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Earth is approaching the same “meteor swarm” that may have caused an entire forest to explode in 1908

A swarm of meteors heading toward Earth could have the potential to cause a catastrophic impact, a new study from Western Ontario University says. The so-called Taurid swarm is a recurring event that some scientists believe could have played a role in the biggest Earth impact of modern times, in 1908, when a space rock slammed into Siberia with enough force to destroy an entire forest. What has become known as the Tunguska explosion of 1908 was so powerful that the blast leveled 80 million trees over an 800-square-mile area. It’s considered to be a one-in-1,000-year event, according to Western…

The briny depths of Europa brim with table salt

Scientists are fairly confident that Jupiter’s moon Europa has an underground ocean, even though they’ve never seen it. Hidden beneath an icy crust, most of what researchers know about that ocean is based on the moon’s smooth, streaked surface. Europa lacks mountains or large craters, but it is crisscrossed with ridges and cracks, called chaos terrain, that scientists think is caused by the shifting of ice plates over a liquid ocean, analogous to Earth’s plate tectonics. By using the Hubble Space Telescope to spy on Europa’s surface, astronomers have discovered the presence of sodium chloride – better known as table…

NASA readies mission to mysterious $10,000 QUADRILLION Psyche asteroid

The value of all the nickel and iron that NASA believes makes up 16-Psyche’s oddly-shaped space rock in the asteroid belt’s outer reaches is estimated at $10,000 quadrillion. This is a massive sum, but NASA’s Psyche mission, which has now received approval to enter the final development stages before manufacturing begins for its 2022 launch, is actually after a much bigger prize – revealing how Earth’s origins. NASA researchers believe asteroid Psyche is key to understanding how planetary bodies are formed. This is because the space scientists theorise Psyche is really the core of a planet which broke apart following…

Mass anomaly detected under the moon’s largest crater

A mysterious large mass of material has been discovered beneath the largest crater in our solar system—the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin—and may contain metal from the asteroid that crashed into the Moon and formed the crater, according to a Baylor University study. “Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground. That’s roughly how much unexpected mass we detected,” said lead author Peter B. James, Ph.D., assistant professor of planetary geophysics in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.The crater itself is oval-shaped, as wide as 2,000 kilometers—roughly the distance between…

Mysterious intergalactic bridge spanning 10 MILLION light-years spotted between galaxy clusters in first of its kind discovery

Astronomers have spotted an intergalactic ‘bridge’ stretching between two galaxy clusters 10 million light-years apart. A ‘trail’ of magnetic fields and relativistic electrons were spotted along filaments connecting two clusters, called Abell 0399 and Abell 0401. The discovery is said to be the first of its kind, revealing a glimpse at how magnetic fields and high-energy particles extend along the ‘cosmic webs’ connecting distant objects in the universe.  Researchers led by a team from the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf) of Cagliari identified the bridge using the LOFAR radio telescope. The so-called cosmic web describes the filamentary structures through which…

First coronal mass ejection detected from another star ejects 1.2 million billion tonnes of plasma into space

The most powerful magnetic phenomena produced by the Sun are coronal mass ejections. These are the dramatic releases of plasma from the Sun into a solar wind, and they are associated with solar flares and solar prominence eruptions. Researchers have now observed a coronal mass ejection from another star for the first time. An Italian-American team used NASA’s X-ray observatory, Chandra, to observe HR 9024, an active star 450 light-years from Earth. They saw X-rays flashes associated with the emission of giant bubbles of plasma. The coronal mass ejection was strong enough to throw into space 1.2 million billion tonnes of…

Newborn Exoplanets Discovered Feeding Off Of Their Mother Star

“This is the first unambiguous detection of a two-planet system carving a disk gap.” That’s astronomer-speak for “We just photographed two baby planets feeding off of their mama star and we couldn’t be prouder!” Julien Girard of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, announced it this week in a paper he co-authored in the journal Nature Astronomy and in a press release. It’s the first-ever discovery of new planets growing by accumulating dust and debris from the disk that usually surrounds a young star. In this case, the star is PDS 70, a low-mass T Tauri (younger than…

