Experts say scientific understanding of deep hydrocarbons has been transformed, with new insights gained into the sources of energy that could have catalyzed and nurtured Earth's earliest forms of life. Abiotic hydrocarbons have been a major focus of the Deep Carbon Observatory program -- a 10-year exploration of Earth's innermost secrets, concluding in October.
Scientists have long known that Earth and Mercury have metallic cores. Like Earth, Mercury's outer core is composed of liquid metal, but there have only been hints that Mercury's innermost core is solid. Now, in a new study, scientists report evidence that Mercury's inner core is indeed solid and that it is very nearly the same size as Earth's solid inner core.
How do you explore the interior of a planet without ever touching down on it? Start by watching the way the planet spins, then measure how your spacecraft orbits it -- very, very carefully. This is exactly what NASA planetary scientists did, using data from the agency's former mission to Mercury.
To confirm the presence of a planet, it is necessary to wait until it has made one or more revolutions around its star. This can take from a few days for the closest to the star to decades for the furthest away. Only a telescope dedicated to the search for exoplanets can carry out such measurements over such long periods of time, which is the case of the EULER telescope of UNIGE.
A team of astronomers, including Nader Haghighipour from the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, discovered a third planet in the circumbinary planetary system Kepler-47.
Two new studies by UA space scientists, one on high-energy particles and the other on tidal forces, may bring into question the habitability of TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets.
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet. The planet, named HD 21749c, is the smallest world outside our solar system that TESS has identified yet.
The SDSU-led research has been published in the Astronomical Journal.
A nearby system hosts the first Earth-sized planet discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite, as well as a warm sub-Neptune-sized world. This milestone sets the path for finding smaller planets around even smaller stars, and those planets may potentially be habitable.
Streams of meteoroids striking the Moon infuse the thin lunar atmosphere with a short-lived water vapor, according to researchers using data from NASA's LADEE spacecraft. The findings will help scientists understand the history of lunar water.