Science Daily: Comets and Asteroids

History of Titan's landscape resembles that of Mars, not Earth

In a paper published in Science, researchers report that Titan, like Mars but unlike Earth, has not undergone any active plate tectonics in its recent past. The upheaval of mountains by plate tectonics deflects the paths that rivers take. The team found that this telltale signature was missing from river networks on Mars and Titan.

NASA mission uncovers a dance of electrons in space

NASA's MMS mission studies how electrons spiral and dive around the planet in a complex dance dictated by the magnetic and electric fields, and a new study revealed a bizarre new type of motion exhibited by these electrons.

Icy ring surrounds young planetary system

ALMA has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth.

Space weather events linked to human activity

Human activities, like nuclear tests and radio transmissions, have been changing near-Earth space and weather, and have created artificial radiation belts, damaged satellites and induced auroras.

How hard did it rain on Mars?

Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study. Scientists show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet's surface as we see on Earth.

Space weather model simulates solar storms from nowhere

A kind of solar storm has puzzled scientists for its lack of typical warning signs: They seem to come from nowhere, and scientists call them stealth CMEs. Now, scientists have developed a model simulating their evolution.

Chemical engineer explains oxygen mystery on comets

A chemical engineer who normally develops new ways to fabricate microprocessors in computers has figured out how to explain a nagging mystery in space -- why comets expel oxygen gas, the same gas we humans breathe.

Ancient meteorite impact sparked long-lived volcanic eruptions on Earth

Large impacts were common on the early Earth and were likely much more important than previously thought in shaping our planet. The findings raise interest in the possibility of volcanism also shaping similar structures on Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Moon.

VISTA peeks through the Small Magellanic Cloud's dusty veil

VISTA's infrared capabilities have now allowed astronomers to see the myriad of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy much more clearly than ever before. The result is this record-breaking image -- the biggest infrared image ever taken of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- with the whole frame filled with millions of stars.

Nearby star is a good model of our early solar system

Scientists have confirmed a nearby star's planetary system contains separate belts of asteroids, similar to our own solar system. The star is also about one-fifth the age of our sun. All that makes this star a good model of the early days of our solar system.

Why space dust emits radio waves upon crashing into a spacecraft

When spacecraft and satellites travel through space they encounter tiny, fast moving particles of space dust and debris. If the particle travels fast enough, its impact appears to create electromagnetic radiation that can damage or even disable the craft's electronic systems. A new study uses computer simulations to show that the cloud of plasma generated from the particle's impact is responsible for creating the damaging electromagnetic pulse.

Hubble's bright shining lizard star

The bright object seen in this Hubble image is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard). The star is much closer than the much more distant galaxy.

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