In a paper published this week in Nature Communications researchers provide an interesting tale about the fossilized remains of an meteorite that hit the Earth long before dinosaurs ever existed. They propose that it is the only known remnant of an ancient asteroid that collided with another asteroid deep in space.
Talk about a big bang. In the animation above, you can see a star exploding. Though the animation is an artist's interpretation of the event, it is based on real data collected by NASA's Kepler telescope, which has been scanning wide swaths of the sky looking for rare events like this one.
For all intents and purposes, Pluto and Earth don't have a lot in common. One is a planet, one is not (or at least not officially). One is an ice world, while the other is mostly water. One is red, the other blue. But black and white photos can obscure a lot of those differences. In the latest batch of images returned from the New Horizons spacecraft, Pluto looks a lot like home.
Our cold, lifeless Moon just turned the corner into pretty hot and tempting. It turns out Earth’s satellite was once rife with volcanic activity, and some of its eruptions occurred within the past 100 million years – perhaps even within the past 50 million years. That’s about a billion years earlier than what researchers had originally assumed.
Want to turn your smartphone into a cosmic ray detector? Well there's an app for that. Cosmic Rays Found in Smartphones, or CRAYFIS, uses smartphones' and tablets' standard camera equipment to detect some of the super-rare particles that shower down on the Earth when a high-energy cosmic ray hits the atmosphere. CRAYFIS collects that data, then sends them onto physicists at the University of California's Irvine and Davis campuses for analysis.