In the northern winter months we are surrounded by the stark beauty of chilled landscapes. From the darkness of the far north, broken perhaps only by starlight and the glow of aurora, to the brisk grey streets of Manhattan and its now skeletal trees with their claw-like limbs and knobbly stubs pressed to the skies, [...]
Astrobiology has one key advantage when it comes to tooting its own horn – it can lay claim to a diverse range of scientific research as being relevant to the study of life in the universe.
From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics.
Five intriguing discoveries and recent news items
Waves on Titan indicate bodies of liquid methane may be home to life
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?
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.
Some of the most stunning images of Saturn’s moon Titan are made using a synthetic aperture radar to penetrate the thick atmosphere to see the frigid surface.
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 [...]
Much of the world’s best wind resources lie in colder climates that can prove challenging for current wind turbine designs. This visualization is from research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where researchers are simulating the freezing of water droplets in order to help them in developing advanced wind turbines for cold climates.
Titan's lake depressions may form as its organic crust is dissolved by liquid hydrocarbons.