NASA’s Juno will perform close flyby of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa

This image of Jupiter’s moon Europa was taken by the JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021, from a distance of about 51,000 miles (82,000 kilometers). Credit: Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS / Image processing by Andrea Luck On Thursday, Sept. 29, at 2:36 am PDT (5:36 am EDT), NASA’s Juno spacecraft will come … Read more

Four major climate tipping points close to triggering

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Even if the world somehow manages to limit future warming to the strictest international temperature goal, four Earth-changing climate “tipping points” are still likely to be triggered with a lot more looming as the planet heats more after that, a new study said. An international team of scientists looked at 16 … Read more

That’s how close the Inflation Reduction Act would get US to its climate goals

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Fires, heat waves, floods—the reality of climate change is front and center for millions of Americans. Yet among the downbeat of worst climate-related disasters, some hopeful news rang out last week with Democrats’ surprise announcement of a bill designed to help the country meet its goals of curbing greenhouse gas emissions … Read more

Two Spacecraft Could Work Together to Capture an Asteroid and Bring it Close to Earth for Mining

Humanity seems destined to expand into the Solar System. What exactly that looks like, and how difficult and tumultuous the endeavour might be, is wide open to speculation. But there are some undeniable facts attached to the prospect. We need materials to build infrastructure, and getting it all into space from Earth is not realistic. … Read more

It Would Take About 100 Billion Years for Another Star to Pass Close Enough to Make the Solar System Unstable

In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his magnum opus, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which effectively synthesized his theories on motion, velocity, and universal gravitation. In terms of the latter, Newton offered a means for calculating the force of gravity and predicting the orbits of the planets. Since then, astronomers have discovered that the Solar System … Read more

Astronomers Watched a “Near-Sun” Comet Disintegrate as it Flew too Close to the Sun

Comets that venture close to the Sun can transform into something beautiful, but sometimes they encounter incineration if they get too close. Of the various types of comets that orbit close to the Sun, astronomers had never seen the destruction of the type classified as “near-Sun” comets. But thanks to a variety of telescopes on … Read more

Environment scientists close in on ‘golden spike’ to define Anthropocene

Amur River clams recovered from San Francisco Bay. Credit: Stephen Himson Leicester researchers searching for a “golden spike” to formally define humanity’s current geological period—and acknowledge human impact on our planet—have announced a major step in their analysis at an international conference on Wednesday. University of Leicester Professors Jens Zinke, Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz … Read more

Shallow Pockets of Water Under the ice on Europa Could Bring Life Close to its Surface

Beneath the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, there’s an ocean up to 100 km (62 mi) deep that has two to three times the volume of every ocean on Earth combined. Even more exciting is how this ocean is subject to hydrothermal activity, which means it may have all the necessary ingredients for life. … Read more