NASA Breaking News 7 Jun 2018, 16:54 UTC NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet. While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet’s surface and subsurface. The new findings – “tough” organic molecules in three-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 6 Jun 2018, 21:49 UTC NASA has approved an update to Juno's science operations until July 2021. This provides for an additional 41 months in orbit around Jupiter and will enable Juno to achieve its primary science objectives.Juno is in 53-day orbits rather than 14-day orbits as initially planned because of a concern about valves on the spacecraft's fuel system. This longer orbit means that it will take more time to collect the needed science data.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 6 Jun 2018, 17:14 UTC Ever since NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter in March, 1979, scientists have wondered about the origin of Jupiter's lightning. That encounter confirmed the existence of Jovian lightning, which had been theorized for centuries. But when the venerable explorer hurtled by, the data showed that the lightning-associated radio signals didn't match the details of the radio signals produced by lightning here at Earth.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory 6 Jun 2018, 17:00 UTC A new study involving long-term monitoring of Alpha Centauri by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars, as described in our press release. This is important for the viability of life in the nearest star system outside the Solar System. Chandra data from May 2nd, 2017 are seen in the pull-out, which is shown in context of a visible-light image taken from the ground of the Alpha Centauri system and its surroundings.
California Institute of Technology 5 Jun 2018, 18:41 UTC Caltech scientists have found, for the first time, that merging pairs of neutron stars—the burnt-out cores of stars that have exploded—create the majority of heavy elements in small "dwarf" galaxies. Heavy elements, such as silver and gold, are key for planet formation and even life itself. By studying these dwarf galaxies, the researchers hope to learn more about the primary sources of heavy elements for the whole universe.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 4 Jun 2018, 18:59 UTC NASA's Curiosity rover is analyzing drilled samples on Mars in one of its onboard labs for the first time in more than a year.
ESO Top News 4 Jun 2018, 15:00 UTC Astronomers using ALMA and the VLT have discovered that both starburst galaxies in the early Universe and a star-forming region in a nearby galaxy contain a much higher proportion of massive stars than is found in more peaceful galaxies. These findings challenge current ideas about how galaxies evolved, changing our understanding of cosmic star-formation history and the build up of chemical elements.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 3 Jun 2018, 19:06 UTC A boulder-sized asteroid designated 2018 LA was discovered Saturday morning, June 2, and was determined to be on a collision course with Earth, with impact just hours away.