The quest for evidence of life on Mars could be more difficult than scientists previously thought. Researchers detail the investigation of a chemical in the Martian soil that interferes with the techniques used by the Curiosity rover to test for traces of life. The chemical causes the evidence to burn away during the tests.
For astrophysicists, the interplay of hydrogen - the most common molecule in the universe - and the vast clouds of dust that fill the voids of interstellar space has been an intractable puzzle of stellar evolution.
An international team, with participation from the University of Bern, has produced the first map of clouds on an exoplanet using the Kepler Space Telescope. Studying the atmospheres of exoplanets is the path towards ultimately identifying life elsewhere in the Universe. Understanding the role of clouds in exoplanet atmospheres is a necessary ingredient in the cosmic hunt for life.
Astronomers have uncovered the strange case of a neutron star with the peculiar ability to transform from a radio pulsar into an X-ray pulsar and back again. This star's capricious behavior appears to be fueled by a nearby companion star and may give new insights into the birth of millisecond pulsars.
In the already complicated science of what creates -- and causes constant change in -- two giant doughnuts of radiation surrounding Earth, researchers have added a new piece of information: Some of the electrons reach such enormous energies that they are driven by an entirely different set of physical processes.
The densest galaxy in the nearby Universe may have been found. Packed with an extraordinary number of stars, this unusual galaxy is providing astronomers with clues to its intriguing past and how it fits into the galactic evolutionary chain.
More than 83,000 volunteer citizen scientists. Over 16 million galaxy classifications. Information on more than 300,000 galaxies. This is what you get when you ask the public for help in learning more about our universe.
Two million years ago a supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy erupted in an explosion so immensely powerful that it lit up a cloud 200,000 light years away, a team of researchers led by the University of Sydney has revealed.
Responding to a space exploration roadmap recently released by NASA and the International Space Exploration Coordination Group that calls for robotic and human missions to near-Earth asteroids, the Moon and Mars, Srilanth Saripalli argues that most of the arguments in favor of manned space exploration are based on near-sighted assumptions about emerging developments in robotics.
Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts, scientists believed these belts consisted of two rings of highly charged particles. In February, scientists reported the discovery of a previously unknown third radiation ring - a narrow ring that briefly circled the Earth for a month. UCLA space scientists have successfully modeled and explained the unprecedented behavior of this third ring, and show that its energetic particles are driven by very different physics than the others.
Since 2000, the four identical satellites of the Cluster quartet have been probing Earth's magnetosphere in three dimensions. This week, two of them made their closest-ever approach, just 4 km, enabling valuable data to be acquired with unprecedented detail.