Mars is mighty in first Web observations of Red Planet

by Margaret W. Carruthers, Space Telescope Science Institute Webb’s first images of Mars, captured by its NIRCam instrument Sept. 5, 2022 [Guaranteed Time Observation Program 1415]. Left: Reference map of the observed hemisphere of Mars from NASA and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Top right: NIRCam image showing 2.1-micron (F212 filter) reflected sunlight, revealing … Read more

Astronomers Find a Waterworld Planet With Deep Oceans in the Habitable Zone

In the search for extrasolar planets, astronomers and astrobiologists generally pursue a policy of “follow the water.” This comes down to searching for planets that orbit with a star’s circumsolar habitable zone (HZ), where conditions are warm enough that liquid water can flow on its surface. The reason is simple: water is the only known … Read more

Is your online life polluting the planet?

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Choosing digital meetings, shopping and even exercise classes over their in-person alternatives can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding transport-related pollution, but the environmental impact of our digital lives is also surprisingly high, says Human Geographer Dr. Jessica McLean, a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Macquarie University’s School of … Read more

Probing the Red Planet: Finding past life at Jezero Crater

Since its wheels-down landing in February of last year, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has been busily at work, on the prowl steering itself across the Jezero Crater landscape. A key duty of the robot is to search for signs of ancient microbial life. The Mars is industriously machinery gathering up samples of Martian rock and … Read more

A climate villain? Measuring and managing meat’s impact on the planet

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Look at just about any popular media article on personal changes you can make to save the planet and near the top of the list you’ll likely see cutting out meat—or at least decreasing meat consumption. But is animal protein the climate villain it’s made out to be? And can we … Read more

Mars sample return: How NASA will launch from the Red Planet

Work is progressing on a vital part of NASA’s Mars sample return plans. The Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) is a small, lightweight, two-stage solid-propellant rocket with a big assignment: blast rock, sediment and atmospheric samples off Mars in the early 2030s, in the first-ever rocket launch from the surface of another planet. The MAV, which … Read more

To find a planet, look for the signatures of planet formation — ScienceDaily

Finding forming planets is a tough but important job for astronomers: Only three planets have ever been discovered in the process of forming, and the most recent of these was found just weeks ago. Evan Rich, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, suggests that instead of looking for individual planets forming, astronomers might … Read more