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Space

29 April 2021

‘The line is getting fuzzier’: asteroids and comets may be more similar than we think

As anyone who has ever tried to clean a home knows, ridding yourself of dust is a Sisyphean effort. No surface stays free of it for long. It turns out that space is somewhat similar. Space is filled with interplanetary dust, which the Earth constantly collects as it plods around the sun – in orbit, in the atmosphere, and if it’s large enough, on the ground as micrometeorites.
19 April 2021

How scientists are ‘looking’ inside asteroids

Asteroids can pose a threat to life on Earth but are also a valuable source of resources to make fuel or water to aid deep space exploration. Devoid of geological and atmospheric processes, these space rocks provide a window onto the evolution of the solar system. But to really understand their secrets, scientists must know what’s inside them.
12 April 2021

How do we know if an asteroid headed our way is dangerous?

There are a lot of things that pose a threat to our planet – climate change, natural disasters, and solar flares, for example. But one threat in particular often captures public imagination, finding itself popularised in books and films and regularly generating alarming headlines: asteroids.
06 April 2021

Q&A: How we’re gearing up to deflect asteroids that might cause Earth considerable damage

Asteroids — the bits and pieces left over from the formation of the inner planets — are a source of great curiosity for those keen to learn about the building blocks of our solar system, and to probe the chemistry of life.
15 March 2021

Could there be life on Jupiter’s moons?

The search for life outside of Earth has taken many forms. Mars, our neighbouring world, looks like it was once habitable. Perhaps too Venus, despite its current hellish conditions. But in recent years, scientists’ gazes have been drawn elsewhere. What about the moons of Jupiter?
17 December 2020

Twenty surprising scientific facts we learned in 2020

From corals bunkering down in deeper waters to wait out climate change stress, to how vaccines can boost our immune system beyond a specific disease – here are the 20 most surprising scientific facts that we discovered this year. 
14 December 2020

Galactic archaeology: astronomers are using stars as fossils to study the Milky Way

Our Milky Way is thought to be home to as many as 400 billion stars, one of which is, of course, our own sun. But how and when did these stars form, and where did they come from? 
09 December 2020

Neighbourhood watch: What the mission to map the Milky Way is revealing about satellite galaxies

Our Milky Way is not alone in the universe. Surrounding us are numerous satellite galaxies, taking part in a continuous grand dance. But how do these neighbouring galaxies behave, how do they interact with our galaxy, and what does the future hold for them?
03 December 2020

Q&A: It’s time to rethink the Milky Way

The Milky Way might be right on our cosmic doorstep, but a group of astronomers suspect that the way we currently study it is stunting our understanding. Professor Ralf Klessen at Heidelberg University in Germany is one of four researchers who have recently begun a six-year project, ECOGAL, to try something new: imagine our home galaxy as one huge galactic ecosystem. Prof. Klessen believes that using this lens could answer fundamental questions about how stars and planets form, and how they shape the Milky Way’s future.
10 August 2020

Moonquakes and marsquakes: How we peer inside other worlds

Eavesdropping on the shudders and groans echoing deep inside alien worlds like Mars and the moon is revealing what lies far beneath their surfaces and could teach us more about how our own planet formed.