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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 ...

Space Exploration Jul 12, 2022

China is considering a nuclear-powered mission to Neptune

One look at the Planetary Decadal Survey for 2023–2032, and you will see some bold and cutting-edge mission proposals for the coming decade. Examples include a Uranus orbiter and probe (UOP) that would study Uranus' interior, ...

Astronomy Jul 05, 2022

The solar system is stable for at least the next 100,000 years

It's nice to have a feel-good story every once in a while, so here's one to hold off the existential dread: the Earth isn't likely to get flung off into deep space for at least 100,000 years. In fact, all of the solar system's ...

Space Exploration Jul 05, 2022

NASA considers sending swimming robots to habitable 'ocean worlds' of the solar system

NASA has recently announced US$600,000 (£495,000) in funding for a study into the feasibility of sending swarms of miniature swimming robots (known as independent micro-swimmers) to explore oceans beneath the icy shells ...

Condensed Matter Jun 28, 2022

Breaking the strongest chemical bonds with laser shock compression

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists recently obtained high-precision thermodynamic data on warm dense nitrogen at extreme conditions that could lead to a better understanding of the interiors of celestial ...

Astronomy Jun 21, 2022

Scientists identify a possible source for Charon's red cap

Southwest Research Institute scientists combined data from NASA's New Horizons mission with novel laboratory experiments and exospheric modeling to reveal the likely composition of the red cap on Pluto's moon Charon and how ...

Astronomy Jun 13, 2022

A wandering star disrupts the stellar nursery

From a zoomed out, distant view, star-forming cloud L483 appears normal. But when a Northwestern University-led team of astrophysicists zoomed in closer and closer, things became weirder and weirder.

Astronomy Jun 09, 2022

Ground-breaking number of brown dwarfs discovered

Brown dwarfs, mysterious objects that straddle the line between stars and planets, are essential to our understanding of both stellar and planetary populations. However, only 40 brown dwarfs could be imaged around stars in ...

Astronomy May 20, 2022

What's it like to be on Venus or Pluto? We studied their sand dunes and found some clues

What is it like to be on the surface of Mars or Venus? Or even further afield, such as on Pluto, or Saturn's moon Titan?

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