First Exposed Planetary Core Discovered – An Extremely Unusual Planet in the So-Called “Neptune Desert”2 Jul 2020, 08:38 UTC The newly discovered Neptune-sized exoplanet TOI 849 b orbits its star in just 18 hours and offers a unique opportunity to peer inside a planet to investigate how planets form. Was it like Jupiter before its atmosphere was stripped or did it fail to form one in the first place?
Universe Today 1 Jul 2020, 04:08 UTC When NASA’s new Perseverance Martian rover launches in a little over a month it will have a small robotic stow-away on board. Ingenuity is a small helicopter, with a fuselage about the size of a softball and two extending rotors that measure about 4 feet across. It was attached to the bottom of the rover’s chassis in April, and NASA recently released details about it’s technically challenging release process.
Lights in the Dark 30 Jun 2020, 19:11 UTC The Sun is awesome. I mean, never mind that it contains 99% of all the mass in the Solar System, that it supplies our planet with the energy needed to sustain life, that its constantly-blowing solar wind helps keep some of those nasty cosmic particles out of the planetary neighborhood, and that it makes a bright sunshiny day on Earth possible (but remember to wear sunscreen!) In addition to all that, it’s also just really, really cool. In the hot sense, of course. But even on the Sun a little rain must fall…just not like it does here.
Centauri Dreams 30 Jun 2020, 16:17 UTC Red dwarf stars have fascinated me for decades, ever since I learned that a potentially habitable planet around one might well be tidally locked. Trying to imagine a living world with a sun that didn’t move in the sky was the kind of exercise that I love about science fiction, where playing with ideas always includes a vivid visual element. What kind of landscapes would a place like this offer to the view? What kind of weather would tidal lock conjure? Stephen Baxter’s novel Proxima (Ace, 2014) is a wonderful exercise in such world-building.
Bad Astronomy 30 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC We know that a monster asteroid impact killed off the (non-avian) dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Sixty-six million years ago, a 10-kilometer wide space rock slammed into the Earth just off the coast of modern-day Yucatan, blasting a crater 150 kilometers wide and setting off a chain of catastrophic climate events that wiped out 75% of all species on the planet.
Universe Today 30 Jun 2020, 08:33 UTC Magnetars are some of the most ridiculous objects in the universe. Composed of the densest material possible spinning faster than your kitchen blender, they generate the absolute most powerful magnetic fields the cosmos has ever seen – and astronomers have recently spotted a newborn.
NASASpaceFlight.com 29 Jun 2020, 19:24 UTC Boeing powered up the Core Stage for the first Space Launch System on the B-2 Test Stand at the NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi last week following a long stand down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first Core Stage is at the outdoor facility for a Green Run test campaign that culminates in first-time propellant loading followed by an inaugural test-firing.
Universe Today 29 Jun 2020, 16:44 UTC So you want to colonize Mars, huh? Well Mars is a long ways away, and in order for a colony to function that far from Earthly support, things have to be thought out very carefully. Including how many people are needed to make it work. A new study pegs the minimum number of settlers at 110.
SciTech Daily 29 Jun 2020, 12:13 UTC A team of researchers simulated conditions on water-rich exoplanets in the laboratory and learned something surprising about their geological composition. Out beyond our solar system, visible only as the smallest dot in space with even the most powerful telescopes, other worlds exist. Many of these worlds, astronomers have discovered, may be much larger than Earth and completely covered in water — basically ocean planets with no protruding land masses. What kind of life could develop on such a world? Could a habitat like this even support life?