Astrobiology Magazine 12 Apr 2018, 04:00 UTC They are the most abundant form of life on Earth, but viruses – or their seed-like dormant state, known as virions – are outliers in our search for life on other planets. Now, one group of scientists are pushing for astrobiologists to consider searching for viruses beyond Earth more seriously.
The Planetary Society Blog 11 Apr 2018, 18:10 UTC In the west rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity continued her exploration of Perseverance Valley in March – humankind’s first study of a carved channel in an ancient crater on the Red Planet – while scientists on Earth presented their latest findings from the robot’s returns at a prominent science conference and Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) officials worked on the plan to keep the mission trekking through 2019.
astrobites 11 Apr 2018, 16:46 UTC You may recall the 2006 movie called “Over the Hedge” that follows the adventures of a band of forest animals as they take their first excursion, well, over the hedge. Upon first encountering the towering hedge, the animals have no idea what it is and are afraid, so one of them helpfully suggests, “Let’s call it Steve!” to make the hedge less scary (youtube link — no really, watch it!). Fast-forward now to 2016, when citizen scientists in northern Canada spotted a strange purple ribbon glowing in the sky at lower latitudes than typical auroras. With no idea what it was and no scientific classification available, the scientists called the phenomenon “Steve” (originally as a joke in the spirit of “Over the Hedge, ” but the name stuck). Now, thanks to today’s authors, we’re closer to understanding STEVE.
Centauri Dreams 11 Apr 2018, 12:50 UTC Here’s an interesting situation: Around a star designated GSC 07396-00759, a member of a multiple star system, astronomers have found an edge-on disk. Such disks are helpful ways of studying planetary evolution, as we’re looking at gas, dust and planetesimals that represent a planetary system in the process of formation. But at GSC 07396-00759, the disk is more evolved than the gas-rich disk around the T Tauri star in the same system. In other words, we have two stars evidently of the same age whose disks show a different evolutionary pace.
SPACE.com 11 Apr 2018, 10:58 UTC Deep below a mountain in Italy, in the coldest cubic meter of the known universe, scientists are hunting for evidence that ghostly particles called neutrinos act as their own antimatter partners. What these researchers find could explain the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.
Astro Bob 10 Apr 2018, 18:42 UTC Stuff in Space is a real-time 3D map of man-made objects in Earth orbit brought to life by James Yoder. Yoder is a robotics guy and an incoming electrical engineering and computing freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve seen individual satellite simulations in real time on other sites, but this thing’s incredibly comprehensive. Plus it’s live, showing the positions of roughly 20,000 satellites, both living and dead, including debris and rocket stages in real time.