Tagged: planets

Arecibo Observatory: Watching for Asteroids, Waiting for E.T.

Arecibo Observatory: Watching for Asteroids, Waiting for E.T.

Arecibo Observatory, which is in Puerto Rico, is the location of the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. Because radio telescopes can work at all times of day and in all kinds of weather, the...

Asteroid Odd Couple: Spitting Space-Rock Duo Is Truly Bizarre

Asteroid Odd Couple: Spitting Space-Rock Duo Is Truly Bizarre

In the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists have discovered a pair of space rocks, collectively called 288P, that don’t behave like anything previously observed in that region. The rocks’ strange characteristics could...

Why Looking for Aliens Is Good for Society (Even If There Aren’t Any)

Why Looking for Aliens Is Good for Society (Even If There Aren’t Any)

The search for life elsewhere in the universe is one of the most compelling aspects of modern science. Given its scientific importance, significant resources are devoted to this young science of astrobiology, ranging from rovers...

Finding Extraterrestrial Life May Rely on Identifying Traces Rather Than Aliens

Finding Extraterrestrial Life May Rely on Identifying Traces Rather Than Aliens

When the famous 15th-century inventor and scientist Leonardo da Vinci examined petrified shells with borings in them long ago, he had a remarkable insight. The strange fossilized formations, he determined, were likely left behind...

The Fermi Paradox

The Fermi Paradox

Where is everybody? Welcome to the Fermi Paradox.  It gets stranger. Our sun is relatively young in the lifespan of the universe. There are far older stars with far older Earth-like planets, which should...

The Family Tree of Exoplanets Has Just Divided Into Two Branches

The Family Tree of Exoplanets Has Just Divided Into Two Branches

Scientists have reorganized the exoplanetary tree of life into two distinct branches. Most exoplanets discovered so far are close in size to Earth or either Neptune, according to a new study led by the...

Four Days at Saturn

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft stared at Saturn for nearly 44 hours in April 2016 to obtain this movie showing four Saturn days.  Cassini will begin a series of dives between the planet and its rings...

Oxygen on ‘Exo-Venus’ Wouldn’t Mean Life

When studying an alien world orbiting another star, one would think astronomers would be thrilled to detect oxygen in its atmosphere. In the case of GJ 1132b, which orbits a star 39 light-years away,...