Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets - tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity - might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, astronomers have found.
The two hemispheres of Mars are more different from any other planet in our solar system. Non-volcanic, flat lowlands characterise the northern hemisphere, while highlands punctuated by countless volcanoes extend across the southern hemisphere. Although theories and assumptions about the origin of this so-called and often-discussed Mars dichotomy abound, there are very few definitive answers. Geophysicists are now providing a new explanation.
The astrophysics research group at Washington University in St.Louis built an instrument that is capable to measure the polarization properties of X-rays. This instrument, once flown in space, can be used in a novel approach to study the most extreme objects in the Universe, such as black holes and neutron stars.
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.
Fresh from giving the January Rossi Prize Lecture, the astrophysicists who discovered 2 enormous radiation bubbles in the center of our galaxy discuss what they may tell us about the Milky Way and how they could help in the search for dark matter.
Astronomers have discovered that the ring system that they see eclipse the very young Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system - the first of its kind to be found outside our solar system - was discovered in 2012.
XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competition, today announced that five Google Lunar XPRIZE teams have been awarded a combined US$5.25 million in recognition of key technological advancements toward their quest to land a private spacecraft on the surface of the moon.
A swarm of tiny probes each with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere. The probes would last an estimated 15 minutes.
Gravitational theories with broken Lorentz invariance have attracted a great deal of interest as they provide a test-bed of LI and offer a mechanism to improve their ultraviolet behavior, so that the theories may be renormalizable. However in such theories, particles can travel with arbitrary velocities and black holes may not exist at all. In contrast to this expectation, it has been shown that an absolute horizon exists, which traps signals despite infinitely large velocities.
New laser-driven compression experiments reproduce the conditions deep inside exotic super-Earths and giant planet cores, and the conditions during the violent birth of Earth-like planets, documenting the material properties that determined planet formation and evolution processes.
The RPC-ICA instrument onboard the Rosetta spacecraft has been watching the early stages of how a magnetosphere forms around Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it moves closer to the Sun along its orbit and begins to interact with the solar wind.
Astronomers have identified the first 'changing look' quasar, a gleaming object in deep space that appears to have its own dimmer switch. The discovery may offer a glimpse into the life story of the universe's great beacons.