Popular Planet News and Current Events

Popular Planet News and Current Events, Planet News Articles.
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Star tours
Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life -- a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn. (2019-06-25)

Nano-saturn
Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system and has a characteristic ring. Japanese researchers have now synthesized a molecular 'nano-Saturn'. As the scientists report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, it consists of a spherical C(60) fullerene as the planet and a flat macrocycle made of six anthracene units as the ring. The structure is confirmed by spectroscopic and X-ray analyses. (2018-06-08)

What did Earth's ancient magnetic field look like?
New work from Carnegie's Peter Driscoll suggests Earth's ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two. Then, shortly after our planet's core solidified, Driscoll's work predicts that Earth's magnetic field transitioned to a 'strong,' two-pole one. (2016-06-24)

Cigarette butts hamper plant growth -- study
Researchers have shown for the first time that cigarette butts reduce plant growth. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter worldwide, with an estimated 4.5 trillion discarded annually. (2019-07-19)

Amateur astronomer's data helps scientists discover a new exoplanet
Scientists of the international project 'Kourovka Planet Search,' organized at Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University, discovered a new planet outside the solar system (exoplanet). (2018-05-17)

Just what sustains Earth's magnetic field anyway?
Earth's magnetic field shields us from deadly cosmic radiation, and without it, life as we know it could not exist here. The motion of liquid iron in the planet's outer core, a phenomenon called a 'geodynamo,' generates the field. But how it was first created and then sustained throughout Earth's history has remained a mystery to scientists. New work sheds light on the history of this incredibly important geologic occurrence. (2016-06-01)

Ironing out the mystery of Earth's magnetic field
The Earth's magnetic field has been existing for at least 3.4 billion years thanks to the low heat conduction capability of iron in the planet's core. This is the result of the first direct measurement of the thermal conductivity of iron at pressures and temperatures corresponding to planetary core conditions. DESY scientist Zuzana Konôpková and her colleagues present their study in the journal Nature. The results could resolve a debate about the so-called geodynamo paradox. (2016-06-01)

Earth's 'technosphere' now weighs 30 trillion tons, research finds
University of Leicester researchers outline how kinds of products of our technology now outnumber the planet's biotic species (2016-11-30)

APL astronomer spies conditions 'just right' for building an Earth
An Earth-like planet is likely forming 424 light-years away in a star system called HD 113766, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. (2007-10-03)

Theft behind Planet 9 in our solar system
Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first exoplanet to be discovered inside our own solar system. The theory is that our sun, in its youth some 4.5 billion years ago, stole Planet 9 from its original star. (2016-05-31)

Early Earth haze may have spurred life, says University of Colorado study
Hazy skies on early Earth could have provided a substantial source of organic material useful for emerging life on the planet, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. (2006-11-06)

Mars is emerging from an ice age
Radar measurements of Mars' polar ice caps reveal that the mostly dry, dusty planet is emerging from an ice age, following multiple rounds of climate change. (2016-05-26)

Hello DARKNESS
UCSB physicists team up with Caltech astronomers to commission the most advanced camera in the world. (2018-04-16)

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
Plumbing a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado, a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University has found evidence confirming a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the sun. The finding, published Feb. 23, 2017 in the journal Nature, is important because it provides the first hard proof for what scientists call the ''chaotic solar system.' (2017-02-22)

McGill researchers find oldest rocks on Earth
McGill University researchers have discovered the oldest rocks on Earth -- a discovery which sheds more light on our planet's mysterious beginnings. These rocks, known as (2008-09-25)

Mammals and birds could have best shot at surviving climate change 
New research that analyzed more than 270 million years of data on animals shows that mammals and birds -- both warm-blooded animals -- may have a better chance of evolving and adapting to the Earth's rapidly changing climate than their cold-blooded peers, reptiles and amphibians. (2018-01-29)

World's first animals caused global warming
The evolution of Earth's first animals more than 500 million years ago caused global warming, new research shows. (2018-07-02)

Mars' surface water: We finally know what happened--SFU study
An international study co-led by SFU researcher Brendan Dyck has revealed that the sun may not have evaporated away all of Mars' surface water after all. (2017-12-21)

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with researchers from Australia and Canada. The program called 'ModelFinder' uses a fast algorithm and allows previously not attainable new insights into evolution. The results are published in the influential journal Nature Methods. (2017-05-09)

The Red Planet is severely gassed out
New measurements of Mars' thin atmosphere show that most of it has been lost to space due to bombardment from solar wind; this was the likely driver of the transition in Martian climate from an early, warm, wet environment to today's cold, dry, thin atmosphere. (2017-03-30)

Internet data could boost conservation
Businesses routinely use internet data to learn about customers and increase profits -- and similar techniques could be used to boost conservation. New research has tracked public interest in conservation over time, and found sudden spikes in interest linked to media coverage and seasonal events. (2016-12-16)

