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19 May 2017

Early Tanpopo mission results show microbes can survive in space

Early Tanpopo mission results show microbes can survive in space

Clumps of microbes can survive in space for at least a year – and perhaps longer, according to Japanese researchers conducting an experiment on board the International Space Station (ISS).

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17 April 2017

Why can we see and hear meteors at the same time?

Why can we see and hear meteors at the same time?

Light travels nearly a million times faster than sound. But for thousands of years, humans have reported hearing some meteors as they pass overhead, puzzling scientists for decades. Now, a new study puts forth a simple explanation for the phenomenon.

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4 April 2017

Impending weak solar activity could expose aircrews to higher radiation levels

Impending weak solar activity could expose aircrews to higher radiation levels

Aircrews and frequent fliers may soon experience an uptick in radiation exposure due to the upcoming low point in the solar cycle, when weak solar activity provides less protection against cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.

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3 April 2017

Untangling Uranus’s topsy-turvy magnetosphere

Untangling Uranus's topsy-turvy magnetosphere

New observations of Uranus being buffeted by shock waves from the sun have revealed auroral activity and fresh clues to the workings of the seventh planet’s unusual magnetosphere, the region of space dominated by its magnetic field.

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29 March 2017

New study shows how impacts generated Martian tsunamis

New study shows how impacts generated Martian tsunamis

A study published last year interpreted images of the red planet and suggested the deposits were made by impact-generated tsunamis more than 3 billion years ago. In a new study, Costard and his colleagues independently build on that work by including the geological characteristics of the deposits and modeling how impact-generated tsunamis could have created them. They conclude the deposits may have come from asteroids slamming into a northern ocean billions of years ago, generating waves 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) high.

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27 December 2016

Random temperature fluctuations may have made Earth habitable

Random temperature fluctuations may have made Earth habitable

Random temperature fluctuations in the mantle and on the planet’s surface could be the reason Earth is a habitable world with moving tectonic plates while other terrestrial planets in the solar system are inhospitable worlds, according to new research.

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7 July 2016

Future astronauts might not be able to use water on Mars, study suggests

Future astronauts might not be able to use water on Mars, study suggests

Last year, scientists made a splash with the news that dark streaks on the Martian surface were signs of flowing liquid water. So far, they have been unable to determine where the water is coming from, but a new study uses recently acquired data of a large canyon system on Mars to eliminate some of the possibilities.

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5 July 2016

Odd behavior of Jovian moon dust could inform future space missions, search for life

Odd behavior of Jovian moon dust could inform future space missions, search for life

New research into the movements of dust around Jupiter’s four largest moons could help scientists searching for life in our solar system, according to a new study. This moon dust around Jupiter could give scientists clues about the composition of the surface of its satellites.

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15 June 2016

New study questions source of rare Earth metals that provide clues to life’s origins

New study questions source of rare Earth metals that provide clues to life’s origins

A new study is reviving a decades-old debate about how Earth’s rarest elements came to exist on our planet – theories that have implications for the origin of life.

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17 December 2015

Scientists Map Titan’s Lakes, Revealing Clues to their Origins

Scientists Map Titan’s Lakes, Revealing Clues to their Origins

As Saturn’s largest moon, Titan earns its name. It’s also the only known body other than Earth with seas, numerous surface lakes, and even rainy weather. Now scientists have mapped out Titan’s polar lakes for the first time, revealing information about the moon’s climate and surface evolution. They found that the lakes formed differently than had been previously thought—and differently than any lakes on Earth.

A collaboration of scientists led by Alexander Hayes of Cornell University presented their findings at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. They used NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to penetrate Titan’s smoggy atmosphere and probe the complex lake systems below.

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