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Astrobiology Sep 19, 2022

Researcher helps identify new evidence for habitability in ocean of Saturn's moon Enceladus

The search for extraterrestrial life has just become more interesting as a team of scientists, including Southwest Research Institute's Dr. Christopher Glein, has discovered new evidence for a key building block for life ...

Quantum Physics Sep 16, 2022

How quantum physicists are looking for life on exoplanets

The world that quantum physicists study with a trained eye is the very same world that we non-scientists navigate every day. The only difference is that it's been magnified to scales incomprehensibly small and large.

Space Exploration Sep 14, 2022

Flying to (hypothetical) Planet 9: Why visit it, how could we get there and would it surprise us like Pluto?

In a recent study submitted to Earth and Planetary Astrophysics, an international team of researchers discuss the various mission design options for reaching a hypothetical Planet 9, also known as "Planet X," which state-of-the-art ...

Planetary Sciences Sep 12, 2022

What is the smallest planet? (It's not Pluto.) Taking a closer look at planet sizes.

As elementary schoolers, we learned the order of the planets. Maybe your teacher even had a snappy mnemonic like "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" or "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos" after ...

Planetary Sciences Sep 07, 2022

A new explanation for the reddish north pole of Pluto's moon Charon

A trio of researchers at Purdue University has developed a new theory to explain why Pluto's moon Charon has a reddish north pole. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, Stephanie Menten, Michael Sori ...

Astronomy Aug 31, 2022

Is Pluto a planet? It is no longer considered one, but some believe it should be

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Subject to memorization in school and known as the definitive planetary lineup, Pluto was included in the list until the International Astronomical ...

Space Exploration Aug 29, 2022

AI illuminates permanently shadowed regions on the moon

With the help of artificial intelligence, an international research team led by ETH Zurich has explored the moon's permanently shadowed regions. The information they have obtained about the area's surface properties will ...

Planetary Sciences Aug 19, 2022

What is the maximum number of moons that Earth could have?

In a recent study published in Earth and Planetary Astrophysics, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, Valdosta State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the National Radio Astronomy ...

Astronomy Aug 01, 2022

Stellar flybys leave a permanent mark on newly forming planetary systems

What do UX Tauri, RW Aurigae, AS 205, Z CMajoris, and FU Orionis have in common? They're young stellar systems with disks where planets could form. It appears those disks were disturbed by stellar flybys or other close encounters ...

Astronomy Aug 01, 2022

Planet 9 is running out of places to hide

We have a pretty good idea of what lurks within our solar system. We know there isn't a Mars-sized planet orbiting between Jupiter and Saturn, nor a brown dwarf nemesis heading our way. Anything large and fairly close to ...

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