Making planets in a rocket

How are celestial bodies created? Aside from philosophical questions, researchers are taking practical steps to investigate the very first moments when planets are born—on a sounding rocket launching from Sweden next week.

Image: A ghost in the Pleiades

This ghostly image shows what can happen when an interstellar cloud passes too close to a star. Barnard's Merope Nebula, also known as IC 349, is a cloud of interstellar gas and dust traveling through the Pleiades star cluster ...

When exoplanets collide

A dramatic glimpse of the aftermath of a collision between two exoplanets is giving scientists a view at what can happen when planets crash into each other. A similar event in our own solar system may have formed the moon.

Atacama Desert microbes may hold clues to life on Mars

Microbial life on Mars may potentially be transported across the planet on dust particles carried by wind, according to a study conducted in the Atacama Desert in North Chile, a well-known Mars analogue. The findings are ...

Scientists discover stardust in Antarctic snow

A team of scientists hauled 500 kilograms of fresh snow back from Antarctica, melted it, and sifted through the particles that remained. Their analysis yielded a surprise: The snow held significant amounts of a form of iron ...

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