Universe Today 20 Nov 2019, 10:05 UTC NASA has been rather up-front about its desire to send astronauts back to the Moon and on to Mars in the coming years. They are joined by multiple space agencies (such as the ESA, Roscosmos, the CNSA and the IRSO) who also wish to conduct their first crewed missions beyond Earth. However, what is often overlooked is the role teleoperated missions will play in the near-future – where humans and robots explore hand-in-hand.
Universe Today 20 Nov 2019, 09:46 UTC What’s been long-suspected has now been confirmed: Jupiter’s moon Europa has water. As we’ve learned more about the outer Solar System in recent years, Europa has become a high-priority target in the search for life. With this discovery, NASA has just painted a big red bulls-eye on Jupiter’s smallest Galilean moon.
Centauri Dreams 20 Nov 2019, 00:21 UTC When I think about mapping new places, I remember Vincent Van Gogh, who once said “To look at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?”
Astro Watch 19 Nov 2019, 21:33 UTC In order to search for life in outer space, astronomers first need to know where to look. A new Northwestern University study will help astronomers narrow down the search. The research team is the first to combine 3D climate modeling with atmospheric chemistry to explore the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars, which comprise about 70% of the total galactic population. Using this tool, the researchers have redefined the conditions that make a planet habitable by taking the star's radiation and the planet's rotation rate into account.
Universe Today 19 Nov 2019, 19:22 UTC It is a well-known astronomical convention that Earth has only one natural satellite, which is known (somewhat uncreatively) as “the Moon”. However, astronomers have known for a little over a decade that Earth also has a population of what are known as “transient Moons”. These are a subset of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) that are temporarily scooped up by Earth’s gravity and assume orbits around our planet
New Scientist 19 Nov 2019, 18:05 UTC We’ve finally spotted a neutron star that has been missing for over 30 years. In 1987, astronomers saw a star in one of our neighbouring galaxies explode in a supernova that should have left behind an incredibly dense neutron star, but since then nobody has been able to find it – until now.
Bad Astronomy 19 Nov 2019, 14:00 UTC Astronomers have long suspected Jupiter’s moon Europa may have conditions underneath its surface that could support life. We’ve known for a long time that its surface is a shell of ice over an ocean of liquid water, but it’s been difficult to see that water directly. The ice shell is kilometers thick, and all the evidence we have is indirect.
SPACE.com 19 Nov 2019, 12:07 UTC Like the famous video game superhero Pac-Man, black holes may grow by gobbling up feasts — in their case, other black holes, a new study found. Simulations suggest that this could happen in the zones just outside the gravitational influence of supermassive black holes, which reside in the hearts of galaxies. In these regions, gravity draws gas, stars, dust and even other black holes to the supermassive black hole.