okt 102012
 
Star- and Planet-Forming Dust in Galaxies Soon After Big Bang

  Dust is an annoyance in everyday life, but an important building block of stars and planets. As such, astronomers need to understand how cosmic dust forms over time — it’s an integral step in figuring out the evolution of galaxies, and the stars and planets within them. A small portion of one of the [continue reading]

okt 082012
 
Twists and Turns in Interacting Galaxies

  Almost thirty years ago the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, IRAS, discovered that the Universe contained many fabulously luminous galaxies, some of them more than a thousand times brighter than our own galaxy, but which are practically invisible at optical wavelengths. The reason for their optical dimness is that their bright light comes not from stars, [continue reading]

sep 212012
 
Dawn Sees Hydrated Minerals on Asteroid Vesta (with Video)

  Volatiles, or easily evaporated materials, have colored Vesta’s surface in a broad swath around its equator. This has been reported in two new papers based on observations from the low-altitude mapping orbit of the Dawn mission.  Asteroid Vesta. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Pothole-like features mark some of the asteroid’s surface where the volatiles, likely water, released [continue reading]

sep 092012
 
Mars's Dramatic Climate Variations are Driven by the Sun

  On Mars’s poles there are ice caps of ice and dust with layers that reflect to past climate variations on Mars. Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have related the layers in the ice cap on Mars’s north pole to variations in solar insolation on Mars, thus established the first dated climate history for [continue reading]