Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars is older than once thought

Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars is older than once thought

Recent geologic mapping of the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) on Mars—an intensely eroded deposit near the northern edge of the cratered highlands—has revealed a wider distribution of its western component than was previously recognized. Geologic map of the MC-23 NW quadrangle on Mars, highlighting MFF units in solid colors. The landing site targeted for the Mars [continue reading]

Supernova Remnant is a Giant Particle Collider in Space

Supernova Remnant is a Giant Particle Collider in Space

  Gamma-ray observations of a supernova remnant interacting with a molecular cloud in the outskirts of our Galaxy highlights the interplay of particle physics and particle astrophysics. Supernova Remnant Simeis 147 In the cosmos we see many examples of particle physics at work on scales that cannot be achieved in manmade, Earth-bound laboratories. One such [continue reading]

The Anatomy of a Stellar Outflow

The Anatomy of a Stellar Outflow

  Astronomers used to think that star formation simply involved the gradual coalescence of material under the influence of gravity. No longer.  A Hubble image of a jet of emission from a young star (Herbig-Haro 111). A new paper reports that infrared spectra of a jet has uncovered a rich trove of diagnostic emission lines [continue reading]

OSIRIS-REx Scientists Measure Yarkovsky Effect

OSIRIS-REx Scientists Measure Yarkovsky Effect

  Scientists with the asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-REx *), have measured the mass and orbit of their destination asteroid, 1999 RQ36, with great accuracy. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will visit asteroid 1999 RQ36 and take a sample of pristine material and return it to Earth for analysis in 2023. Scientists with the University of Arizona-led asteroid [continue reading]

Organic Carbon In Meteorites From Mars Is Not Biological

Organic Carbon In Meteorites From Mars Is Not Biological

  Molecules containing large chains of carbon and hydrogen–the building blocks of all life on Earth–have been the targets of missions to Mars from Viking to the present day. While these molecules have previously been found in meteorites from Mars, scientists have disagreed about how this organic carbon was formed and whether or not it [continue reading]

Nomads of the Galaxy

Nomads of the Galaxy

  Recently, a study was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society proposing planets simply adrift in space may be something of a common phenomenon. Aptly titled “Nomads of the Galaxy,” the authors proposed an upper limit to the number of nomad planets that might exist in the Milky Way Galaxy: 100,000 [continue reading]