apr 042014
 
Large Ocean Inside Saturn's Moon Enceladus

  NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn’s moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes. Gravity measurements by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network suggest that Saturn’s moon Enceladus, which has jets of water vapor [continue reading]

okt 062013
 
Large "Hot" Cocoon around a Little Baby Star Found

  A large hot molecular cloud around a very young star was discovered by ALMA. This hot cloud is about ten times larger than those found around typical solar-mass baby stars, which indicates that the star formation process has more diversity than ever thought. This result was published in the Astrophysical Journal on September 20th, [continue reading]

sep 102013
 
Microscopic Signs of Life Shown to Survive on Mars

  An instrument similar to those used on Earth by art detectives and to sense explosives at airports will be taken into space for the first time by ExoMars, the European Space Agency’s mission to Mars in 2018. This Raman spectrometer will help space scientists to hunt for traces of Martian life. The European Space [continue reading]

jan 162013
 
Ice on Lakes and Seas at Saturn's Moon Titan

  A new paper by scientists on NASA’s Cassini mission finds that blocks of hydrocarbon ice might decorate the surface of existing lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn’s moon Titan. The presence of ice floes might explain some of the mixed readings Cassini has seen in the reflectivity of the surfaces of lakes [continue reading]

nov 182012
 
The Hunt for Extraterrestrial Amino Acids

  The hunt for the organic molecules that create proteins and enzymes critical for life here on Earth has largely happened in sophisticated terrestrial laboratories equipped with high-tech gadgetry needed to tease out their presence in space rocks and other extraterrestrial samples. This is an example of chirality of amino acids, using hands to illustrate [continue reading]

sep 232012
 
Studying the Chemistry of the Universe with ALMA

  Combining the cutting-edge capabilities of the ALMA telescope with newly-developed laboratory techniques, scientists are opening a completely new era for deciphering the chemistry of the Universe. A research team demonstrated their breakthrough using ALMA data from observations of the gas in a star-forming region in the constellation Orion. Hubble’s sharpest view of the Orion [continue reading]