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This Alien Planet Is So Hot It Bleeds Metal

There are thousands of confirmed exoplanets in the cosmos, and many of them are members of solar systems very different than our own. As missions like Kepler and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have highlighted more distant worlds, astronomers have been surprised how many of them have so-called “hot Jupiters.” WASP-121b is the hottest of these close-orbiting gas giants. How hot is it? It’s so hot that heavy metals leak out as it rockets around the star.  WASP-121b made headlines in 2017 when scientists used Hubble to characterize its stratosphere. That was a first for any exoplanet, and it…

Molecular diamonds & golden asteroids: Your guide to becoming a space trillionaire

There’s money to be made in the vast expanse of the universe. While at times posing a dire threat to our planet, asteroids are a source of untold wealth, ripe for the taking. Ready to become the first trillionaire? Here’s how. Three asteroids whizzed by Earth last week, with Armageddon averted only by a few hundred thousand miles. While they didn’t actually pose much danger, the cosmic near-misses may have been an opportunity for massive profit, according to NASA. As space travel becomes more technically feasible, mining operations among the stars could soon become a wildly lucrative industry. With a…

Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, physicist Leah Broussard is trying to open a portal to a parallel universe. She calls it an “oscillation” that would lead her to “mirror matter,” but the idea is fundamentally the same. In a series of experiments she plans to run at Oak Ridge this summer, Broussard will send a beam of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a powerful magnet and into an impenetrable wall. If the setup is just right — and if the universe cooperates — some of those particles will transform into mirror-image versions of themselves, allowing…

Rare image of US Air Force’s secretive space plane in orbit

Astrophotographer Ralf Vandebergh captured an image of the US Air Force’s X-37B space plane in orbit. The reusable, uncrewed space vehicle, designated OTV-5, is on a secret testing mission since its launch in September 2017. From Vandebergh’s post at Spaceweather.com: I have been hunting for the OTV-5 since months and saw it visually in May. When I tried to observe it again mid June, it didnt meet the predicted time and path. It turned out to have maneuvered to another orbit. Thanks to the amateur satellite observers-network, it was rapidly found in orbit again and I was able to take…

Mutant Mold on the Space Station is Immune to Radiation

Mold in your house can make you sick, weaken the foundation and make it impossible to sell. If your house is the International Space Station, it’s even worse. Although the crew is only renting and the foundation remains solid, a new study found that the mold they’re dealing with on the space station is not only unhealthy but mutant … and that mutation may make it immune to the radiation that is so deadly to humans in space. That means this mutant mold could easily survive trips to other planets and contaminate their houses too … not to mention possibly…

NASA is Developing GPS for Navigation on the Moon

GPS, Earth’s navigation system that is used by an estimated four billion people will now enable future human navigation on the Moon. NASA is developing GPS for Moon for aiding its future Artemis missions. The Global Positioning System or GPS has certainly made life on Earth easier. Traveling to an alien city or locality is no more overwhelming today as now we have GPS guiding us every step of the way. NASA is working on creating GPS for Moon and if that sees fruition, navigation on the lunar surface will be equally easier. A team at NASA is developing a…

‘Not Anything Like This in the Solar System’: NASA Probes ‘Unique’ Atmosphere of Exoplanet

NASA has discovered an unexpected fact about a giant exoplanet, which is between Earth and Neptune in terms of size, but at the same time is unlike anything found in the solar system. Thanks to two NASA space telescopes, Hubble and Spitzer, astronomers have managed to identify and reveal the first detailed chemical “fingerprint” of a sub-Neptune/Super-Earth hybrid exoplanet. Scientists believe that there isn’t “anything like this in the solar system”: the planet, known as Gliese 3470 b, or GJ 3479 b, is 12.6 times heavier than Earth, but is still smaller than the blue ice giant Neptune. While other…

The golden asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire

Whether it was the Big Bang, Midas or God himself, we don’t really need to unlock the mystery of the origins of gold when we’ve already identified an asteroid worth $700 quintillion in precious heavy metals. If anything launches this metals mining space race, it will be this asteroid–Psyche 16, taking up residence between Mars and Jupiter and carrying around enough heavy metals to net every single person on the planet close to a trillion dollars. The massive quantities of gold, iron and nickel contained in this asteroid are mind-blowing. The discovery has been made. Now, it’s a question of…

Beta Taurid meteor SWARM is headed for Earth…

A swarm of meteors heading towards Earth could have a catastrophic impact on our planet and its inhabitants, scientists have warned. The Beta Taurids is a meteor shower that takes place every year between June 5 and July 18, when the Earth passes through a broad stream of debris left by Comet Encke. It is less well known than some other meteor showers because it peaks after sunrise, making the “shooting stars” much harder to see. However, scientists believe that the cloud of debris may contain large space rocks that could pose a significant threat to life Earth. Some have…

Earth Is Moving Toward The Same Meteor Swarm That Scientists Believe Caused The Tunguska Explosion Of 1908

Over the next several weeks, our planet will have a close encounter with the Taurid meteor swarm.  It will be the closest that we have been to the center of the meteor swarm since 1975, and we won’t have an encounter this close again until 2032.  So for astronomers, this is a really big deal.  And hopefully there will be no danger to Earth during this pass, but some scientists are absolutely convinced that the Tunguska explosion of 1908 which flattened 80 million trees in Russia was caused by an object from the Taurid meteor swarm.  As you will see…

We Have Detected Signs of Our Milky Way Colliding With Another Galaxy

Antlia 2, the “ghost of a galaxy” orbiting the Milky Way, is a dark horse in more ways than one. Not only is it so faint it was only just discovered last year, it may now be responsible for curious ripples in the hydrogen gas that makes up the Milky Way’s outer disc. According to new research, Antlia 2’s current position is consistent with a collision with the Milky Way hundreds of millions of years ago that could have produced the perturbations we see today. The paper has been submitted for publication and is undergoing peer review.  Antlia 2 was a…

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…