astronomy
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This Is The Best Look At Pluto's Surface We're Going To Get

New Horizons may be millions of kilometres beyond Pluto in the Kuiper Belt right now, but that hasn’t stopped the spacecraft from continuing to beam back glorious imagery of its encounter with our solar system’s weirdest little ice world. A new NASA video reveals the most detailed images of Pluto’s surface yet — and they’re spellbinding.


Life In Red Dwarf Systems May Be Rarer Than We Thought

Red dwarfs are the most common type of star in the galaxy. But new research suggests that life within these systems may be limited, due to the stiflingly hot atmospheres on Earth-sized planets that orbit the red dwarfs.


The Time To Nuke Mars Is Now

Good news, prospective Martian colonists: that frigid hellscape where you hope to spend out your days alone and in darkness is currently in a “warm phase”. Scientists are now reporting the first observational evidence that Mars recently emerged from an ice age, which can only mean one thing. It’s time to bring out the bombs and terraform that sucker.


It Takes Just Four Minutes To Explain The Entire Universe

Video: In need of a quick refresher course on, well, the science of pretty much everything? Here’s a cheeky, irreverent summation of the universe in just four minutes from Exub1a, YouTube purveyor of “spacey stuff and existential angst”.


Astronomers Might Have Just Solved A Key Mystery About The Origin Of Life

If a massive solar storm struck the Earth today, it could wipe out our technology and hurl us back to the dark ages. Lucky for us, events like this are quite rare. But four billion years ago, extreme space weather was probably the norm. And rather than bringing the apocalypse, it might have kickstarted life.


Traces Of Ancient 'Mega-Tsunamis' Discovered On Mars

Mars once featured a vast ocean that covered its northern hemisphere. New evidence suggests this Martian sea experienced at least two “mega-tsunamis” that were triggered by meteor impacts. Traces of these cataclysmic events can still be seen on the Martian surface, and they could still contain traces of ancient life.


Here's Your Chance To Help Astronomers Discover An Alien Megastructure

Has an advanced alien civilisation built a mind-boggling megastructure around the distant star KIC 8462852? It’s extremely unlikely, but astronomers promised to get to the bottom of the cosmic mystery, and they need our help.


A Mysterious Object Beyond Pluto Is Coming Into Focus

Pluto may be long gone, but NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is by no means finished with the outer solar system. For the second time, New Horizons has observed 1994 JR1, a 145km wide Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) that orbits over 3 billion miles from the sun.


Posthumous Paper Resolves Century-Old Mystery Of How Stars Evolve

Chances are you’ve never heard of Allan Sandage, but the late astronomer was a major figure in 20th century astronomy, particularly known for his work on how stars evolve. Late in life, he discovered two other scientists had beaten him to that breakthrough, but died before he could finish investigating. His posthumous paper correcting the historical record has just appeared in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.


Our Solar System Could Remain Habitable Long After Earth Is Destroyed

In a few billion years, the oceans will boil away and the atmosphere will burn up as our sun expands into a red giant. It will be game-over for life on Earth, but in the outer solar system, the party will just be getting started. Europa and Enceladus will melt into ocean moons, offering a refuge for any post humanoid life forms fleeing their lava-soaked homeland.


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