Life may exist elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, though try as they might, scientists have yet to detect any sign of it. Part of the problem has to do with the size of space; finding traces of organic substances or the waste signatures of alien megastructures isn’t easy at such cosmic distances. Fortunately, there’s the possibility that alien life will come to us in the form of interstellar objects. Continue reading Why a Mission to a Visiting Interstellar Object Could Be Our Best Bet for Finding Aliens
Comets may not have played as big of a part in the moon’s early surface as once thought. A new study out in Nature Communications today says that 80 percent of the moon’s inner water may actually come from asteroids.
The strange, duck-shaped comet that ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has been orbiting for more than a year just got a bit stranger: Like plants on Earth, the comet is blowing molecular oxygen, O2, into the space around it. Molecular oxygen is thought to be rare in the cosmos – or at least exceptionally tricky to detect.
If a massive comet struck the Earth, the oceans would boil and the air would catch fire (don’t worry, this isn’t about to happen). But to alien astronomers studying our planet from afar, humanity’s brutal demise would look like nothing more than a faint flicker of light. If we could detect such impacts on distant worlds, we might learn a lot about their star systems.
Forgive this barred spiral galaxy if it looks a little messy. It’s the survivor of a galactic collision that bent and twisted the galaxy’s original shape, according to astronomers.
Humans, dark and disturbed creatures that we are, love to imagine what would happen if a massive comet struck the Earth. But what if a giant ice rock flung itself into the Sun? A team of astronomers did the math to figure out what would happen.
Some planets that are now small, hot, and rocky may have started off as icy giants like Neptune. Orbiting too close to their stars, their gassy shells boiled off until all that’s left is a rocky core. That’s what scientists have thought for a long time, anyway. Now, for the first time, they’ve spotted a small exoplanet that seems to be in the process of evaporating. The boiling atmosphere of the Neptune-sized GJ 436b is creating a tail that’s nine million miles long and about two million miles wide.