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
Usually when astronomers talk about our neighboring galaxy, they’re talking about Andromeda, which is a cozy 2.5 million light-years away. But just a little farther—okay, 500,000 light-years farther—is another spiral galaxy, the third largest in our local group. Hubble has just released its most detailed view yet of that galaxy, which is known as Triangulum (can you see why?). Continue reading Gaze in Awe at Hubble’s Most Detailed View of the Triangulum Galaxy
The most distant planetary exploration in history required a significant amount of careful planning and preparation, as well as a little bit of luck.
Mars may have a hostile, dusty exterior bathed in dangerous radiation, but a new study suggests that it’s possible life could exist under that inhospitable crust. Pockets of salty water with enough dissolved oxygen to support life may be present in certain parts of the planet, according to a new paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Continue reading Salty Water Under the Surface of Mars Could Have Enough Oxygen for Life
The Cassini space probe’s fatal plummet into Saturn has revealed that the gas giant’s innermost ring sheds icy showers of rain and organic molecules into the planet’s upper atmosphere at an incredible rate.
Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light-years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Continue reading Artificial Intelligence, NASA Data Used to Discover Eighth Planet Circling Distant Star
HAPPY NEW YEAR from the depths of outer space! While you were getting ready for your holiday vacation, NASA’s space probes were hard at work gathering awesome photos for you. Like Juno, the little spacecraft capturing the Earth-sized tempests while orbiting Jupiter.