Scientists have found a ‘Forbidden Planet’ that has no business being where it is

There’s something strange about a newly discovered planet about 920 light-years from Earth. The planet, described this week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, is Neptune-like — meaning it’s a gaseous orb about three times the size of Earth and resembling the wind-swept blue marble from our own solar system. It also inhabits a region of space called the Neptunian Desert, where scientists were hoping to find exoplanets of roughly Neptune’s size — although this is the first ever sighted there. Sure, we’ve seen its kind before. But the real Neptune is the eighth planet from our…

An Astounding Amount of Water Has Been Discovered Beneath the Martian North Pole

Using ground-penetrating radar, scientists detected a massive reservoir of frozen water sandwiched by layers of sand beneath the northern polar ice cap on Mars. This reservoir contains so much ice that, if melted and brought to the surface, it would submerge the entire planet. “This was a surprise even for us,” Stefano Nerozzi, the lead author of the new paper and a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin, told Gizmodo in an email. The massive reservoir was detected within Mars’ northern cavi unit, a deposit of multiple layers of water ice mixed in with sand that formed over…

Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way’s Edge

Something appears to have torn a hole in part of the Milky Way’s halo. The “dark substructure” was found via Gaia observations—a project set out to produce the most detailed 3D map of our galaxy—with Harvard scientist Ana Bonaca noticing a perturbation in a tidal stream. She presented her findings at the American Physical Society’s April meeting. As first reported by LiveScience, Bonaca was focusing on tidal streams produced by stars escaping from globular clusters—normally found at the edges of a galaxy. The stellar halo of the Milky Way is full of these tidal streams. If there is nothing to…

Jeff Bezos Has Plans to Extract the Moon’s Water

Between the shipping and handling, the web servers, the groceries, and the newspapers, Jeff Bezos never stopped thinking about the moon. He was 5 years old when Americans first walked on the lunar surface, and he remembers the grainy black-and-white footage from that historic moment. “It had a huge impact on me,” Bezos said. “And it hasn’t changed.” Bezos, in addition to leading Amazon and owning The Washington Post, runs a spaceflight company called Blue Origin. Blue Origin has been working on something for the past three years, and on Thursday, Bezos unveiled it: a giant spacecraft designed to touch…

Rare chemical element could power spacecraft for up to 400 years

The UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and University of Leicester have reported the first generation of usable electricity from americium, which could lead to the development of “space batteries” that power missions for up to 400 years. The rare element americium – illustrated below – is not found in nature, but is a by-product of the decay of plutonium, which itself is produced during the operation of nuclear reactors. A team of scientists led by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), working with the University of Leicester, have extracted americium from some of the UK’s plutonium stockpile. They used the heat…

Amazing PINK MOON set to rise over Earth on Good Friday

The full pink moon is expected to occur on Good Friday at 12:12 BST (07.12 EST). Despite having the name, the moon will not actually appear as the colour pink. Its name is derived from a flower that blooms at the same time in Spring annually. Stargazers around the world will be treated to a stunning astronomical display of a full Pink Moon on Good Friday. Despite its name, the Pink Moon won’t actually be that colour but instead derives the name because it coincides with the blooming of a pink wildflower The name comes from the Herb moss pink phlox,…

Astronomers confirm that THIRD planet exists in the Kepler-47 binary star system and say this one could be the size of Saturn

A third exoplanet has been detected orbiting around the twin stars in the system Kepler-47, new research reports. The planet is between Neptune to Saturn in size, larger than the other two, and has a temperature of around 169°C (336°F), San Diego State University experts say. The planet could not be detected before because, until recently, its orbit had not caused it to appear to pass between the host star and the Earth. As the planet’s orbital alignment slowly shifted, however, it became increasingly visible to the sensor aboard NASA‘s Kepler space telescope in Earth’s orbit. With multiple planets orbiting around two…

