Mars spacecraft reveals a more dynamic Red Planet 13 December 2013, 3:00 am The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed slender dark markings — possibly due to salty water — that advance seasonally down slopes surprisingly close to the martian equator.
Hidden details revealed in nearby starburst galaxy 11 December 2013, 3:30 am Using the new high-frequency capabilities of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, astronomers have captured never-before-seen details of the nearby starburst galaxy M82.
Noble gas molecule discovered in space 12 December 2013, 8:21 pm A molecule containing a noble gas has been discovered in space. The molecule, argon hydride, was seen in the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded 1,000 years ago.
Fast radio bursts might come from nearby stars 12 December 2013, 6:34 pm First discovered in 2007, "fast radio bursts" continue to defy explanation. These cosmic chirps last for only a thousandth of a second. The characteristics of the radio pulses suggested that they came from galaxies billions of light-years away. However, new work points to a much closer origin -- flaring stars within our own galaxy.
Hubble Space Telescope sees evidence of water vapor venting off Jupiter moon 12 December 2013, 5:33 pm NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter's moon Europa, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon's surface. Previous scientific findings from other sources already point to the existence of an ocean located under Europa's icy crust. Researchers are not yet fully certain whether the detected water vapor is generated by erupting water plumes on the surface, but they are confident this is the most likely explanation.
Hubble discovers water vapor venting from Jupiter’s moon Europa 12 December 2013, 5:06 pm The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered water vapor erupting from the frigid surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, in one or more localized plumes near its south pole. Europa is already thought to harbor a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust, making the moon one of the main targets in the search for habitable worlds away from Earth. This new finding is the first observational evidence of water vapor being ejected off the moon's surface.
Fire vs. ice: The science of ISON at perihelion 11 December 2013, 7:29 pm After a year of observations, scientists waited with bated breath on Nov. 28, 2013, as Comet ISON made its closest approach to the sun, known as perihelion. Would the comet disintegrate in the fierce heat and gravity of the sun? Or survive intact to appear as a bright comet in the pre-dawn sky?
Announcing project AGORA: Ambitious comparison of computer simulations of galaxy evolution 11 December 2013, 3:38 pm A long-standing difficulty with supercomputer simulations of the evolution of galaxies has been getting consistent results among different codes (programs) and with actual observations, so simulated galaxies look like real galaxies. But reproducibility is one of the most elementary principles in scientific methods. An ambitious new multiyear project AGORA aims to understand and resolve such inconsistencies.
We're not likely to get fried bygamma ray burst 10 December 2013, 9:25 pm If recent news that researchers observed the largest gamma ray burst ever has you nervous about getting blasted into extinction, the researchers themselves say chances of that are exceedingly rare.
Astronomers solve temperature mystery of planetary atmospheres 10 December 2013, 3:11 pm An atmospheric peculiarity the Earth shares with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is likely common to billions of planets, astronomers have found, and knowing that may help in the search for potentially habitable worlds.
First radiation measurements from the surface of Mars 10 December 2013, 12:11 am In the first 300 days of the Mars Science Laboratory's surface mission, the Curiosity rover cruised around the planet's Gale Crater, collecting soil samples and investigating rock structures while the onboard Radiation Assessment Detector made detailed measurements of the radiation environment on the surface of Mars. The radiation on Mars is much harsher than on Earth for two reasons: Mars lacks a global magnetic field and the Martian atmosphere is much thinner than Earth's, providing little shielding to the surface.