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Astronomy Apr 12, 2022

4 billion-year-old relic from early solar system heading our way

An enormous comet—approximately 80 miles across, more than twice the width of Rhode Island—is heading our way at 22,000 miles per hour from the edge of the solar system. Fortunately, it will never get closer than 1 billion ...

Astronomy Mar 30, 2022

Scientists discover distant long-period comets quickly fade away

As comets approach the Sun, they release gas and dust known to astronomers as cometary activity. For comets passing near or inside Earth's orbit, this activity slows over successive orbits. University of Oklahoma astronomer ...

Astrobiology Mar 28, 2022

Methane could be the first detectable indication of life beyond Earth

If life is abundant in the universe, atmospheric methane may be the first sign of life beyond Earth detectable by astronomers. Although nonbiological processes can generate methane, a new study by scientists at UC Santa Cruz ...

Astronomy Mar 22, 2022

Could the asteroid Ryugu be a remnant of an extinct comet?

Asteroids hold many clues about the formation and evolution of planets and their satellites. Understanding their history can, therefore, reveal much about our solar system. While observations made from a distance using electromagnetic ...

Earth Sciences Mar 21, 2022

Stratospheric sulfur after the Chicxulub impact may have extended climate change, contributing to mass extinction

While the popular Netflix movie "Don't Look Up" has raised public consciousness to the potential catastrophic effects of asteroid impact to planet Earth, new research sheds light on how the Chicxulub impact 66 million years ...

Astronomy Mar 17, 2022

How NASA's Roman telescope could help find Earth-like planets by surveying space dust

A team of scientists found NASA's Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will be able to measure a specific kind of space dust littered throughout dozens of nearby planetary systems' habitable zones, or the regions around stars ...

Astronomy Mar 14, 2022

Comet 67P's abundant oxygen more of an illusion, new study suggests

When the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft discovered abundant molecular oxygen bursting from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) in 2015, it puzzled scientists. They had never seen a comet emit oxygen, let alone ...

Astronomy Mar 14, 2022

The sun is slowly tearing this comet apart

Using ground-based and space-based observations, a team of researchers has been monitoring a difficult-to-see comet carefully. It's called Comet 323P/SOHO, and it was discovered over 20 years ago in 1999. But it's difficult ...

Planetary Sciences Mar 14, 2022

Meteorites that helped form Earth may have formed in the outer solar system

Our solar system is believed to have formed from a cloud of gas and dust, the so-called solar nebula, which began to condense on itself gravitationally ~ 4.6 billion years ago. As this cloud contracted, it began to spin and ...

Astronomy Mar 08, 2022

Astronomers discover largest molecule yet in a planet-forming disc

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, researchers at Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands have for the first time detected dimethyl ether in a planet-forming disc. With nine atoms, this ...

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