Jeff Bezos Wants a Trillion People to Live in Space

When you have more money than God, what’s next? What could the man who has everything possibly want? Well, transforming humanity into a space-faring civilization, and the immortality that comes with it, seems a likely bet and that looks like the direction many of these billionaires want to go. Amazon founder and Lex Luthor doppelganger Jeff Bezos recently spoke at a members-only event at New York’s Yale Club about his space colonization ambitions with his company Blue Origin. At the event, Bezos described his vision for the future which, according to him, would see one trillion humans living in space,…

We Just Got The First Evidence of a Planet-Wide Groundwater System on Mars

Mars may look like a dry, dusty planet today. But scientific models indicate that it was likely once home to massive amounts of water, both above and below its surface – and now, researchers have evidence to back those models up. “Early Mars was a watery world, but as the planet’s climate changed this water retreated below the surface to form pools and ‘groundwater’,” European Space Agency (ESA) researcher Francesco Salese said in a press release. “We traced this water in our study, as its scale and role is a matter of debate,” he continued, “and we found the first…

New Photos From Jupiter Look Like A Van Gogh Painting

No, that’s not Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting, but the swirls are pretty convincing. NASA’s Juno spacecraft has sent back some lovely new photos of Jupiter that give us all of the Post-Impressionist feels. Jupiter is quite dramatic, in case you forgot about the Great Red Spot, the gas giant’s perpetual giant storm. That’s part of why Juno’s steady stream of images since arriving at Jupiter in 2016 have been so amazing. New Photos From Jupiter Look Like A Van Gogh Painting

Mysterious Sight Over Pittsburgh: Weather Conditions Perfect For Light Pillar Optical Illusion

You were all fooled! Mother Nature pulled off a trick overnight bigger than anything David Copperfield or Harry Houdini ever did. Appearing out of nowhere, all of sudden people began seeing a bright pillar of light suspended in the sky. Some even chased the light to try and find its source. Here’s the thing, like the end of the rainbow with the pot of gold, you aren’t ever going to find the source. I saw a weird pillar of light this morning, then the station started getting calls about it too. I was able to get some shots from Greentree…

A ‘Dragon Aurora’ Appeared in the Sky Over Iceland, and NASA Is a Little Confused

A gargantuan green dragon hisses in the sky over Iceland. Either “Game of Thrones” really upped its production budget for its final season, or the sun belched a barrage of charged particles into our atmosphere again. As much as any of us would like to see a real dragon breathe flames into the winter sky, buzzkill NASA blames solar activity — as usual — for the writhing, “fire-breathing”- aurora that loomed over Iceland earlier this month. Auroras like this occur when some of the sun’s many magnetic field lines twist together and burst, creating sunspots. Charged particles gush out of…

Thirty-million-page backup of humanity headed to moon aboard Israeli lander: If the apocalypse strikes, the Arch Mission Foundation wants to be sure all the knowledge we’ve accumulated doesn’t disappear

On Thursday night, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried an Israeli-made spacecraft named Beresheet beyond the grasp of Earth’s gravity and sent it on its way to the surface of the moon. On board Beresheet is a specially designed disc encoded with a 30-million-page archive of human civilization built to last billions of years into the future. The backup for humanity has been dubbed “The Lunar Library” by its creator, the Arch Mission Foundation (AMF). “The idea is to place enough backups in enough places around the solar system, on an ongoing basis, that our precious knowledge and biological heritage…

What HAS Russia spotted in Earth’s upper atmosphere? Mysterious EXPLOSIONS OF LIGHT detected by satellite hint to unknown physical phenomenon

While numerous examples of unusual space weather phenomena have been spotted in the upper atmosphere before, the team operating the Lomonosov satellite say what they’ve found may be something entirely new. Despite the occurrence of several powerful bursts, Russian scientists say there were no signs of storms in the area. The satellite, named after scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, launched in 2016 and is integrated with the Kanopus-B spacecraft. Its goal is to study high-energy cosmic rays, including gamma rays, magnetospheric particles, and transient light phenomena in the upper atmosphere. And, the scientists now say it’s spotted something odd. ‘With the help…

