Heavens

Ancient Martian lake system - evidence of two water-related events

Ancient Martian lake system - evidence of two water-related events

A new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet's equator, finds that the onslaught of water that filled the crater was one of at least two separate periods of water activity in the region surrounding Jezero.

Explosions of Jupiter's aurora linked to planet-moon interaction

Explosions of Jupiter's aurora linked to planet-moon interaction

On Earth, bursts of particles spewed by the Sun spark shimmering auroras, like the Northern Lights, that briefly dance at our planet's poles. But, on Jupiter, there's an auroral glow all the time, and new observations show that this Jovian display sometimes flares up because of a process having nothing to do with the Sun.

Our solar system may have once harbored Super-Earths

Our solar system may have once harbored Super-Earths

Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths--planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone--broken up and fallen into the sun billions of years ago largely due to a great inward-and-then-outward journey that Jupiter made early in the solar system's history.

Aurora australis: Aurora watchers shouldn't forget the Southern Lights

Aurora australis: Aurora watchers shouldn't forget the Southern Lights

The past week saw a fantastic treat for aurora watchers. Generally it is the southern part of the country, Tasmania in particular, that sees the most impressive displays. But this aurora has been so intense that it was even seen across New South Wales and up around Brisbane it added a red glow to the sky.

Extent of moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed

Extent of moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed

Scientists have produced a new map of the Moon's most unusual volcano showing that its explosive eruption spread debris over an area much greater than previously thought. The team of astronomers and geologists, studied an area of the lunar surface in the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex.

By mapping the radioactive element thorium which spewed out during the eruption they discovered that, with the help of the Moon's low gravity, debris from the unnamed volcano was able to cover an area the size of Scotland, or around 70,000 km2.

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers

Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple planets orbiting the host star. By analysing these planetary systems, researchers from the Australian National University and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have calculated the probability for the number of stars in the Milky Way that might have planets in the habitable zone.

There might be an underground ocean on Jupiter's largest moon

There might be an underground ocean on Jupiter's largest moon

ASA's Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface.

Identifying liquid water is crucial in the search for habitable worlds beyond Earth and for the search of life as we know it.

Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan?

Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan?

Azotosome. Credit: Cornell University

A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled by a team of Cornell University researchers.

Massive clouds erupted into the Martian atmosphere and no one knows why

Massive clouds erupted into the Martian atmosphere and no one knows why

Enormous cloud-like plumes reaching 260km above the surface of Mars have left scientists baffled. This is way beyond Mars’s normal weather, reaching into the exosphere where the atmosphere merges with interplanetary space. None of the conventional explanations for such clouds make sense – neither water or carbon dioxide ice nor dust storms nor auroral light emissions usually hit such heights.

Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'

Sifting through the center of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have made the first direct observations - using an infrared telescope aboard a modified Boeing 747 - of cosmic building-block dust resulting from an ancient supernova.