Footprints of baby planets in a gas disk
A new analysis of the ALMA data for a young star HL Tauri provides yet more firm evidence of baby planets around the star. Researchers uncovered two gaps in the gas disk around HL Tauri. The locations of these gaps in the gas match the locations of gaps in the dust. This discovery supports the idea that planets form in much shorter timescales than previously thought and prompts a reconsideration of alternative planet formation scenarios. (2016-05-24)

No planets needed: NASA study shows disk patterns can self-generate
A new NASA study shows rings, arcs and spirals in disks around stars may not be caused by planets. They may self-generate. (2018-01-11)

Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day
Purdue researchers developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon. (2017-03-20)

A 'hot Jupiter' with unusual winds
The hottest point on a gaseous planet near a distant star isn't where astrophysicists expected it to be -- a discovery that challenges scientists' understanding of the many planets of this type found in solar systems outside our own. (2018-01-22)

Antarctica's biodiversity is under threat
A unique international study has debunked the popular view that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are in much better ecological shape than the rest of the world. (2017-04-20)

To keep Saturn's A ring contained, its moons stand united
For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn's moon Janus confined the planet's A ring -- the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA's Cassini mission data, Cornell astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled. (2017-10-17)

Mars exhumes methane on a seasonal cycle, Curiosity reveals; rover also detects ancient organic matter
Data from the Curiosity rover, part of two separate studies, furthers scientists' understanding of methane on Mars -- suggesting some of it may be trapped in water-based crystals -- and identifies additional carbon-bearing molecules, central to understanding processes and conditions on the planet. (2018-06-07)

Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere. For the dwarf planet Pluto, however, the predicted temperature based on the composition of its atmosphere was much higher than actual measurements taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. A new study published November 16 in Nature proposes a novel cooling mechanism controlled by haze particles to account for Pluto's frigid atmosphere. (2017-11-15)

First look at Jupiter's poles show strange geometric arrays of storms
With NASA's Juno spacecraft, scientists have gotten a good look at the top and bottom of the planet for the first time. What they found astounded them: bizarre geometric arrangements of storms, each arrayed around one cyclone over the north and south poles -- unlike any storm formation seen in the universe. (2018-03-07)

A new Goldilocks for habitable planets
The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second 'Goldilocks,' according to a Yale University researcher. A new study, appearing in the journal Science Advances on Aug. 19, suggests that simply being in the habitable zone isn't sufficient to support life. A planet also must start with an internal temperature that is just right. (2016-08-19)

UH research finds evidence of 2 billion years of volcanic activity on Mars
Analysis of a Martian meteorite found in Africa in 2012 has uncovered evidence of at least 2 billion years of volcanic activity on Mars. This confirms that some of the longest-lived volcanoes in the solar system may be found on the Red Planet. (2017-02-01)

NASA's MAVEN reveals Mars has metal in its atmosphere
Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new results from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars. (2017-04-10)

Giant 'great valley' found on Mercury
A giant valley on the planet Mercury makes the Grand Canyon look tiny by comparison. Discovered using stereo images from NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, the 'great valley' lies in the planet's southern hemisphere. The expansive valley holds an important key to the geologic history of the innermost planet in our solar system, according to a research paper published online Nov. 16, 2016 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. (2016-11-18)

New source of global nitrogen discovered: Earth's bedrock
For centuries, the thinking has been that all the nitrogen available for plant growth worldwide comes from the atmosphere. But a new study by National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded researchers at the University of California (UC), Davis, shows that more than a quarter of that nitrogen is derived from the weathering of Earth's bedrock. (2018-04-09)

A new 'atmospheric disequilibrium' could help detect life on other planets
A new study has found a simple approach to look for life that might be more promising than just looking for oxygen. (2018-01-24)

Hubble finds 16 candidate extrasolar planets far across our Galaxy
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates that are orbiting a variety of distant stars. In accomplishing this, Hubble looked farther into our Milky Way galaxy than has ever successfully been done before in searching for extrasolar planets. (2006-10-06)

Field Museum provides gold standard for mammal survey
Several mamalogists at Chicago's Field Museum participated in the IUCN survey of the world's mammals, using the Museum's extensive mammal collections for reference. (2008-10-06)

Astronomers discover 'young Jupiter' exoplanet
A team of astronomers that includes University of Georgia professor Inseok Song has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young star system that could serve as a decoder ring for understanding how planets formed around the sun. The new planet, called 51 Eridani b, is the first exoplanet discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager, a new instrument operated by an international collaboration headed by Bruce Macintosh of the Kavli Institute at Stanford University. (2015-08-13)

Is there life adrift in the clouds of Venus?
In the search for extraterrestrial life, scientists have turned over all sorts of rocks. Mars, for example, has geological features that suggest it once had -- and still has -- subsurface liquid water. Scientists have also eyed Saturn's moons as well as Jupiter's as possible havens for life in the oceans under their icy crusts. Now, however, scientists are dusting off an old idea that promises a new vista in the hunt for life beyond Earth: the clouds of Venus. (2018-03-30)

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