Two-billion year old Martian meteorite contains water [Nature]

A recently analyzed Martian meteorite contains a surprising amount of water and provides insight into an important of Mars’ history. The 2.1 billion year old rock also confirms findings of NASA’s Mars rover, Spirit. More information, as well as how this meteorite fits in with our collection of other Martian meteorites, is in my Nature … Continue reading Two-billion year old Martian meteorite contains water [Nature]

Finding Record-Old Galaxies at the Limits of Hubble Space Telescope [Nature]

Recent infrared images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 are the deepest taken of the Universe, and they reveal several galaxies, including one that is the most distant object we’ve ever found. This galaxy is 13.29 billion light years (4.1 billion parsecs) from Earth and were first visible when the Universe … Continue reading Finding Record-Old Galaxies at the Limits of Hubble Space Telescope [Nature]

Exclusive: Software Upgrade May Allow Telescope to Find Our Galaxy’s Dark Matter [Nature]

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched in 2008, is an important telescope due to its gamma-ray collection ability. However, firmware problems have limited its ability to collect the data. A recent software upgrade, though, is expected to change that. In my recent Nature article, Space telescope to get software fix, the mission, problems, and hoped-for … Continue reading Exclusive: Software Upgrade May Allow Telescope to Find Our Galaxy’s Dark Matter [Nature]

The Solar System’s Lost Planet [Nature]

Recent research points to the possibility that our Solar System started with a now-missing fifth planet. This is the subject of my latest Nature article Did the Solar System start with an extra planet?: David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado and Alessandro Morbidelli of the Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur in … Continue reading The Solar System’s Lost Planet [Nature]

Moon Origins Topic of Lively and Continuing Debate [Nature]

Although there is wide consensus on the theory that the moon formed through the collision of Earth and another object, the specifics of that theory are still not certain. And two new papers published in Science present two new significantly different takes on those specifics.

Moons with Underground Oceans: Uranus’ turn? [Nature]

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has been known to have an underground ocean since 2005, and now astronomers are looking to Ariel, one of Uranus’ moons, as another possible locale with an underground oasis. From my Nature blog post, Could a moon of Uranus harbour an underground ocean?:

Moon Merging May Have Created Saturnian System [Nature]

Saturn’s moon mix—different locations, different densities, some are ice, others rocky—begs the question how did they form. Current research by Erik Asphaug and Andreas Reufer provide a possible answer: According to a model proposed by Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleague Andreas Reufer of the University … Continue reading Moon Merging May Have Created Saturnian System [Nature]

Telescope Web Gains Breakthrough Measures of Black Holes [Nature]

Astronomers linked four telescopes in Califoirnia, Arizona, and Hawaii, to create a single more powerful radio telescope to improve our measures of black holes. They did so by focusing on galaxy of M87 (see image below), which has a massive black hole 6.2 billion times the Sun. From my Nature article, “Closest look yet at … Continue reading Telescope Web Gains Breakthrough Measures of Black Holes [Nature]