The Planet that Should Not Be There?|
December 8, 2013 | University of Arizona
“The discovery of a giant planet orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance has astronomers puzzled over how such a strange system came to be.” Quoted from the University of Arizona press release.
The Saturn Hexagon?|
December 6, 2013 | NASA
“NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn’s north pole.
This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
Water Discovered on Five Planets|
December 6, 2013 | NASA
“Two teams of scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant exoplanets. The planets are not the size of Earth, but rather massive worlds known as hot Jupiters because they orbit so close to their stars. ” Quoted from the NASA press release.
First Known Zircon from Mars|
November 21, 2013 | The Australian
“An analysis of one of the 70-odd Martian meteorites discovered so far, a chunk of rock found several years ago by Bedouins in the Sahara Desert, has revealed the first known fragments of zircon from the red planet.” Quoted from The Australian press release.
Related: Meteorite Articles
Converting Methane into Diamonds?|
October 15, 2013 | National Geographic
Intense temperature, pressure and lightning storms on Saturn and Jupiter may be able to convert atmospheric methane into diamonds – producing a rain of diamonds on those planets.
The Impact of Fragmenting a Forest Environment|
October 2, 2013 | New York Times
In 1987, Thailand built a dam on the Khlong Saeng river. As the reservoir filled it transformed over 100 forested hilltops into islands. Now each island, along with its plant and animal inhabitants, is an experiment to test what happens with a forest environment is fragmented.
Searching for Earth’s Twin|
September 30, 2013 | National Geographic
MacArthur Fellow, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT is going to spend her “genius grant” on things that will hopefully help her search the skies for Earth’s twin.
Mars Soil Analysis Reports Several Percent Water
September 29, 2013 | NASA
“The first scoop of soil analyzed by the analytical suite in the belly of NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals that fine materials on the surface of the planet contain several percent water by weight.”
Quoted from the NASA press release.
No Methane on Mars?|
September 22, 2013 | NASA
“Data from NASA’s Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by U.S. and international scientists indicated positive detections.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
Related: Rocks on Mars
Repurposing Kepler to Find Unusual Planets|
September 10, 2013 | National Geographic
The Kepler spacecraft found over 100 exoplanets and thousands of exoplanet candidates in four years of operation. After it began to malfunction researchers may be able to repurpose it to find exoplanets new planets by detecting warped starlight.
Lava Planet with an 8.5 Hour Year|
August 28, 2013 | MIT
MIT researchers have discovered a planet that orbits its star in an amazing 8.5 hours. It is so close to that sun that its surface is probably covered with lava.
Want to Visit Mars? Permanently?|
August 12, 2013 | CNN
The Mars One project reports that 30,000 Americans have applied for one-way seats on their 2022 mission to Mars. The application fee is $38.
Related: If you go might find lots of shale, conglomerate and volcanic rocks that remind you of home.
Lowest Mass Exoplanet|
August 7, 2013 | NASA
“An international team of astronomers has imaged a giant planet around the bright star GJ 504. Several times the mass of Jupiter and similar in size, the new world, dubbed GJ 504b, is the lowest-mass planet ever detected around a star like the sun using direct imaging techniques.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
Earth from Saturn|
July 29, 2013 | NASA
“Color and black-and-white images of Earth taken by two NASA interplanetary spacecraft on July 19 show our planet and its moon as bright beacons from millions of miles away in space.” Quoted from the NASA image release.
A New Moon of Neptune|
July 19, 2013 | NASA
The Hubble Telescope has discovered a new moon of Neptune. The 14th moon is also the smallest – only about 12 miles across.
Did the Lower Crust Flow on Mars?|
July 19, 2013 | Speaking of Geoscience Blog
“In particular, the southeast region of Tharsis bears strong resemblance in structure and topography to eastern Tibet. High topography and thick crust of eastern Tibet produces long, low-gradient plateau margins that may be caused by the flow of weakened lower crust. This has me thinking: if the lower crust flows in Tibet, did it do so on Mars?” Quoted from the Speaking of Geoscience article.
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July 17, 2013 | Geology.com
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Six Planets – Three in Habitable Zone
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Six Planets – Three in Habitable Zone|
July 12, 2013 | National Science Foundation
“New observations of a star known as Gliese 667C have revealed a system with at least six planets, including a record-breaking three super-Earths orbiting in the star’s “habitable zone” where liquid water could exist on the planets. This is the first planetary system found to have a fully packed habitable zone.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
Naming the Moons of Pluto|
July 7, 2013 | BBC
The International Astronomical Union has approved names for two recently discovered moons of Pluto. They will be named Kerberos and Styx, conforming with a requirement that their names be derived from Greek or Roman mythology.
Three Super-Earths in the Habitable Zone|
June 26, 2013 | BBC
Astronomers have found three super-Earths in the habitable zone of a star, Gliese 667C.