“Mapping Ghosts” — Ancient Pulsars, Objects So Dense They Warp Spacetime

NASA Pulsar

 

Astrophysicists are radically expanding our knowledge of image of pulsars, the ancient remains of exploded stars so dense their gravity warps nearby space-time, using NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray telescope aboard the International Space Station to create the first-ever map of million-degree hot spots on the surface of J0030 in an isolated region of space 1,100 light-years away in the constellation Pisces.

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“Stranger Than Imagined” –Weird Dynamics of Earth’s Star

 

NASA Parker Probe

 

Since it’s launch in 2018, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has returned unprecedented data from near the Sun, culminating in new discoveries published on Dec. 4, 2019, in the journal Nature revealing that the dynamics of our star are even stranger than once imagined.

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Mars’ Global Dust Storms –“The Cause of Vanished Water Over Eons?”

 

Mars Global Dust Storm

 

“Global dust storms are really unusual,” said Mars Climate Sounder scientist David Kass of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We really don’t have anything like this on the Earth, where the entire planet’s weather changes for several months.”

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“Unrecognizable Life?” –Antarctic Proving Grounds for Extraterrestrial Exploration of Ocean Moons

BRUIE NASA Submersible

 

Arthur C. Clarke harshly warned his fellow Homo sapiens not to attempt a landing on Jupiter’s ocean moon, Europa. Ignoring his warning, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers are developing BRUIE, or the Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration for underwater exploration in lunar oceans, such as those on Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. It will spend the next month testing its endurance at Australia’s Casey research station in Antarctica, in preparation for a mission that could one day search for life in ocean worlds beyond Earth.

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“Beyond DNA” –Researchers Probe New Models for Extraterrestrial Life

Non DNA Life

 

The discovery of the language of life, an ancient, long molecule called DNA with eight nucleotide letters suitable for storing and transmitting information, was a breakthrough in our knowledge of the range of possibilities necessary for life on Earth and beyond. Now, new studies suggest that alternatives to DNA-based life, as we know it on Earth, may be possible on other worlds.

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“Glowing” –Milky Way Seen Edge On in TESS Panorama of Southern Sky

TESS Southern Sky

 

“Analysis of TESS data focuses on individual stars and planets one at a time, but I wanted to step back and highlight everything at once, really emphasizing the spectacular view TESS gives us of the entire sky,” said Ethan Kruse, a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of a new mosaic of the southern sky produced from a year of observations that includes supernova, red giant Betelgeuse, Orion Nebula, satellite galaxies, and the flare from a star ripped apart by a supermassive black hole.

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