New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system.
In the year and a half NASA's Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter, the science team led by Southwest Research Institute's Dr. Scott Bolton has discovered that the orange and white bands that characterize Jupiter's outer atmosphere extend thousands of miles into the gas giant's atmosphere. The findings are part of a four-article collection about Juno science results in the March 8th edition of the journal Nature.
Researchers created small copies of asteroids in the laboratory, and then destroyed them with lasers. The nanosecond laser pulse served as an experimental substitute for a nuclear explosion. The experiments showed high efficiency of nuclear anti-asteroid defense. The study suggests the most effective asteroid destruction criteria, such as the explosion energy needed to eliminate a dangerous object on a collision course with Earth.
Water is crucial for life, but how do you make water? Cooking up some H2O takes more than mixing hydrogen and oxygen. It requires the special conditions found deep within frigid molecular clouds, where dust shields against destructive ultraviolet light and aids chemical reactions. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will peer into these cosmic reservoirs to gain new insights into the origin and evolution of water and other key building blocks for habitable planets.
Comets made up of two lobes, such as Chury, visited by the Rosetta spacecraft, are produced when the debris resulting from a destructive collision between two comets clumps together again. Such collisions could also explain some of the enigmatic structures observed on Chury. This discovery, made by an international team coordinated by Patrick Michel, CNRS researcher at the laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur/Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis 1).
Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.
Researchers shed light on scientific phenomenon which helps to understand better evolution of interstellar dust and planetary rings in space.
The moon formed when an object collided with the proto-Earth. For years, scientists thought that in the aftermath, hydrogen and other so-called 'volatile elements' escaped and were lost to space. This would have led to a dry and volatile element-depleted moon, which seemed to be consistent with previous analyses of lunar samples. But ongoing research about the moon's chemistry is revealing that it may be wetter than initially thought, raising questions about this origin story.
Brown dwarfs, the larger cousins of giant planets, undergo atmospheric changes from cloudy to cloudless as they age and cool. A team of astronomers measured for the first time the temperature at which this shift happens in young brown dwarfs. Their findings, published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters, may help them better understand how gas giant planets like our own Solar System's Jupiter evolved.
A Southwest Research Institute scientist with expertise in how water reacts with lunar soil contributed to a new study that indicates water and/or hydroxyl may be more prevalent on the Moon's surface than previously thought.