All posts by SPadmin

Cliffs of Ice Found on Mars

water-ice cliff on Mars
Enhanced-colour image, showing a water-ice cliff, or scarp, on Mars, taken with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The exposed ice is shown in blue dropping about 80 metres from the level ground in the upper third of the image. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/USGS) – click to enlarge
Water ice deposits have been found in cliff-like structures known as ‘scarps’ at eight different sites on Mars, using the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

It has previously been shown that there is shallow ground ice under roughly a third of the Martian surface, detected with spectrometers and ground-penetrating radar from orbiting spacecraft. The exposed faces of these scarps provide us with a cross-sectional view though this ice, which is over 100 metres thick in some places. Continue reading Cliffs of Ice Found on Mars

Interstellar Object Discovered in Our Own Solar System

Oumuamua Trajectory
The trajectory of Oumuamua 1I/2017 U1 through our Solar System (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) – click to enlarge

On 19 October 2017, an astronomer at the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, spotted an object passing through our solar system on an unusual hyperbolic trajectory. The strange cigar-like shape of the object has led to some speculation that it could be the product of an extraterrestrial civilization. Continue reading Interstellar Object Discovered in Our Own Solar System

Seven Earth-Like Planets Found Orbiting TRAPPIST-1

On 22 February 2017, astronomers announced that the faint Jupiter-sized ultra-cool red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, in the constellation of Aquarius, is host to seven Earth-sized planets, all of which are within the stars’ ‘habitable zone’, where it is possible that liquid water could be present.

The exoplanets have not yet been imaged directly but were detectable due to the dimming of the light from TRAPPIST-1, as the planets transited across the face of the star.
Continue reading Seven Earth-Like Planets Found Orbiting TRAPPIST-1

Gravitational Waves Detected

The first ever confirmed detection of gravitational waves has been announced by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) at a press conference held in Washington DC at 10:30 EST on Thurday, 11 February 2016 .

LIGO’s detection of ripples in the fabric of spacetime has been heralded as one of the scientific breakthroughs of the century and promises to mark the  dawn of a new science of gravitational-wave astronomy.
Continue reading Gravitational Waves Detected