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Updated: 3 hours 56 min ago

Scientists discover staggering amount of life deep below Earth's surface

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 05:00
The dark, high-pressure depths of Earth’s interior is an unexpected place to find life. Now, an international group of scientists report there’s 16.5 to 25 billion tons of micro-organisms beneath the planet’s surface. The team’s work is redefining what a habitable environment is. The discoveries “force us to reimagine what the boundaries are that life can exist in,” said Karen Lloyd, a microbiologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Deep Discovery
Categories: Astronomy

After more than 40 years, Voyager 2 has gone interstellar

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 05:00
The unmanned probe has sent back measurements indicating it's crossed out of the influence of our Sun's solar wind.
Categories: Astronomy

InSight shares the sounds of wind on Mars

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 05:00
NASA's newest martian probe is recording audio from its landing site in a unique way.
Categories: Astronomy

The Geminid meteor shower peaks under a dark sky this week

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 05:00
One of the finest meteor showers of 2018, the Geminids, should put on a rousing show the night of December 13/14.
Categories: Astronomy

NASA releases first data from OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 05:00
Take a peek at asteroid Bennu: porous, blue, and with a water-rich parent body.
Categories: Astronomy

The Sky This Week from December 7 to December 16

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 05:00

The Geminid meteor shower hits a spectacular peak the night of December 13/14, within days of Comet Wirtanen glowing at its brightest.

Categories: Astronomy

Spaceflight may increase the body's risk of infection, finds new study of orbiting mice

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 05:00
By analyzing the femur bones and marrow of mice exposed to microgravity, scientists have shown spaceflight can make the critters more susceptible to infection.
Categories: Astronomy

A new generation of atomic clocks could help find dark matter

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 05:00
Using clocks with extreme precision, researchers could catch the interplay between normal and dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up 27 percent of the known universe.
Categories: Astronomy

Mars continues to dazzle as the days grow shorter

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 05:00
Mars continues to put on a nice show these December evenings. The Red Planet appears nearly halfway to the zenith in the southern sky as twilight fades to darkness. The ruddy world shines at magnitude 0.1, as bright as any other early evening object, against the faint backdrop of Aquarius the Water-bearer. As you gaze at Mars with your naked eye, you might assume it’s the only object of interest in the area. But target the planet through binoculars or a telescope and you’ll also see
Categories: Astronomy

Astronomers find planets hidden in far-off clouds of gas and dust

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 05:00
Planet Hunting In a vast cloud of dust and gas 450 light-years from Earth in the Taurus constellation, scientists have found evidence of a treasure trove of super-Earths and Neptune-sized planets. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, a team of researchers conducted a study of young stars in a gaseous, star-forming region of Taurus. The team observed and imaged 32 stars in the region that are surrounded by protoplanetary disks — rotating disks of dust and gas that surro
Categories: Astronomy

Mars and Neptune sit closer together tonight than they will for another 200 years

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 05:00
Mars continues to put on a nice show these December evenings. The Red Planet appears nearly halfway to the zenith in the southern sky as twilight fades to darkness. The ruddy world shines at magnitude 0.1, as bright as any other early evening object, against the faint backdrop of Aquarius the Water-bearer. As you gaze at Mars with your naked eye, you might assume it’s the only object of interest in the area. But target the planet through binoculars or a telescope and you’ll also
Categories: Astronomy

New ‘Organs on a Chip’ experiment studies how space damages an astronaut’s body

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 05:00

Human tissue chips are a safe, compact way for scientists to study the human body — and now they're heading into space.

Categories: Astronomy

The Saturn system has water just like Earth's ... except for Phoebe

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 05:00
Two unexpected results from Cassini could change our picture of the solar system.
Categories: Astronomy

China prepares to head for the far side of the Moon

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 05:00
After years of planning, the robotic Chang'e-4 mission will launch tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Categories: Astronomy

Extreme radiation could strip exoplanets of their atmospheres

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 05:00
If orbiting just 4 million miles from your fiery host star wasn’t bad enough, things might have just gotten even worse. New research shows that stars emitting high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation could strip the atmospheres of their ultra-close exoplanets. While observing gas giants that orbit exceptionally close to their host stars, astronomers found that those bombarded with radiation were losing helium from their atmospheres. These results, which were published in multiple studies
Categories: Astronomy

Mercury climbs back into the morning sky

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 05:00
After a week stuck between the Earth and the Sun, Mercury has made its return to the morning sky.
Categories: Astronomy

Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor says space is for everyone

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 05:00
Answering the question of how to prepare the public for spaceflight means making up a whole new job.
Categories: Astronomy

Black hole donuts may actually look more like dynamic fountains

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 05:00
New research shows the dusty "torus" of gas and dust that forms around supermassive black holes more closely resembles a complex, fluid fountain than a rigid ring.
Categories: Astronomy

2019 could be huge for private spaceflight

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 05:00
Future of spaceflight The upcoming year is shaping up to be a big one for private spaceflight. A number of big players in the race to get paying passengers to space seem poised to actually make that happen, and companies like Boeing and SpaceX have announced a number of ambitious goals. It looks like they might be beat by the Brit, though. Last week, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson claimed that his company Virgin Galactic will send astronauts into space by Christmas of this year. Branso
Categories: Astronomy

The Geminid meteor shower kicks off tonight

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 05:00
Though we're still more than a week away from the peak of the year's best shower, the first few Geminids are already starting to rain down.
Categories: Astronomy

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