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E.g., 04/23/2018
E.g., 04/23/2018
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  • laser and exoplanet
  • animation of signals from alien civilizations
  • Atacama Desert
Your search has returned 42 articles:
  • News

    Lasers squeezed iron to mimic the conditions of exoplanet cores

    Physicists have simulated the cores of some large rocky exoplanets by pummeling iron with lasers. The resulting measurements give the first clue to how iron might behave inside planets outside the solar system that are several times the mass of Earth, researchers report April 16 in Nature Astronomy.

    “Until now, there’s been no data available on the state of these materials at the center...

    04/16/2018 - 12:49 Astrobiology, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    We probably won’t hear from aliens. But by the time we do, they’ll be dead.

    If signals from an alien civilization ever reach Earth, odds are the aliens will already be dead.

    In an effort to update the 1961 Drake Equation, which estimates the number of detectable, intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way, physicist Claudio Grimaldi and colleagues calculated the area of the galaxy that should be filled with alien signals at a given time (SN Online: 11/1/09)....

    03/12/2018 - 12:00 Astronomy, Astrobiology, Exoplanets
  • News

    A rare rainstorm wakes undead microbes in Chile’s Atacama Desert

    Chile’s Atacama Desert is so dry that some spots see rain only once a decade. Salt turns the sandy soil inhospitable, and ultraviolet radiation scorches the surface. So little can survive there that scientists have wondered whether snippets of DNA found in the soil are just part of the desiccated skeletons of long-dead microbes or traces of hunkered-down but still living colonies.

    A rare...

    02/27/2018 - 14:33 Microbiology, Astrobiology
  • News

    Americans would welcome alien life rather than fear it

    AUSTIN, Texas — If alien microbes crash-land on Earth, they may get a warm welcome.

    When people were asked how they would react to the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life, they give generally positive responses, researchers reported at a news conference February 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    This suggests that if...

    02/16/2018 - 17:00 Astrobiology, Microbiology, Science & Society
  • News

    Massive dust storms are robbing Mars of its water

    Storms of powdery Martian soil are contributing to the loss of the planet’s remaining water.

    This newly proposed mechanism for water loss, reported January 22 in Nature Astronomy, might also hint at how Mars originally became dehydrated. Researchers used over a decade of imaging data taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to investigate the composition of the Red Planet’s frequent...

    01/22/2018 - 11:00 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News in Brief

    Hubble telescope ramps up search for Europa’s watery plumes

    OXON HILL, Md. — Astronomers may soon know for sure if Europa is spouting off. After finding signs that Jupiter’s icy moon emits repeating plumes of water near its southern pole, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope hope to detect more evidence of the geysers.

    “The statistical significance is starting to look pretty good,” astronomer William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science...

    01/11/2018 - 13:34 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • Feature

    How to keep humans from ruining the search for life on Mars

    T he Okarian rover was in trouble. The yellow Humvee was making slow progress across a frigid, otherworldly landscape when planetary scientist Pascal Lee felt the rover tilt backward. Out the windshield, Lee, director of NASA’s Haughton Mars Project, saw only sky. The rear treads had broken through a crack in the sea ice and were sinking into the cold water.

    True, there are signs of...

    01/10/2018 - 11:30 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • Year in Review

    Seven Earth-sized planets entered the spotlight this year

    Discoveries of planets around distant stars have become almost routine. But finding seven exoplanets in one go is something special. In February, a team of planet seekers announced that a small, cool star some 39 light-years away, TRAPPIST-1, hosts the most Earth-sized exoplanets yet found in one place: seven roughly Earth-sized worlds, at least three of which might host liquid water (SN...

    12/13/2017 - 08:29 Astronomy, Exoplanets, Astrobiology
  • News

    Ice in space might flow like honey and bubble like champagne

    View the video

    Ice in space may break out the bubbly. Zapping simulated space ice with imitation starlight makes the ice bubble like champagne. If this happens in space, this liquidlike behavior could help organic molecules form at the edges of infant planetary systems. The experiment provides a peek into the possible origins of life.

    Shogo Tachibana of Hokkaido University in...

    09/29/2017 - 14:01 Astronomy, Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News

    R.I.P. Cassini

    PASADENA, Calif. — Cassini went down fighting.

    After 20 years in space and 13 years orbiting Saturn, the veteran spacecraft spent its last 90 seconds or so firing its thrusters as hard as it could to keep sending Saturnian secrets back to Earth for as long as possible.

    The spacecraft entered Saturn’s atmosphere at about 3:31 a.m. PDT on September 15 and immediately began running...

    09/15/2017 - 09:08 Astronomy, Planetary Science, Astrobiology