars for millennia, but its exact role in piling up sand dunes, carving out rocky escarpments or filling impact craters has eluded scientists until now.
Astronomers using the Gemini Observatory explore Neptune's largest moon Triton and observe, for the first time beyond the lab, an extraordinary union between carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices. The discovery offers insights into how this volatile mixture can transport material across the moon's surface via geysers, trigger seasonal atmospheric changes, and provide a context for conditions on other distant, icy worlds.
In countless grade-school science textbooks, the Earth's mantle is a yellow-to-orange gradient, a nebulously defined layer between the crust and the core.
Joint press release by Hokkaido University, Earth-Life Science Institute at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokushima University, Osaka University, and Kobe University.
A lunar lander named for the Chinese goddess of the moon may have lessened the mystery of the far side of the moon. The fourth probe of Chang'E (CE-4) was the first mission to land on the far side of the moon, and it has collected new evidence from the largest crater in the solar system, clarifying how the moon may have evolved.
Astronomers map the substance aluminum monoxide (AlO) in a cloud around a distant young star -- Origin Source I. The finding clarifies some important details about how our solar system, and ultimately we, came to be. The cloud's limited distribution suggests AlO gas rapidly condenses to solid grains, which hints at what an early stage of our solar evolution looked like.
Astronomers have just managed to take the first image of a black hole, and now the next challenge facing them is how to take even sharper images so that Einstein's Theory of General Relativity can be tested. Radboud University astronomers, along with the European Space Agency (ESA) and others, are putting forward a concept for achieving this by launching radio telescopes into space. They publish their plans in the scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Blue supergiants are rock-and-roll: they live fast and die young. This makes them rare and difficult to study. Before space telescopes were invented, few blue supergiants had been observed, so our knowledge of these stars was limited.
Few of the universe's residents are as iconic as the spiral galaxy. These limelight-hogging celestial objects combine whirling, pinwheeling arms with scatterings of sparkling stars, glowing bursts of gas, and dark, weaving lanes of cosmic dust, creating truly awesome scenes -- especially when viewed through a telescope such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In fact, this image from Hubble frames a perfect spiral specimen: the stunning NGC 2903.
Astrophysicists Szabolcs Marka at Columbia University and Imre Bartos at the University of Florida, have identified a violent collision of two neutron stars 4.6 billion years ago as the likely source of some of the most coveted matter on Earth.
Astronomers have discovered rapidly swinging jets coming from a black hole almost 8000 light-years from Earth. Published today in the journal Nature, the research shows jets from V404 Cygni's black hole behaving in a way never seen before on such short timescales.
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope say they have crossed an important threshold in revealing a discrepancy between the two key techniques for measuring the universe's expansion rate. The recent study strengthens the case that new theories may be needed to explain the forces that have shaped the cosmos.