Tag Archives: space

Why NASA looks to Europa to find the building blocks of life

NASA Europa moon Jupiter

NASA wants to send an expedition to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, to find the ocean it believes lies under the ice — and the building blocks for life it thinks it will find there. When it comes to life, biologists have long hypothesised that its origins — on Earth, at least — were in thermal vents on the ocean floor, following a ... Read More »

Water on Earth is older than the Sun

Water Earth

Scientists have discovered that the life-giving water of Earth predates the formation of the Sun – and there could be a lot more of it out there. Water is essential to life on Earth and likely indicator for alien life as well, which is why so much of the world’s space missions and astronomical research is directed towards locating evidence of it on another ... Read More »

The sun’s magnetic field has flipped upside-down

Sun solar

The sun has undergone a “complete field reversal,” with its north and south poles changing places as it marks the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. “A reversal of the sun’s magnetic field is, literally, a big event,” NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips said in a statement issued on the space agency’s website. “The sun’s polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and ... Read More »

Mars rover Opportunity finds traces of ‘drinkable’ water

Mars rover

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has made what may be its greatest discovery: Proof freshwater once existed on the Red Planet. The rover’s previous discoveries over the last nine years suggest that water on Mars was acidic. Since 2011, the solar-powered six-wheel Opportunity has explored the Endeavour Crater, the largest of the five craters already examined by the rover. In Endeavour, ... Read More »

X-rays show galactic black hole spinning near speed of light

Black hole

Black holes may have given up some secrets of their growth thanks to the sleuthing of two X-ray space telescopes. The findings have solved a long-standing mystery about a supermassive black hole’s spin, finding that some of them can whirl very close to what the speed of light allows. NASA’s X-ray telescope NuSTAR teamed up with the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space ... Read More »

Asteroid mining company aims for deep-space colonies

asteroid mining

A new asteroid-mining company launched Tuesday with the goal of helping humanity expand across the solar system by tapping the vast riches of space rocks. The new firm, called Deep Space Industries, Inc., announced today (Jan. 22) that it plans to launch a fleet of prospecting spacecraft in 2015, then begin harvesting metals and water from near-Earth asteroids within a decade or ... Read More »

Scientists discover black holes weighing 40 billion suns

Arp 147

This NASA image shows a new image of a ring – not of jewels – but of black holes. This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by ... Read More »

Potentially habitable planet discovered

tau ceti

Astronomers have discovered that the closest Sun-like star, Tau Ceti, is orbited by five planets, one of which is in the “habitable range”. If its existence is confirmed, the planet could be the closest potentially life-harboring world to our own. Tau Ceti, twelve light years away, belongs to the same G-type yellow main-sequence class as our sun, which is relatively ... Read More »

Scientists may have found a 200 mile river of oil

Oil on Saturn moon Titan

…but it’s on the other side of the solar system. NASA scientists say they’ve discovered a Nile-like river on Titan, the most Earth-like of Saturn’s moons. Oh, and the river is made of oil. “Titan is the only other world we know of that has stable liquid on its surface,” Jia-Rui Cook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab writes. “While Earth’s hydrologic cycle relies on ... Read More »

Moon’s crust thinner than expected – NASA

Moon

The Lunar surface is thinner than previously thought, NASA scientists revealed after a year-long mission to map the moon by two probes ended with a literal bang. The mission was dedicated to uncovering more about the formation of the solar system. Two probes – nicknamed ‘Ebb’ and ‘Flow’ – completed a programmed crash at the end of their mission, revealing ... Read More »