Science Daily: Comets and Asteroids

Eruptions on the sun trigger surprising phenomenon near Earth

Eruptions on the Sun's surface not only send bursts of energetic particles into the Earth's atmosphere causing disturbances in our planet's magnetic field, they can also strangely decrease the number of free electrons over large areas in the polar region of the ionosphere, new research concludes.

Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status

Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So, he says, is Europa, commonly known as a moon of Jupiter, and so is the Earth's moon, and so are more than 100 other celestial bodies in our solar system that are denied this status under the prevailing definition of 'planet.'

Gigantic Jupiter-type planet reveals insights into how planets evolve

A team of astrophysicists studying an enormous and bizarre young planet approximately 300 lights years from Earth has gained a rare glimpse into the final stages of planetary evolution. While astronomers think the vast majority of planets outside our solar system are inside their star system's vast dusty debris disk, this strange planet is far beyond the disk.

Relativistic electrons uncovered with NASA's Van Allen Probes

Earth's radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet, were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behavior is still not completely understood. Now, new observations from NASA's Van Allen Probes mission show that the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are not present as much of the time as previously thought.

New NASA radar technique finds lost lunar spacecraft

A new technological application of interplanetary radar has successfully located spacecraft orbiting the moon -- one active, and one dormant. This new technique could assist planners of future moon missions.

Could fast radio bursts be powering alien probes?

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has looked for many different signs of alien life, from radio broadcasts to laser flashes, without success. However, newly published research suggests that mysterious phenomena called fast radio bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology. Specifically, these bursts might be leakage from planet-sized transmitters powering interstellar probes in distant galaxies.

Studying magnetic space explosions with NASA missions

Magnetic explosions happen constantly all across the universe, and new results with NASA's ARTEMIS mission help explain how near-Earth explosions convert energy into heat and propel particles toward Earth.

Craters show Earth is bombarded at random

Asteroids don't hit our planet at regular intervals, as was previously thought. Earth scientists have reached this conclusion after analyzing impact craters formed in the last 500 million years, concentrating on precisely dated events.

Bubble-recoil could be used to cool microchips, even in space

The bubbles that form on a heated surface create a tiny recoil when they leave it, like the kick from a gun firing blanks. Now researchers have shown how this miniscule force can be harnessed to mix liquid coolant around high-power microelectronics -- in space or on Earth.

Probing seven worlds with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

With the discovery of seven earth-sized planets around the TRAPPIST-1 star 40 light years away, astronomers are looking to the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to help us find out if any of these planets could possibly support life.

First solar images from NOAA's GOES-16 satellite

The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite have been successful, capturing a large coronal hole on Jan. 29, 2017.

The heat is on

NASA is developing a new family of flexible heat-shield systems with a woven carbon-fiber base material, and is using X-rays to test the designs.

Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity

Mammalian cells fully adapt to zero gravity in less than a minute. Real-time readings on the International Space Station (ISS) reveal that cells compensate ultra-rapidly for changes in gravitational conditions, an international team of scientists has found.

Preserving vision for astronauts

As NASA prepares for its journey to Mars, one researcher is investigating why so many astronauts suffer from poorer vision after they return to Earth.

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