Gas insulation could be protecting an ocean inside Pluto

A gassy insulating layer beneath the icy surfaces of distant celestial objects could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought. Computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating ...

Video: Jupiter odyssey

ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Juice, is set to embark on a seven-year cruise to Jupiter starting May 2022. The mission will investigate the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants and the Jupiter system as an ...

Encouraging prospects for moon hunters

Astrophysicists of the University of Zürich, ETH Zürich and the NCCR PlanetS show how the icy moons of Uranus were born. Their result suggests that such potentially habitable worlds are much more abundant in the Universe ...

Santa's workshop could be on snowy moon

Santa's winter workshop might be in space, as University of Warwick researchers are exploring whether snowy moons over a billion kilometres away from Earth are potentially habitable.

Life could be likelier on icy planets than rocky ones

In the hunt for extra-terrestrial life, scientists tend to take what is known as the "low-hanging fruit approach." This consists of looking for conditions similar to what we experience here on Earth, which include at oxygen, ...

Cassini concludes pioneering mission at Saturn

The international Cassini mission has concluded its remarkable exploration of the Saturnian system in spectacular style, by plunging into the gas planet's atmosphere.

Hidden lake discovery sheds light on alien hunt

Evidence of new strains of bacteria in a lake hidden under an Icelandic glacier far from the sun has revealed how life might thrive in sub-surface oceans on the icy moons around Saturn and Jupiter.

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