Scientists have made a massive breakthrough in the search for water on Mars, the discovery of a huge reservoir of water beneath the planet’s surface. The subsurface 20km lake at the planet’s southern pole gives us our strongest sign yet that Mars could support living organisms.
That headline may sound like the set-up for a geeky joke aimed at physicists, but in reality, it was the research question asked by a team of MSU scientists at the superconductor located within RIKEN’s Radioactive Isotope Beam Facility in Wako, Japan. The answer, they found, was far more than we expected.
These are the Scisco media science dispatches for the second week in July 2018, including Mars’ ‘ghost’ dunes, CERN’s technology leads to colour X-ray breakthrough which may revolutionise disease identification and the development of ammonia s a renewable, carbon-free fuel.
The source of high-energy ‘cosmic neutrinos’ has eluded scientists for decades, that was until last September when such a particle struck a detector buried in ice at the South-Pole, research published in Science reveals. The event was coupled with the detection of a flaring ‘blazar’ by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope giving us a clue as to the origin of high-energy neutrinos. This discovery is not just significant for our knowledge of these particles however, it may help usher in a whole new age of astronomy.
The past month has seen several fairly major developments with regards to the discovery of organic molecules at different locations in the solar system. First NASA announced the discovery of variations in methane concentrations on Mars, followed by the discovery of organic molecules in Martian mudstone. More recently it was revealed that the Cassini probe had observed even more massive organic molecules on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. What is it about these discoveries that point to the possibility of life elsewhere in the Solar-system?
The observation of a planet forming from stellar material, gas and dust surrounding its parent star, has eluded astronomers for decades. Now, in research published in the latest edition of journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, two teams document the discovery of a forming exoplanet finding the process may be more complicated than previously believed.