Cassini has been circling Saturn for years, but it’s still revealing spectacular things about the planet. Violent weather provides a great spectacle on Earth, as long as it doesn’t actually destroy anything, but it’s nothing compared with what’s happening on Saturn.
Exoplanets are uncanny. Some seem to have walked directly out of the best science-fiction movies. For example, we’ve discovered a planet consisting purely of water (GJ 1214b) and one with two suns (Kepler 16b). Some planets nearly scrape their host stars once every orbit, while others exist in darkness without a host star at all. The […]
An artist’s rendering of a colliding wind binary. A colliding-wind binary is a binary star system in which the two members are massive stars that emit powerful, radiatively-driven stellar winds. The location where these two winds collide produces a strong shock front that can cause radio, X-ray and possibly synchrotron radiation emission. Wind […]
Artist’s impression of an active volcano on Venus. Results from a long-term study of Venus find evidence of a clear injection of sulphur dioxide into its upper atmosphere. One possible interpretation is that volcanic activity increased the sulphur dioxide component of the upper atmosphere, although an alternative is that a change in atmospheric circulation dredged […]
Detecting alien worlds presents a significant challenge since they are small, faint, and close to their stars. The two most prolific techniques for finding exoplanets are radial velocity (looking for wobbling stars) and transits (looking for dimming stars). A team at Tel Aviv University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has just discovered an […]
The Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. The Kepler-62 system has five planets; 62b, 62c, 62d, 62e and 62f. The Kepler-69 system has […]
If that title seems like an obvious statement to you, it’s ok… it seems pretty obvious to me too. But there are those who have been suggesting — for quite some time, actually — that earthquakes can be triggered or strengthened by solar activity; that, in fact, exceptionally powerful solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and […]
Multiverses are a popular trope in SciFi movies or literature and it’s easy to understand why, the idea is quite interesting and exciting.