New Scientist 16 Oct 2019, 19:00 UTC Titan is the only other place in the solar system with liquid oceans on its surface, but it also has huge swathes of desert covered in sand dunes. The material that makes up these dunes is commonly assumed to have fallen from the sky, but a new study suggests it may have been made on the ground instead.
Geekwire 16 Oct 2019, 16:06 UTC It’s a bit of a stretch to call them spacesuits, but the “spacewear” clothing line unveiled today by Virgin Galactic and Under Armour looks comfortable enough to wear even if you’re not rocketing to the edge of space.
Starts With a Bang! 16 Oct 2019, 14:01 UTC If there’s one lesson that humanity should have learned from the 20th century, it’s this: the Universe rarely behaves the way our intuition leads us to suspect. At the start of the 1900s, we thought the Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity. We thought that the Universe was static, stationary, and infinitely old, with no beginning and no end. And we couldn’t even be sure whether the Milky Way was one of many galaxies, or whether it encompassed everything there was. Of course, developments in both theory and observation changed all of this. Newtonian gravity was superseded by General Relativity, which demonstrated that a static Universe would be unstable. Spirals (and later ellipticals) were determined to be their own “island Universes” far outside of the Milky Way, each with billions of stars of their own. And instead of an infinitely old Universe, we live in one that got its start 13.8 billion years ago during the hot Big Bang. This picture itself was revolutionary, but led to a brand new question: how did the Universe grow up?
Bad Astronomy 16 Oct 2019, 13:00 UTC Asteroids are chunks of rock and metal left over from the formation of the solar system, battered and shattered, orbiting the Sun all over the place, but with the vast majority of big ones between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Hubble Space Telescope is an Earth-orbiting observatory that looks at objects all over the Universe, which appear all over the sky. Above Earth's atmosphere it has darker skies and sharp eyesight, allowing it to peer deeply into space.
It Looks Like it’s Working! NASA InSight’s Mole is Making Progress Again Thanks to the Arm Scoop Hack15 Oct 2019, 19:19 UTC NASA and the DLR are making some progress with the Mole. The Mole has been stuck for months now, and NASA/DLR have been working to get it unstuck. After removing the mole’s housing to get a better look at it with InSight’s cameras, the team came up with a plan.
Starts With a Bang! 15 Oct 2019, 14:01 UTC Every year, the Nobel Prize reminds all of humanity to appreciate all that we’ve achieved scientifically, and to be aware of how that newfound knowledge has impacted us as a species. To a scientist, it can be an exercise in frustration, as it’s a reminder that in any sub-field of their discipline, there are dozens of projects whose research is important and impactful enough to deserve a Nobel, and yet only three people per award can receive it. Additionally, women and people of color have been systemically passed over in instances where their contributions were indispensable to Nobel-winning research. This year’s physics prize goes to three individuals — Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz — for discoveries in theoretical cosmology and exoplanets. At last, looking into space and existentially dreaming of what’s out there, and then physically/astronomically discovering it, has its own Nobel Prize.
AAS Nova 15 Oct 2019, 08:51 UTC How has galaxy evolution changed over our universe’s history? To understand this, we need to track galaxies’ stars and gas over time. Stars are relatively easy: they’re bright and can be observed with deep optical and infrared observations. But gas? That’s a little trickier.