Astronomy & Space news

Ocean Planets on the Brink of Detection

Imagine a world with no land at all, merely the impenetrable depths of a seething ocean. Models of planet formation predict the existence of such worlds, even though our own solar system has none. Indeed, ...

Feb 02, 2007 feature
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Terrestrial Planet Formation in Binary Star Systems

The list of confirmed extrasolar planets keeps growing, and has now passed two hundred members — almost all of which are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn. But the hunt is on for Earth-like worlds! With the successful ...

Jan 26, 2007 feature
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SMART-1 impacts Moon (Update 2)

At 07:42:22 CEST (05:42:22 UT) today, the SMART-1 spacecraft impacted the Moon's surface as planned, ending ESA's first solar-powered mission to another celestial body and Europe's first mission to the Moon. ...

Sep 03, 2006
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Mars' dust storms may produce peroxide snow

The planet-wide dust storms that periodically cloak Mars in a mantle of red may be generating a snow of corrosive chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, that would be toxic to life, according to two new studies ...

Jul 31, 2006
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A simple survey yields a cosmic conundrum

A survey of galaxies observed along the sightlines to quasars and gamma-ray bursts--both extremely luminous, distant objects--has revealed a puzzling inconsistency. Galaxies appear to be four times more common in the direction ...

Jul 31, 2006
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Pre-life molecules present in comets

Evidence of atomic nitrogen in interstellar gas clouds suggests that pre-life molecules may be present in comets, a discovery that gives a clue about the early conditions that gave rise to life, according to researchers from ...

Jul 26, 2006
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Cassini finds evidence for hydrocarbon lakes on Titan

The Cassini spacecraft, using its radar system, has discovered very strong evidence for hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. Dark patches, which resemble terrestrial lakes, seem to be sprinkled all over the high latitudes ...

Jul 25, 2006
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The Case for Habitable Exoplanet Moons

As scientists refine their methods, exoplanets are becoming easier and easier to detect. The current count is 163 planets orbiting 97 main-sequence stars, of which only one is even remotely Earth-like. All ...

Apr 27, 2006 feature
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'Hot Jupiter' Systems may Harbor Earth-like Planets

The catalogue of confirmed extrasolar planets ('exoplanets') is growing rapidly. There are currently approximately 133 known planetary systems, harboring a total of 156 exoplanets as of January 2006*. With ...

Mar 19, 2006 feature
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