Dwarf Planet Ceres Hosted Near-Surface Water for Millions of Years

Some parts of the dwarf planet Ceres harbored pockets of near-surface water for millions of years in the recent past, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed observations of Ceres’ Occator Crater made by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which studied the dwarf planet from orbit from March 2015 to October 2018, when the probe ran out of fuel. The 57-mile-wide (92 kilometers) Occator sports dramatic bright spots, which Dawn team members determined are salts left behind when briny water boiled away into space. This water likely began as subsurface ice, which was melted by the intense heat of the impact that created…

China Says Space Is Not U.S. ‘Private Property’

Beijing has criticized a recent U.S. report accusing China and Russia of attempting to militarize outer space, the apparent justification for President Donald Trump’s ambitious global missile defense plan. In a report published Monday, the Defense Intelligence Agency found that “China and Russia, in particular, have taken steps to challenge the United States” in space, including through the development of weaponized satellites, energy weapons and surveillance networks. Such accusations previously appeared in Trump’s 2019 Missile Defense Review, which, among other things, called for the installation of space-based missile interceptors. Reacting to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Tuesday:…

Report: Space will likely be a battlefield in any U.S. conflict with China, Russia

A new U.S. intelligence report warns that both China and Russia are investing in weapons that could attack U.S. satellites and assets in space, and that both nations are now preparing to use space as a battlefield. Last month, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report about China’s military capabilities, warning that the Asian country was making advances in counterspace technology that could threaten U.S. satellites responsible for communications, reconnaissance, GPS and early warnings of missile launches. But a new DIA report, “Challenges to Security in Space,” warns that both China and Russia are making advances in space technology, and…

Mars One, which offered 1-way trips to Mars, declared bankrupt

Mars One, a Dutch company that planned to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars and start the first human colony on the Red Planet, has been declared bankrupt. The declaration was made in a Swiss court on Jan. 15 — and posted on Reddit this past weekend — officially dissolving Mars One Ventures AG. “We are currently working with the administrator and an investor to find a solution moving forward, though at this moment that is all we can share,” the company said in an email. The bankruptcy affects the company’s commercial arm, Mars One Ventures AG, but does not affect the…

Scientists Want to Build a Space Station Inside an Asteroid

Many space visionaries want to mine asteroids. But drilling in microgravity is hard, because exerting force on an asteroid will push you away from it. That’s what an inspired a far-out idea from scientists from University of Vienna: turning an asteroid into a space station and mining it from the inside out, according to New Scientist. Setting up Shop The best type of asteroid to build a space station inside would be made of solid rock and rotating several times per minute, according the Viennese scientists’ research, which was published in the preprint server ArXiv in December. The idea is that it would provide enough centrifugal force…

NASA to send humans to the moon once again – ‘but this time we’ll stay’

NASA is planning to take the “next giant leap in deep space exploration” as it looks to send astronauts to the moon who are able to stay there. The space agency’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, called for American firms to help develop human lunar landers – “reusable systems for astronauts to land on the moon” – as he said scientists had been given a mandate by President Donald Trump and Congress to return to the moon for the first time since 1972. He said NASA was planning to send astronauts “to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond” and that…

NASA Is Going to Knock an Asteroid Out of Orbit in First-Ever Planetary Defense Test

As over-the-top as movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact may be, they do get across a very non-fictional message: you definitely don’t want to be around if and when an actual big honkin’ asteroid smacks into Earth. Even the tiny interlopers that crash into our planet every now and then can do some crazy and violent damage to entire cities. Fortunately, the folks at NASA are on the case, and they’re preparing to launch a mission to test new tech designed to deflect life-threatening asteroids. In what’s being touted as the first-ever test of a true planetary defense system, NASA has teamed…

A Fifth Dimension Could Make Star Trek Discovery’s Spore Drive Physically Possible

There are a few rules in the Universe that seem likely to never be broken. Particles cannot travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum; the entropy of a closed system can never decrease; energy and momentum must be conserved. But if the rules that the Universe plays by are different than we understand them today, many things that appear to be forbidden today may be possible after all. In Star Trek: Discovery, a new type of technology takes us even faster than warp drive: the spore drive. Instead of traveling slower-than-light (via impulse engines) or even faster-than-light through space…

