Two worlds orbiting a distant star are about to become a snack of cosmic proportions. Astronomers announced today that the planets Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively.
Astronomers announced today that they have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered 'super-Earths,' making it a 'mega-Earth.'
The Secure World Foundation has released 'Near Earth Objects - Responding to the International Challenge'. This booklet is designed to bring into focus the key issues faced by the international community in dealing with the threat of near-Earth objects (NEOs) and the prospect of a celestial body hitting Earth.
Laser beams 60,000 billion times more powerful than a laser pointer have been used to recreate scaled supernova explosions in the laboratory as a way of investigating one of the most energetic events in the universe.
A recent review of hundreds of chemical analyses of Moon rocks indicates that the amount of water in the Moon's interior varies regionally - revealing clues about how water originated and was redistributed in the Moon. These discoveries provide a new tool to unravel the processes involved in the formation of the Moon, how the lunar crust cooled, and its impact history.
A study by geologists suggests that the Martian volcano Arsia Mons may have been home to one of the most recent habitable environments yet found on the Red Planet. The research shows that volcanic eruptions beneath a glacial ice sheet would have created substantial amounts of liquid water on Mars's surface around 210 million years ago. Where there was water, there is the possibility of past life.
Satellite de-orbiting and re-entry is essential to halt the continuous increase in orbital space debris. The BETS project, which ends this month, is making waves with a new tether solution that is faster and more resistant to damage than any other existing technology.
Like a bullet wrapped in a full metal jacket, a high-velocity hydrogen cloud hurtling toward the Milky Way appears to be encased in a shell of dark matter. Astronomers believe that without this protective shell, the high-velocity cloud known as the Smith Cloud would have disintegrated long ago when it first collided with the disk of our Galaxy.
Researchers will present new details and the first comprehensive overview of the on-orbit performance of their record-shattering laser-based communication uplink between the moon and Earth, which beat the previous record transmission speed last fall by a factor of 4,800. Earlier reports have stated what the team accomplished, but have not provided the details of the implementation.
The structures and star populations of massive galaxies appear to change as they age, but much about how these galaxies formed and evolved remains mysterious. Many of the oldest and most massive galaxies reside in clusters, enormous structures where numerous galaxies are found concentrated together. Galaxy clusters in the early universe are thought to be key to understanding the lifecycles of old galaxies, but to date astronomers have located only a handful of these rare, distant structures.