Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the stars in the galaxy. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they are piecing together these evolutionary trees looking at how the stars formed and how they are connected to each other.
Imagine being able to view microscopic aspects of a classical nova, a massive stellar explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star (about as big as Earth), in a laboratory rather than from afar via a telescope.
Researchers have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley on Mars that appears to have been flooded by water in the not-too-distant past. In doing so, they have pinpointed a prime target to begin searching for past life forms on the Red Planet.