solar system labeledThe floodwaters of Mars
Paris (ESA) Jun 07, 2013 – Dramatic flood events carved this impressive channel system on Mars covering 1.55 million square kilometres, shown here in a stunning new mosaic from ESA’s Mars Express. The mosaic, which features the spectacular Kasei Valles, comprises 67 images taken with the spacecraft’s high-resolution stereo camera and is released during the week of the 10th anniversary of the spacecraft’s launch to t … more

2011 Draconid meteor shower deposited a ton of meteoritic material on Earth
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Jun 07, 2013 – Every 6.6 years, the comet Giacobini-Zinner circulates through the inner solar system and passes through the perihelion, the closest point to the Sun of its orbit. Then, the comet sublimates the ices and ejects a large number of particles that are distributed in filaments. The oldest of these particles have formed a swarm that the Earth passes trough every year in early October. The result is a … more

ALMA discovers comet factory
Munich, Germany (SPX) Jun 07, 2013 – Astronomers now know that planets around other stars are plentiful. But they do not fully understand how they form and there are many aspects of the formation of comets, planets and other rocky bodies that remain a mystery. However, new observations exploiting the power of ALMA are now answering one of the biggest questions: how do tiny grains of dust in the disc around a young star grow bigger … more

Kepler Stars and Planets are Bigger than Previously Thought
Tucson AZ (SPX) Jun 07, 2013 – In a new study using the NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory Mayall 4-meter telescope, observations of a large sample of stars with candidate planets identified by the NASA Kepler Mission have revealed that many of the stars, and hence their planets, are actually somewhat larger than originally thought. In addition, the researchers confirm that planets larger than Neptune are more likely t … more

Solving a 3.5 Billion-Year-Old Mystery
Tampa FL (SPX) Jun 07, 2013 – Scientists may not know for certain whether life exists in outer space, but new research from a team of scientists led by a University of South Florida astrobiologist now shows that one key element that produced life on Earth was carried here on meteorites. In an article published in the new edition of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, USF Assistant Professor of Geolog … more

New map reveals secrets of Antarctica below the ice
Greenbelt, Md. (UPI) Jun 5, 2013 – NASA says data from several missions has helped create a map of Antarctica giving a clearer picture of the continent from the ice surface to the bedrock below. The new dataset called Bedmap2 is the result of work led by the British Antarctic Survey, whose researchers compiled decades worth of geophysical measurements such as surface elevation measurements from NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land … more

Scientists say fossil from China is oldest primate skeleton yet found
Pittsburgh (UPI) Jun 5, 2013 – The world’s oldest known fossil primate skeleton, a previously unknown genus, was unearthed from an ancient lakebed in central China, paleontologists say. The journal Nature reports the new fossil provides insights into a pivotal event in primate and human evolution, the evolutionary divergence between the lineage leading to modern monkeys, apes and humans on the one hand and that leadi … more