TECTONIC TIMETABLE Plate tectonics will grind to a halt in a few billion years, researchers predict. A computer simulation calculated how heat flows through a planet’s interior, including this snapshot during a period of active plate tectonics.
C. O’Neill et al/Phys. Earth Plan. Int. 2016
KEY INGREDIENTS Phosphorus and glycine, both essential to life, have been found at comet 67P, seen in this March 29 picture from the Rosetta spacecraft.
Rosetta/ESA, MPS, UPD, LAM, IAA, SSO, INTA, UPM, DASP, IDA
TARGET: EUROPA Slamming a spent fuel tank into the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa could vibrate the surface so much that a spacecraft flying by (shown in artist’s illustration) could see the tremors. Scientists might be able to analyze the tremors to gauge the thickness of the ice.