Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths - planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone - broken up and fallen into the sun billions of years ago largely due to a great inward-and-then-outward journey that Jupiter made early in the solar system's history.
A search of nearby galaxies for their oldest stars has uncovered two stars in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy that were born shortly after the galaxy formed, approximately 13 billion years ago. The unusual chemical content of the stars may have originated in a single supernova explosion from the first generation of Sculptor stars.
A quantum version of General relativity demonstrates that Dark Energy and Dark Matter are different manifestations of gravity. The theory calculates the precise value of the cosmological constant, derives the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation, gives a quantum description of Black Holes and calculates the baryonic mass content of the observable universe.
The star cluster is buried within a supernebula in a dwarf galaxy known as NGC 5253, in the constellation Centaurus. The cluster has one billion times the luminosity of our sun, but is invisible in ordinary light, hidden by its own hot gases.
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere.
Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple planets orbiting the host star. By analysing these planetary systems, researchers have calculated the probability for the number of stars in the Milky Way that might have planets in the habitable zone. The calculations show that billions of the stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and where life could exist.
Researchers have discovered a quasicrystal - so named because of its unorthodox arrangement of atoms - in a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite from a remote region of northeastern Russia, bringing to two the number of natural quasicrystals ever discovered.
Scientists have, for the first time, examined a detailed 'time lapse' X-ray image of the expansion of a classical nova explosion using the GK Persei nova - a binary star system which underwent a nova explosion in 1901.
Sulfide chondrules, a new type of building blocks discovered in meteorites left over from the solar system's infancy, provide evidence for a previously unknown region in the protoplanetary disk that gave rise to the planets including Earth.
Following a successful launch at 10:44 p.m. EDT Thursday, NASA's four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft are positioned in Earth's orbit to begin the first space mission dedicated to the study of a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection. This process is thought to be the catalyst for some of the most powerful explosions in our solar system.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface.
A MIT spinout has developed a commercial electrospray propulsion system - their first is about the size of a pack of gum - made of tiny chips that provide thrust for small satellites. Among other advantages, this module can be manufactured for significantly less than today's alternatives.