Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)surveyed dozens of young stars – some Sun-like and others approximately double that size – and discovered that the larger variety have surprisingly rich reservoirs of carbon monoxide gas in their debris disks. In contrast, the lower-mass, Sun-like stars have debris disks that are virtually gas-free.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
China has released on Tuesday, Aug. 23, the first images of its ambitious Mars mission, planned to be launched in 2020. The design of the mission was presented at a press conference in Beijing, during which the mission scientists showed off pictures of an orbiter, lander and rover that will be send to the Red Planet within four years.
In unprecedented observations made earlier this year, Rosetta unexpectedly captured a dramatic comet outburst that may have been triggered by a landslide. Nine of Rosetta’s instruments, including its cameras, dust collectors, and gas and plasma analyzers, were monitoring the comet from about 35 km in a coordinated planned sequence when the outburst happened on 19 February.
A new method for analyzing the chemical composition of stars may help scientists winnow the search for Earth 2.0. Yale University researchers Debra Fischer and John Michael Brewer, in a new study that will appear in the Astrophysical Journal, describe a computational modeling technique that gives a clearer sense of the chemistry of stars, revealing the conditions present when their planets formed. The system creates a new way to assess the habitability and biological evolution possibilities of planets outside our solar system.
NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center have solved a longstanding mystery about why some of Mercury’s surface looks new, but some appears to be old. The scientists in the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division are working with data from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, which orbited Mercury from 2011 to 2015. This unprecedented feat provided continuous, up-close observation of our solar system's innermost planet and revealed that the planet is extremely diverse.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Thundering off the launch pad at Kourou in French Guiana, an Ariane 5 booster took to the skies on Wednesday, Aug 24, to deliver Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 commsats into orbit. The mission, designated VA232 in Arianespace’s numbering system, lifted off at 5:55 p.m. EDT (21:55 GMT) from the Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3).