Are Water Plumes Spraying from Europa? NASA’s Europa Clipper is on the Case (Planetary Science)

Finding plumes at Europa is an exciting prospect, but scientists warn it’ll be tricky, even from up close. In 2005, images of a brilliant watery plume erupting from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus captivated the world. The giant column of vapor, ice particles, and organic molecules spraying from the moon’s south polar region suggested … Continue reading Are Water Plumes Spraying from Europa? NASA’s Europa Clipper is on the Case (Planetary Science)

Brief presence of water in Arabia Terra on Mars (Planetary Science)

NAU PhD candidate Ari Koeppel, as part of a team of scientists from Northern Arizona and Johns Hopkins Universities, recently discovered that water was once present in a unique but brief manner in a region of Mars called Arabia Terra. Arabia Terra is in the northern latitudes of Mars. Named in 1879 by Italian astronomer … Continue reading Brief presence of water in Arabia Terra on Mars (Planetary Science)

Without Craters, Here’s How To Find Impact Spots (Planetary Science)

A new study, based on the analysis of cone fractures found at the Impact Structure in Santa Fe, presents a method for finding meteorite impact sites, even in the absence of craters. The key is the reduced level of natural magnetization of the rocks. The discovery could favor the study not only of terrestrial geology but also … Continue reading Without Craters, Here’s How To Find Impact Spots (Planetary Science)

One year on this giant, blistering hot planet is just 16 hours long (Planetary Science)

A newly discovered “ultrahot Jupiter” has the shortest orbit of any known gas giant. The hunt for planets beyond our solar system has turned up more than 4,000 far-flung worlds, orbiting stars thousands of  light years from Earth. These extrasolar planets are a veritable menagerie, from rocky super-Earths and miniature Neptunes to colossal gas giants. … Continue reading One year on this giant, blistering hot planet is just 16 hours long (Planetary Science)

New Opportunities To Study Ions in Space (Planetary Science)

Sofia Bergman, Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) and Umeå University, will defend her doctoral thesis on low-energy ions around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 26 November. Observing low energy ions is notoriously difficult because their properties are affected greatly by the spacecraft which observes them. Sofia has developed new methods to do this. Using her work, … Continue reading New Opportunities To Study Ions in Space (Planetary Science)

UCLA Astronomers Discover More Than 300 Possible New Exoplanets (Planetary Science)

Findings also include a distinctive planetary system with two gas giants UCLA astronomers have identified 366 new exoplanets, thanks in large part to an algorithm developed by a UCLA postdoctoral scholar. Among their most noteworthy findings is a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size … Continue reading UCLA Astronomers Discover More Than 300 Possible New Exoplanets (Planetary Science)

New possibilities for life at the bottom of Earth’s ocean, and perhaps in oceans on other planets (Planetary Science)

In the strange, dark world of the ocean floor, underwater fissures, called hydrothermal vents, host complex communities of life. These vents belch scorching hot fluids into extremely cold seawater, creating the chemical forces necessary for the small organisms that inhabit this extreme environment to live. In a newly published study, biogeoscientists Jeffrey Dick and Everett Shock have determined that … Continue reading New possibilities for life at the bottom of Earth’s ocean, and perhaps in oceans on other planets (Planetary Science)

Astronomers discover ancient brown dwarf with lithium deposits intact (Planetary Science)

A team of researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE), Mexico, has discovered lithium in the oldest and coldest brown dwarf where the presence of this valuable element has been confirmed so far. This substellar object, called Reid 1B, preserves intact the earliest known … Continue reading Astronomers discover ancient brown dwarf with lithium deposits intact (Planetary Science)

Near-Earth Asteroid Might be a Lost Fragment of the Moon (Planetary Science)

A team of UArizona-led researchers think that the near-Earth asteroid Kamo`oalewa might actually be a miniature moon. A near-Earth asteroid named Kamo`oalewa could be a fragment of our moon, according to a paper published today in Communications Earth and Environment by a team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona. Kamo`oalewa is a quasi-satellite – a subcategory … Continue reading Near-Earth Asteroid Might be a Lost Fragment of the Moon (Planetary Science)