Researchers have classified exoplanets in much the same way that biologists identify new animal species.
Plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit more positively charged particles than negatively charged ones. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a 'neutralizer' injects electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam, but this neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether.
A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.
A major discovery has been made on the formation of icy bodies within the Kuiper Belt, unlocking unique evidence that Neptune's movement during early planet formation was a 'smooth and calm' journey.