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In 2018, scientists announced the discovery of a extrasolar planet orbiting Barnard’s star, an M-type (red dwarf) that is just 6 light years away. Using the Radial Velocity method, the research team responsible for the discovery determined that this exoplanet (Barnard’s Star b) was at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth and experienced average …

The post Geothermal Heating Could Make Life Possible on the Super Earth Planet at Barnard’s Star appeared first on Universe Today.

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Claudius Gros, the founder of Project Genesis, makes the case that when it comes to extrasolar planets, the rules of planetary protection need not apply.

The post Seeding the Milky Way with Life Using Genesis Missions appeared first on Universe Today.

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The Cassini mission to Saturn ended in September 2017, but the data it gathered during its 13 year mission is still yielding scientific results. On the heels of a newly-released global image of Saturn’s moon Titan comes another discovery: Rainfall at Titan’s north pole. Climate models developed by scientists during Cassini’s mission concluded that rain …

The post Cassini Saw Rain Falling at Titan’s North Pole appeared first on Universe Today.

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CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, wants to build a particle collider that will dwarf the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC has made important discoveries, and planned upgrades to its power ensures it will keep working on physics problems into the future. But eventually, it won’t be enough to unlock the secrets of …

The post CERN is Planning to Build a Much Larger Particle Collider. Much, Much, Larger. appeared first on Universe Today.

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It was bound to happen. While the rest of us look up at the night sky, and wonder at what we’re seeing, ponder how it all fits together, and strain ourselves trying to understand how our origins are intertwined with all that we see, others don’t. They look up at the magnitude of the night …

The post Astronomers Aren’t Pleased About a Russian Plan to Put Billboards in Space appeared first on Universe Today.

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Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Pamela Gay (astronomycast.com / cosmoquest.org / @starstryder) Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org) This week’s guest Paul MacNeal, a mechanical systems engineer at JPL, created the Annual Invention Challenge twenty-one years ago after helping his son with an extra credit assignment. Since then, teams of high …

The post Weekly Space Hangout: Jan 16, 2019: Paul MacNeal of JPL’s Annual Invention Challenge appeared first on Universe Today.

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The Chang'e-4 mission accomplished another first by being the first mission to grow plant life on the Moon. Unfortunately, the experiment was short-lived.

The post There’s Life on the Moon! China’s Lander Just Sprouted the First Plants appeared first on Universe Today.

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In an announcement sure to make you quiver with delight, Elon Musk says that SpaceX could begin short-hop test flights of its Starship prototype as early as next Spring. The Starship, which looks like something from a 1950’s sci-fi novel cover (awesome!) is intended to carry people to the Moon and Mars. When the spacecraft …

The post The Prototype for the Starship has been Assembled, Hop Tests Could be Happening Soon appeared first on Universe Today.

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You might be asking yourself: Where have all the planets gone? With Mars past its epic opposition in 2018 and still lingering in the evening sky, all other naked eye planets are loitering in the early dawn for January 2019. Sure, it’s cold outside this month for folks up north, but January dawn skies offer …

The post Jupiter Meets Venus at Dawn in a Close Conjunction appeared first on Universe Today.

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Saturn’s moon Titan is a very strange place. It’s surrounded by a dense, opaque atmosphere, the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere to speak of. It has lakes of liquid methane on its surface, maybe some cryovolcanoes, and some scientists speculate that it could support a form of life. Very weird life. …

The post Titan’s Thick Clouds Obscure our View, but Cassini Took these Images in Infrared, Showing the Moon’s Surface Features appeared first on Universe Today.

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