A new study suggests that super-Earths are actually surrounded by extended hydrogen-rich envelopes and that they are unlikely to ever become Earth-like. Rather than being super-Earths, these worlds are more like mini-Neptunes.
Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.
Astronomers of the international CLUES collaboration have identified "Cosmic Web Stripping" as a new way of explaining the famous missing dwarf problem: the lack of observed dwarf galaxies compared with that predicted by the theory of Cold Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
Years of monitoring its infrared with the Spitzer instrument reveal that it becomes 10 times brighter every 25.34 days, Gutermuth and colleagues say. This periodicity suggests that a companion to the central forming star is likely inhibiting the infall of gas and dust until its closest orbital approach, when matter eventually comes crashing down onto the protostellar "twins".
A new study concludes that 70 per cent of the dust that is found between the Sun and Mars comes from comets, 22 per cent is from asteroids and around seven and a half per cent comes from outside the solar system, dust from interstellar space.
A star thought to have passed the age at which it can form planets may in fact be creating new worlds. The disk of material surrounding the surprising star called TW Hydrae may be massive enough to make even more planets than we have in our own solar system.
They fit in your hand, weigh no more than a bag of sugar, yet fly in space and perform experiments. They are CubeSats, a new generation of miniature satellites. Now, ESA is looking for the best student-built CubeSats to launch into space.
Networks of narrow ridges found in impact craters on Mars appear to be the fossilized remnants of underground cracks through which water once flowed, according to a new analysis by researchers from Brown University.
The UNAWE (Universe Awareness) project is developing "Universe in a Box", a low-cost activity kit to help teachers introduce astronomy to their students. It provides both practical activities and the materials needed.
Initially only operable from a desktop computer, with the approach outlined in the study, THOR is now accessible online from NASA's Precipitation Processing System website. This allows researchers to remotely examine the 15-year archive of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data.