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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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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Strange Plumes On Mars

  Mysterious plumes of gas rising more than 150 miles above the surface of Mars have left scientists confounded. On two occasions in the spring of 2012, amateur astronomers spotted a cloud developing on the surface of the Red Planet. The plumes, which spanned about 600 miles in diameter and changed shape constantly, appeared within a few hours and remained […]

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Mystery Crater In Nicaragua

Mystery crater: A 40-foot crater has appeared in the ground near Managua airport. Nicaraguan authorities said the hole was caused by a meteorite that broke off from the passing Pitbull, or 2014 RC, asteroid. But NASA officials said that was unlikely, because such a strike would have produced an enormous fireball streaking across the sky, yet nobody reported seeing anything […]

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Voyager 1 Escaping Our Solar System

On the 35th anniversary of its launch, the Voyager 1 spacecraft is close to becoming the first man-made object to escape our solar system. The spacecraft—run by a 1977 computer 100,000 times less powerful than an iPod Nano—is currently 11.3 billion miles away. In 2004, Voyager 1 entered the turbulent boundary zone beyond Pluto, where solar winds encounter plasma pushing […]

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Black holes that wander

Supermassive black holes that have escaped their host galaxies may be wandering the universe alone. Intriguing new observations i by NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope have | revealed what appears to be a supermassive | black hole being “kicked out of a galaxy at enormous speed,” Francesca Civano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics tells Space.com. Astronomers observed two distinct light […]

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Gold’s cosmic origins

gold meteor

All the gold on Earth was forged in the collisions of massively dense stars billions of years ago. Astronomers have come to this conclusion after observing and analyzing the afterglow of a crash between two neutron stars in a galaxy 3.9 billion light-years away that yielded a hoard of gold likely equal to the mass of 20 Earths. “At today’s […]

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