How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? I generally say that I’m an astronomer. More specifically, I’m an exoplanet astronomer, meaning I study planets that exist around other stars. In our solar system, all the planets orbit the Sun. I’m looking at planets in other stellar systems, orbiting stars much further away than the Sun. What are the implications or broader impacts of your work? This is … Continue reading What Does an Astronomer Do?
Jupiter’s moon Europa might not need the sun’s rays to glow. If so, its color will shed light on the chemistry of the ocean world. Continue reading Europa’s Glowing Ice Could Shine Light on the Moon’s Subterranean Secrets
A team of international astronomers have identified the smallest free-floating “rogue” planet observed to date. Continue reading Going Rogue in Space
Scientists have discovered four lakes buried under the icy surface of the red planet. Could they lead us to biological life? Continue reading Underground Lakes Discovered on Martian Polar Cap
A toxic and scorching hot planet, Venus has never been considered a likely candidate for harboring extraterrestrial life, but a molecule detected in its clouds is turning heads. Continue reading Signatures of Life in Venus’s Clouds
Astrobiologists have discovered a way for exposed bacteria to survive voyages through space, giving them the potential to spread life throughout the universe. Continue reading Bacteria May Have Figured Out Space Travel
Researchers create a melanin particle containing selenium, providing even more protection from harsh UV rays. These nanoparticles can be incorporated into clothing – providing astronauts a very lightweight alternative to lead shielding. Continue reading Artificial Sunscreen Protects Cells from X-ray Radiation
Researchers have discovered a mysterious, repeating pattern of fast radio bursts from space – and no one knows where they are coming from. Continue reading Mysterious Pattern of Fast Radio Bursts Detected in Space
by Christopher Rota figures by Hannah Zucker When the first Apollo program astronauts set foot on the Moon in 1969, their footsteps inspired a generation. This opened a new realm of possibility for what humans can achieve with the necessary motivation and resources. Now, just over 50 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has put the wheels in motion to lay down a fresh … Continue reading Should We Help NASA “Shoot for the Moon” Again?
Data from the New Horizons probe, flying in the asteroid field far beyond Pluto, have finally been downloaded and analyzed. They challenge our previous views of the formation of the solar system. Continue reading Fly-by of a distant asteroid provides clues about the formation of our solar system