Tag Archives: NASA

TESS mission spots Earth-size potentially habitable planet and ‘Tatooine’ system

by Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s planet-hunting mission TESS has found its first potentially habitable exoplanet the size of Earth orbiting a star about 100 light-years from Earth, according to the agency.

The findings were announced during the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Monday in Honolulu.

The planet is part of a multi-planet system around TOI 700, a small, cool M-dwarf star in the Dorado constellation. It’s only about 40% of our sun’s mass and size, with half of the surface temperature.

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The ice we’ve lost to climate change this past decade, visualized

by Umair Irfan, Vox –

As polar and mountain regions have warmed, the extent of sea and land ice has declined.

One of the most poignant climate moments of 2019 was a funeral for ice: an August ceremony in Iceland for the country’s Okjökull glacier. As can be seen in these NASA satellite images, the glacier declined dramatically between 1986 and 2019: Continue reading The ice we’ve lost to climate change this past decade, visualized

Astronomers map a neutron star’s surface for the first time

by Alison Klesman, Astronomy

NASA’s NICER instrument reveals that neutron stars are not as simple as we thought.

Pulsars are the lighthouses of the universe. These tiny, compact objects are neutron stars — the remnants of once-massive stars — that spin rapidly, beaming radiation into space. Now, for the first time, astronomers have mapped the surface of a 16-mile-wide pulsar in exquisite detail. The result challenges astronomers’ textbook picture of a pulsar’s appearance and opens the door to learning more about these extreme objects.

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NASA Identifies Regions of Mars With Water Ice Just Below The Surface

by Kristin Houser (Futurism), ScienceAlert

When NASA astronauts visit Mars, they’ll probably need to harvest the planet’s water ice for drinking water and fuel.

It makes sense, then, for the space agency to target a landing spot near easily accessible ice – and they now have a “treasure map” detailing where that ice exists to make the process that much easier.

Continue reading NASA Identifies Regions of Mars With Water Ice Just Below The Surface

Scientists Found the Deepest Land on Earth Hiding Beneath Antarctica’s Ice

by Rafi Letzter, LiveScience

A new mapping effort revealed critical new details of Antarctica’s hidden land.

A new map of the mountains, valleys and canyons hidden under Antarctica’s ice has revealed the deepest land on Earth, and will help forecast future ice loss.

The frozen southern continent can look pretty flat and featureless from above. But beneath the ice pack that’s accumulated over the eons, there’s an ancient continent, as textured as any other. And that texture turns out to be very important for predicting how and when ice will flow and which regions of ice are most vulnerable in a warming world. The new NASA map, called BedMachine Antarctica, mixes ice movement measurements, seismic measurements, radar and other data points to create the most detailed picture yet of Antarctica’s hidden features.

Continue reading Scientists Found the Deepest Land on Earth Hiding Beneath Antarctica’s Ice