A grain of dust forged in the death throes of a long-gone star was discovered by a team of researchers led by the University of Arizona.
Just as dust gathers in corners and along bookshelves in our homes, dust piles up in space too. But when the dust settles in the solar system, it’s often in rings. Several dust rings circle the Sun. The rings trace the orbits of planets, whose gravity tugs dust into place around the Sun, as it drifts by on its way to the center of the solar system.
The strange orbits of some objects in the farthest reaches of our solar system, hypothesized by some astronomers to be shaped by an unknown ninth planet, can instead be explained by the combined gravitational force of small objects orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, say researchers.
We’re under a time crunch.
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside the Solar System. Currently, the probe is approximately 11 billion miles (17.7 billion km) from Earth.
All of this adds a new layer to the search for life on other planets: apart from finding planets in the “Goldilocks” area, where they are neither too far nor too close to their star….
In NASA’s efforts to explore the endless expanse of space, the agency eventually came to a realization: there is simply too much data. Missions like the one embarked upon in 2009 by the Kepler space telescope yield such a tremendous amount of data that there’s no efficient way for an individual scientist or even a team of scientists at NASA to pour through it all. That’s when they made a realization — instead of handling everything internally, NASA could make this data publicly available so that citizen scientists all over the world would be able to dig in.
NASA has stated that it’s quite likely that our solar system is home to a massive, distant ninth planet. Its existence could shed light on some burning questions about the cosmos.