Our sun will become a solid crystal in about 10 billion years

The universe is made up of some serious bling. Researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered the first direct evidence of whole stars solidifying into giant crystals, and it could forever change how we understand the lifecycles of stars like our sun, reports Phys.org. The evidence, which is largely based on observations taken with the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, focuses on observations of about 15,000 white dwarf stars. White dwarfs are what lower mass stars become once they have exhausted all their central nuclear fuel. Our sun is slated to become a white dwarf once its fuel runs…

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

Giant rocks from space are falling from the sky more than they used to, but don’t worry. For the past 290 million years, large asteroids have been crashing into Earth more than twice as often as they did in the previous 700 million years, according to a new study in Thursday’s journal Science . But no need to cast a wary glance up. Asteroids still only smack Earth on average every million or few million years, even with the increased crash rate. NASA’s list of potential big space rock crashes shows no pending major threats. The biggest known risk is…

Is Earth on the verge of undergoing a magnetic pole shift? Scientists say SOON

This place we all call home, Earth, is currently in the throes of some serious magnetic turmoil. And scientists are now warning that we’re possibly in for a very rough ride in the months and years ahead, as our North and South Poles are actually moving from their formerly fixed points. According to a paper recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, what’s happening is that magnetic North Pole is traveling away from Canada and towards Siberia – and it’s doing this so quickly that scientists are now having to issue emergency updates to the maps used by electronic navigation…

Space Bacteria is Mutating Inside the International Space Station

“These are stressful, harsh conditions. Does the environment select for superbugs because they have an advantage?” The “stressful, harsh conditions” are the inside of the International Space Station … conditions that the Russian space program suggested last year could drive a lonely and stressed astronaut to sabotage the ship by drilling a tiny hole (unproven and unlikely but the cause of the hole in the attached Soyuz capsule is still up in the air – pun intended) in order to trigger an emergency and be sent home. If the conditions on the ISS are bad for humans, what about their…

A city in China wants to launch an artificial moon into orbit by 2020 — here’s what would happen if Earth really did have two moons

A city in China wants to launch an artificial moon into orbit by 2020 as a way to reduce energy needs by replacing street light with artificial moonlight. Regardless of whether or not they succeed, their ambitious idea really made us wonder… What would happen if Earth had two moons? Well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Imagine the Moon’s identical twin comes hurtling by and is trapped by Earth’s gravity. As it settles into orbit, halfway between Earth and our original moon, it yanks violently at the oceans. In the real world, this is how our original Moon helps generate tides.…

Outer space gold rush has Wall Street eyeing the moon

Investors looking to cash in on the new space gold rush should keep their eye on the moon, according to a new note from analysts at Morgan Stanley. The moon is increasingly seen as a national security issue, with countries including the U.S. and China, as well as a number of private firms, honing in on its strategic location and large deposits of critical minerals and water. Morgan Stanley’s analysts dubbed China’s recent landing on the far side of the moon a “Sputnik moment” for the U.S., and said the event is likely to spur investment in the new space economy. “The moon is…

NASA to crash 13,500mph spacecraft into ASTEROID

The US space agency is working on the most fiery and crucial stage of its Double Asteroid Redirection Test, DART. The experiment will be the latest in NASA’s mission to protect Earth from deadly asteroid strikes. In 2021, it aims to fully test the new defence system by smashing a spaceship into a rock at 13,500mph (6 km per second). Space experts are worried an asteroid could potentially smash into earth causing catastrophic damage. Depending on the size of the rock, it could cause a mass extinction event – like the type that wiped out dinosaurs – by sparking a…

Large Cloud Galaxy on a Collision Course With the Milky Way

We’re all gonna die! A rogue cloud galaxy is coming and it’s going to smash into the Milky Way, make its black hole bigger and knock our planet out of the galaxy like a bocce ball! Well, yes, yes, yes and possibly … although the people riding Earth as it hurdles through space will not be us. While astronomers have always known that galaxies can and do collide and the Milky Way is on a slow crash course towards Andromeda, new models have found a more immediate danger from something called the Large Magellanic Cloud which is headed our way…