01 Oct 2019

When — or if — NASA finds life on Mars, the world may not be ready for the discovery, the agency chief says

NASA’s next mission to Mars will be its most advanced yet. But if scientists discover there was once life — or there is life — on the Red Planet, will the public be able to handle such an extraterrestrial concept?

Jaunta Swirlbush 0 Read More
21 Jun 2019

The ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa has table salt, just like Earth’s seas

Although Jupiter’s moon Europa looks alien to us, it contains an ingredient familiar to us: sodium chloride, otherwise known as good ol’ table salt.

It’s also a main component of sea salt. Europa is one of the intriguing water worlds in our solar system and potentially a place where life could exist in a subsurface ocean. The discovery of sodium chloride means Europa’s ocean could look more like those on Earth and even possibly include salt. Now, astronomers may have to think differently about the composition of Europa’s ocean.

Jaunta Swirlbush 0 Read More
23 Feb 2019

Scientists need your help to name Jupiter’s newly discovered moons

Now’s your chance to name a moon, but don’t get your hopes up — Moony McMoonFace is not in the running. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have implemented some pretty strict rules for their contest asking for the public’s help in naming Jupiter’s newly discovered moons.

Jaunta Swirlbush 0 Read More
11 Oct 2018

Interstellar Visitor Found to Be Unlike a Comet or an Asteroid

Like a hit-and-run driver who races from the scene of a crash, the interstellar guest known as ’Oumuamua has bolted out of the solar system, leaving confusion in its wake. Early measurements seemed to indicate that it was an asteroid — a dry rock much like those found orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Then by this past summer, astronomers largely came around to the conclusion that it was instead a comet — an icy body knocked out of the distant reaches of a far-off planetary system.

Jaunta Swirlbush 0 Read More
28 Oct 2017

This mystery object may be our first visitor from another solar system

Astronomers around the world are trying to track down a small, fast-moving object that is zipping through our solar system.

Is a comet? An asteroid? NASA’s not sure. The space agency doesn’t even know where it came from, but it’s not behaving like the local space rocks and that means it may not be from our solar system.

Jaunta Swirlbush 0 Read More