News From Space

Understanding how planets form is one of the main challenges scientists face when placing our own and other planetary systems in context. Planets are thought to form from the disk-shaped clouds of gas and dust that surround newborn stars, but this process has never been observed. Astronomers normally only observe planets after they have already […]
 
Asteroids don’t just sit there doing nothing as they orbit the Sun. They get bombarded by meteoroids, blasted by space radiation, and now, for the first time, scientists are seeing evidence that even a little sunshine can wear them down. Rocks on asteroid Bennu appear to be cracking as sunlight heats them up during the […]
 
Volcano-like features seen in polar regions of Saturn’s moon Titan by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could be evidence of explosive eruptions that may continue today, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Charles A. Wood and coauthor Jani Radebaugh of Brigham Young University. Morphological features such as nested collapses, elevated ramparts, halos, […]
 
Did you know a comet could shed up to 30 liters (8 gallons) of water per second? That’s exactly what the interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov did, according to a recent NASA article highlighting the research of Dennis Bodewits, Auburn University associate professor in the Department of Physics, and Zexi Xing, a graduate student at the University of Hong Kong […]
 
Ka`epaoka`awela asteroid surprised the world in 2018:  It was the first object in the solar system that was demonstrated to be of extrasolar origin. But now those who discovered it have announced that it is not alone. Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in April, work by Fathi Namouni, a CNRS […]
 
A team of astronomers, including researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has picked up on a curious, repeating rhythm of fast radio bursts emanating from an unknown source outside our galaxy, 500 million light-years away. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are short, intense flashes of radio waves that are thought to be the product of […]
 
While the Moon is often considered to have been tectonically dead for billions of years, new results from researchers at the University of Bern and Brown University have found evidence for recent tectonic activity that is not connected to any known sources of deformation. These “active nearside tectonic systems,” while young, may actually be the […]
 
What is the origin of the asteroids Bennu and Ryugu, and of their spinning-top shape? An international research team led by Patrick Michel, a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) researcher at the Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur/Université Côte d’Azur) and Ronald-Louis Ballouz from the University of Arizona, proposes an answer to […]
 
A team of transatlantic scientists, using reanalyzed data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting in its star’s habitable zone, the area around a star where a rocky planet could support liquid water. Scientists discovered this planet, called Kepler-1649c, when looking through old observations from Kepler, which the agency retired in […]