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E.g., 02/21/2017
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  • Naica mine in Chihuahua, Mexico
  • icy surface of Europa
  • illustration of Juno spacecraft at Jupiter
Your search has returned 2531 articles:
  • News

    Microbes survived inside giant cave crystals for up to 50,000 years

    BOSTON — Microbes found stowed inside giant crystals in caves in Chihuahua, Mexico, may have survived there for tens of thousands of years. The microorganisms, which appear to be vastly different from nearly all life-forms found on Earth, offer a good indication of how resilient life can be in extremely harsh environments, including those found on other planets.

    “These organisms are so...

    02/18/2017 - 12:55 Microbes, Genetics, Astrobiology
  • News

    Europa lander mission takes another step toward reality

    BOSTON — For the first time since the Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s, NASA is making the search for evidence of life on another world the primary science goal of a space mission. The target world is Jupiter’s moon Europa, considered possibly habitable because of its subsurface ocean.

    The proposed mission, which could be operational in the next two decades, calls for a lander with...

    02/18/2017 - 11:09 Planetary Science, Technology
  • Science Ticker

    Juno spacecraft won’t go into shorter orbit around Jupiter

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft will stay in its current 53-day orbit around Jupiter instead of closing into a 14-day orbit as originally planned, the Juno team announced February 17.

    An issue with two helium check valves, which are tied to the spacecraft’s main engine, had scientists concerned. The valves took several minutes to open when the team pressurized the spacecraft’s propulsion system...

    02/17/2017 - 16:02 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Science & the Public

    Citizen scientists are providing stunning new views of Jupiter

    Stormy, with a good chance of cyclones. That’s the forecast for Jupiter’s south pole — a region never seen before but quickly coming into focus with the help of citizen scientists.

    Music producer Roman Tkachenko’s edited image of Jupiter’s nether regions (featured above) is a perfect example. His enhancements make the swirling cyclones and white oval storms really pop compared with the...

    02/17/2017 - 06:00 Astronomy, Technology
  • News

    Ceres harbors homegrown organic compounds

    Dwarf planet Ceres contains the necessary ingredients for life, new data suggest.

    NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected organic compounds on Ceres — the first concrete proof of organics on an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This material probably originated on the dwarf planet itself, the researchers report in the Feb. 17 Science. The discovery of organic compounds,...

    02/16/2017 - 14:58 Planetary Science
  • News

    Supernova spotted shortly after explosion

    Astronomers have caught a star exploding just hours after light from the eruption first reached Earth. Measurements of the blast’s light suggest that the star rapidly belched gas in the run-up to its demise. That would be surprising — most scientists think the first outward sign of a supernova is the explosion itself.

    “Several years ago, to catch a supernova early would mean to detect it...

    02/13/2017 - 11:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Middling black hole may be hiding in star cluster

    Medium-weight black holes may exist after all. Astronomers say signs of a black hole with about 2,200 times the mass of the sun have been detected at the center of the star cluster 47 Tucanae. If confirmed, the discovery could hint at a new class of black holes, ones starved of gas.

    “It’s notoriously challenging to observe the centers of star clusters,” says Bülent Kiziltan of the...

    02/08/2017 - 13:00 Astronomy
  • Editor's Note

    Supernova story continues, just like science journalism

    Some stories are just too good to let go. Ian Shelton first spotted supernova 1987A on the evening of Monday, February 23, 1987. A notice announcing the discovery appeared in the issue of Science News that went to the printer that Wednesday — and articles followed in each of the next three issues, with more than a dozen stories about the stellar explosion over the course of the year. “It’s...

    02/08/2017 - 12:45 Astronomy
  • Science Visualized

    Observers caught these stars going supernova

    In A.D. 185, Chinese records note the appearance of a “guest star” that then faded away over the span of several months. In 1572, astronomer Tycho Brahe and many others watched as a previously unknown star in the constellation Cassiopeia blasted out gobs of light and then eventually disappeared. And 30 years ago, the world witnessed a similar blaze of light from a small galaxy that orbits the...

    02/08/2017 - 11:47 Astronomy
  • Feature

    When a nearby star goes supernova, scientists will be ready

    Almost every night that the constellation Orion is visible, physicist Mark Vagins steps outside to peer at a reddish star at the right shoulder of the mythical figure. “You can see the color of Betelgeuse with the naked eye. It’s very striking, this red, red star,” he says. “It may not be in my lifetime, but one of these days, that star is going to explode.”

    With a radius about 900 times...

    02/08/2017 - 08:00 Astronomy, Physics