“Tasting Life?” New ESA Spacecraft to Probe Plumes of Europa’s Global Ocean

Europa's Plumes

 

“Europa’s plumes are the most straight-forward way to taste its subsurface ocean,” says Hans Huybrighs with Max-Planck Institute of Solar System Physics. “Flying through one of the plumes of water and taking samples of the material could be the easiest way to study Europa’s ocean. JUICE will be the first mission that might be able to do this.”

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“New Space Superpower” –China’s Chang’e-4 Blasts Off to the Far Side of the Moon

Aitken Basin Moon

 

Probing the lunar far side ‘radio environment’ to creating a mini biosphere: China launched the Chang’e-4 lunar probe rover early Saturday on a Long March 3B rocket from the southwestern Xichang Space Center at 2:23 am (1823 GMT) Saturday, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Destined to touchdown around the New Year on the far side of the moon at the Von Kármán crater in Aitken Basin in the craggy and complex terrain of the lunar south pole region, the mission is global first that would boost Beijing’s ambitions to become a space superpower.

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The Balloon Planet — “Search is On for Evaporating Exoplanets”

 

HAT-P-11b a "warm Neptune"

 

A discovery occurred earlier this year, thanks to Hubble Space Telescope observations, which proved difficult to interpret: the first-ever detection of an evaporating exoplanet.

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“Hidden from Sight” –Alien Planets Orbiting Young Stars

protoplanetary disks

 

“Most previous observations had been targeted to detect the presence of very massive planets, which we know are rare, that had carved out large inner holes or gaps in bright disks,” said Paola Pinilla, a NASA Hubble Fellow at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory. “While massive planets had been inferred in some of these bright disks, little had been known about the fainter disks.”

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Heard In the Milky Way –“Thinking Like a Planet to Earth in 10,000 Years”

 

Today’s eclectic coverage of TV programs broadcast on the state of affairs on our pale blue planet, signaling our presence to other possible civilizations in the Milky Way.

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“All the Light”– In the History of the Observable Universe

Galaxies in Milky Way

 

From our tiny blue water planet, the universe appears inconceivably vast. In the grand cosmic scheme of things, all the light in the observable universe provides about as much illumination as a 60-watt bulb seen from 2.5 miles away, says Marco Ajello, an astrophysicist at Clemson University, who led a team that has measured all of the starlight ever produced throughout the history of the observable universe.

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