New research suggests that much of the material that made life possible on Earth arrived after a cataclysmic collision between our planet and a Mars-sized object billions of years ago—likely the same collision that produced the Moon, the scientists say. Continue reading A Collision With Another Planet May Have Seeded Earth With the Ingredients for Life
A new 360-degree panorama captured by the Curiosity Rover is one of its best yet. Continue reading NASA’s Curiosity Rover Takes a Stunning Selfie Under Dusty Martian Skies
Kepler is the gift that keeps on giving. After suffering a major malfunction five years ago, the rejiggered space-based telescope continues to churn away, scanning the heavens for signs of distant worlds. An international team of astronomers has now released the results of its latest survey, confirming the existence of nearly 100 new exoplanets.
Now that TRAPPIST-1 is the trendiest star system in the galaxy, astronomers and nerds alike are clamoring to learn more about it. We know that the seven-planet system contains three planets in the habitable zone, which means they could hypothetically support liquid water, and even life. We also know that the TRAPPIST-1 planets orbit around their ultracool dwarf star very closely, which could be good or bad for finding life, depending on who you ask. And now, we know a little more about the most distant planet in the bunch.
Less than a week ago, the citizens of Earth were introduced (technically, re-introduced) to a star system 39 light years away hosting seven Earth-sized exoplanets, three of which lie squarely in the habitable zone. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, researchers are now suggesting that a fourth of the TRAPPIST-1 planets might be habitable, too—if we stretch our imaginations a bit.
Seventy percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water, meaning if we were unfortunate enough to be struck by an enormous asteroid, it’d probably make a big splash. A team of data scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory recently decided to model what would happen if an asteroid struck the sea. Despite the apocalyptic subject matter, the results are quite beautiful.
NASA’s Cassini probe is nearing the end of its lifetime, and the little spacecraft is going out with a bang. Today, the spacecraft begins a series of 20 “ring-grazing” orbits, bringing Cassini the closest it’s ever been to Saturn’s vast, majestic discs of ice and dust.