A new water world

Saturn’s ice-covered moon Enceladus could harbor a warm-water ocean beneath its frozen surface, opening up new possibilities for life beyond Earth. Enceladus has fascinated astronomers since 2005, when NASA’s Cassini probe caught geysers on the moon’s south pole spewing out plumes of salty water. Water that is thought to have originated in an ocean buried beneath the moon’s 25-mile-thick ice […]

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Galactic turmoil ahead

The Milky Way and its closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, are on course for “ a head-on collision,” says astronomer Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute. But no need for precautions because the crash won’t happen for another 4 billion years. Researchers have long known that Andromeda, currently some 2.5 million light-years away, is moving toward […]

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A Moon With Water

Astrobiologists searching the heavens for extraterrestrial life have a simple motto: “Follow the water, ”says The Washington Post. Water is an essential ingredient in all earthly biochemistry, so scientists believe it’s logical to look for life first on planets and moons with liquid water.New data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft indicate that Enceladus, a tiny, ice-encrusted moon orbiting Saturn, may be […]

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Mysterious signal from deep space

Mysterious signal from deep space

Mysterious radio signals from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time, researchers have noticed a pattern in a series of bursts coming from a single source half a billion light-years from Earth. Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are millisecond-long bursts of radio waves in space. Individual radio bursts emit once and don’t repeat. But repeating fast […]

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Ice in a planetary cauldron

With temperatures in excess of 800 F, Mercury is one of the last places in the solar system you’d expect to find ice. But when NASA’s Messenger spacecraft transmitted its first optical images of the closest planets to the sun, that’s exactly what scientists discovered. Mercury sits about 36 million miles from the sun, which is roughly 57 million miles […]

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Dark matter is (probably) more complex than you think

Scientists typically believe that dark matter behaves in a simple way: if one clump encounters another, the two interact solely through gravity. However, researchers have published findings which suggest that there’s more involved. They’ve noticed dark matter (the blue lines in the photo above) lagging behind a galaxy due to friction, hinting that there are factors beyond gravity at work. […]

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