Comets and meteorites contain clues to our solar system's earliest days. But some of the findings are puzzle pieces that don't seem to fit well together. A new set of theoretical models from Carnegie's Alan Boss shows how an outburst event in the Sun's formative years could explain some of this disparate evidence. His work could have implications for the hunt for habitable planets outside of our solar system.
Researchers at Brown University have shown that some Martian valleys appear to have been caused by runoff from orographic precipitation - moisture carried part of the way up a mountain and deposited on the slopes. The findings help to answer the question of whether water flowing on ancient Mars bubbled up from the ground or fell down from the atmosphere.
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.
Scientists led by the University of Leicester have set a new record for cosmic X-ray sources ever sighted - creating an unprecedented cosmic X-ray catalogue that will provide a valuable resource allowing astronomers to explore the extreme Universe.
In a bit of cosmic irony, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars. This is due to the interaction of a star's light with ice and snow on the planet's surface.
A snow line has been imaged in a far-off infant solar system for the very first time. The snow line, located in the disc around the Sun-like star TW Hydrae, promises to tell us more about the formation of planets and comets, the factors that decide their composition, and the history of the Solar System.
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy's early days.
The UK government has announced plans to invest in the development of an air-breathing rocket engine - intended for a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane - following the ESA-managed feasibility testing of essential technology.
A new study indicates that a bow shock (a dynamic boundary between sun's heliosphere and the interstellar medium) is highly likely. These findings challenge recent predictions that no such bow shock would be encountered.
New areas of extragalactic study may emerge from research by astrophysicists using data from the Chandra Space Telescope to conclude that baryons making up all visible matter - once thought to be missing from clusters - are present in the expected ratios in large, luminous clusters.
Two NASA spacecraft have provided the most comprehensive movie ever of a mysterious process at the heart of all explosions on the sun: magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection happens when magnetic field lines come together, break apart and then exchange partners, snapping into new positions and releasing a jolt of magnetic energy. This process lies at the heart of giant explosions on the sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can fling radiation and particles across the solar system.
A new study by NASA scientists sounds a cautionary note in interpreting rings and spiral arms as signposts for new planets. Thanks to interactions between gas and dust, a debris disk may, under the right conditions, produce narrow rings on its own, no planets needed.