StarDate Online 25 Jan 2018, 06:00 UTC When a star explodes as a supernova, it’s bad news for any nearby planets. The shockwave blasts the planets to cosmic dust. But that act of cosmic destruction clears the way for new acts of creation: the birth of new planets. And a recent study suggests a way for the second-chance planets to take shape.
NASACast Audio 24 Jan 2018, 17:32 UTC Pluto -- which is smaller than Earth’s Moon -- has a heart-shaped glacier that’s the size of Texas and Oklahoma. Fascinating Pluto also has blue skies, spinning moons, mountains as high as the Rockies, and it snows—but the snow is red! In this episode of Gravity Assist, Jim Green talks with New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute about what the July 2015 flyby of Pluto revealed about this mysterious and diverse world.
ESOcast 24 Jan 2018, 11:00 UTC A new national facility at ESO’s La Silla Observatory has successfully made its first observations. The ExTrA telescopes will search for and study Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. ExTrA’s novel design allows for much improved sensitivity compared to previous searches. Astronomers now have a powerful new tool to help in the search for potentially habitable worlds.