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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Mapping the moon

Two NASA probes that spent last year orbiting the moon have returned stunning new geological maps that could help explain how it, Earth, and other planets in our solar system formed. The probes, named Ebb and Flow, flew identical orbits just miles above the moon’s surface to measure its gravity field. Slight disruptions in their paths—caused by the push and […]

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Life-friendly lake on mars

NASA scientists have discovered evidence that a large freshwater lake existed on Mars billion of years ago, further strengthening the case that Earth’s neighbor once harbored life.The lake was part of a network of waterways that could have lasted thousands or even millions of years—possibly long enough for simple organisms to take hold there.Those conclusions come from an analysis of […]

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Our sun’s hotter sister

Stars are not born alone. Rather, they emerge from clouds of gas and dust in groups of up to 10,000, then slowly scatter through space. For the first time, astronomers have identified a star that came from the same solar nursery as our sun, some 4.5 billion years ago. This stellar relative—located 110 light-years away in the constellation Hercules—is hotter […]

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The secrets of supermassive black holes

Astronomers have spotted the most enormous black holes ever detected, inspiring new theories about how such pockets of extreme gravity form. Together, the two objects, which are roughly 300 million light-years away, have more mass than 30 billion suns, University of California at Berkeley astrophysicist Chung-Pei Ma tells the Associated Press. “They are monstrous,” she says. The smaller of the […]

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