The centimeter-sized fragments and smaller particles that make up the regolith - the layer of loose, unconsolidated rock and dust - of small asteroids is formed by temperature cycling that breaks down rock in a process called thermal fatigue, according to a paper published today.
A new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two contrasting galaxies: NGC 1316, and its smaller neighbour NGC 1317. These two are quite close to each other in space, but they have very different histories. The small spiral NGC 1317 has led an uneventful life, but NGC 1316 has engulfed several other galaxies in its violent history and shows the battle scars.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have rejuvenated a technique for finding planets near distant stars. New measurements of light from special lamps could help astronomers find planets hidden in data from more than a decade's worth of extrasolar planet searches, as well as improve telescopes' current capabilities.
Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar flares are created. New footage put together by an international team led by University of Cambridge researchers shows how entangled magnetic field lines looping from the Sun's surface slip around each other and lead to an eruption 35 times the size of the Earth and an explosive release of magnetic energy into space.
A new, planet-like body has been found on the outer edges of the solar system. This object is the second body of its class found since the identification of the dwarf planet Sedna in 2003. It joins an exclusive club composed of some of the strangest objects in the solar system.
Quintessence and phantom fields, two hypotheses formulated using data from satellites, such as Planck and WMAP, are among the many theories that try to explain the nature of dark energy. Now researchers suggest that both possibilities are only a mirage in the observations and it is the quantum vacuum which could be behind this energy that moves our universe.
A rocket launch in March 2004, multiple swing-bys past Earth and Mars, high-speed fly-bys of asteroids Steins and Lutetia - after all this, the Philae lander on board ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, which is en route to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is in good shape.
Researcher have intently studied the closest type Ia supernova discovered in a generation. The proximity to Earth could yield better understanding of this particular type of supernova that astronomers use to gauge distances in the universe and learn about its expansion history.