Some NASA missions fundamentally change the world of science or help win Nobel prizes, but only one saves thousands of lives worldwide every year.
In the icy bodies around our solar system, radiation emitted from rocky cores could break up water molecules and support hydrogen-eating microbes. To address this cosmic possibility, a University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) team modeled a natural water-cracking process called radiolysis. They then applied the model to several worlds with known or suspected interior oceans, including Saturn's moon Enceladus, Jupiter's moon Europa, Pluto and its moon Charon, as well as the dwarf planet Ceres.
Monash researchers have identified a new concept -- 'orphan memory' -- which changes the current thinking around gravitational waves.
The surfaces of Earth, Mars, and Titan, Saturn's largest moon, have all been scoured by rivers. Yet despite this similarity and the amazingly Earth-like landscapes of Titan complete with valleys, lakes, and mountains, researchers led by City College of New York geologist Benjamin Black report new evidence that the origins of the topography there and on Mars are different from on Earth.
NASA's MMS mission studies how electrons spiral and dive around the planet in a complex dance dictated by the magnetic and electric fields, and a new study revealed a bizarre new type of motion exhibited by these electrons.
In a paper published in Science, researchers report that Titan, like Mars but unlike Earth, has not undergone any active plate tectonics in its recent past. The upheaval of mountains by plate tectonics deflects the paths that rivers take. The team found that this telltale signature was missing from river networks on Mars and Titan.
Human activities, like nuclear tests and radio transmissions, have been changing near-Earth space and weather, and have created artificial radiation belts, damaged satellites and induced auroras.
Humans have long been shaping Earth's landscape, but now scientists know that we also can shape our near-space environment with radio communications, which have been found to interact with particles in space.
Researchers at Lehigh University have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of styrofoam. This 'puffy' exoplanet may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life. The research, 'KELT-11b: A Highly Inflated Sub-Saturn Exoplanet Transiting the V+8 Subgiant HD 93396,' appears in The Astronomical Journal May 2017 issue.
One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet.