Some natural phenomena need few words to explain why they’re fascinating. Eclipses, transits, and phases in astronomy tend to fall into that category.
Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Triton, Pluto, Eris…they may all have, or have had, large oceans of liquid water trapped beneath a frozen crust.
Jupiter’s enigmatic moon Europa has long been thought to contain a huge ocean beneath its icy crust, but what is in that ocean and does it ever come to the surface?
Probably not, but just possibly yes. One of the reasons that the search for life elsewhere in the universe is so exciting is that it would take only one chance discovery, one lucky break, for all the walls to come tumbling down.
Lots of new scientific results in the past couple of weeks feed directly into the central questions of astrobiology – from the search for life, to the environment of interplanetary and interstellar space, and the grand cosmological terrain we find ourselves in.
More to explore: Is There Life on Venus? (Scitable) Venus May Have Had Continents and Oceans (Nature News) (Scientific American is part of the Nature Publishing Group) Was Venus Alive?
In an idle moment, while staring at a set of solar system data, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to display a set of planetary surfaces on an equal footing, where the overall texture of these worlds was visible (although topography is probably a more [...]
Reading the scientific headlines recently one would be forgiven for thinking that we’re experiencing a bout of interplanetary gastrointestinal distress.
A new estimate of Earth's total tree population shows previous estimates were seven times too low, and there are implications for efforts to understand the nature of life here and elsewhere in the universe
Scientists are finding liquid water, the cornerstone for life as we know it, in surprising nooks and crannies of the solar system. Following Wednesday's news that there seem to be hydrothermal vents churning away in the warm, alkaline seas inside Saturn's moon Enceladus, researchers announced airtight evidence yesterday that Jupiter's moon Ganymede also has a [...]