Science

Could key ingredients for life have arrived from space? Scientists say yes

Could key ingredients for life have arrived from space? Scientists say yes

A fresh examination of meteorites that landed in the United States, Canada and Australia is bolstering the notion that such objects may have delivered to Earth early in its history chemical ingredients vital for the advent of life. Scientists previously had detected on these meteorites three of the five chemical components needed to form DNA, …

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Secrets of the Moon’s Permanent Shadows Are Coming to Light | Quanta Magazine

Studies so far have provided a tantalizing glimpse at best. But that’s about to change. Next year, robotic vehicles will enter the bewildering icy depths of PSRs for the first time, revealing what the interiors of these shadowed craters look like. By the decade’s end, NASA plans to send humans to explore in person. On …

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For Human Settlements on Mars, Solar Power May Beat Nuclear Energy

This artist’s concept depicts astronauts and human habitats on Mars. Credit: NASA Photovoltaics may be more practical for long stays on Mars thanks to today’s light, flexible solar panels. According to new research by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, the high efficiency, lightweight, and flexibility of the current solar cell technology means photovoltaics …

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Here’s How Martian Explorers Could Best Produce Electricity on the Red Planet

Artistic conception of a crewed mission to Mars. Image: NASA Scientists are on the fence as to whether solar or nuclear should be the preferred source of power for small teams visiting the Martian surface. New research suggests both options are good, with geographical location being the determining factor. The researchers compared two different power-generating …

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Zero-index metamaterials offer new insights into the foundations of quantum mechanics

An illustration of a near-zero index metamaterial shows that when light travels through, it moves in a constant phase. Credit: Second Bay Studios/Harvard SEAS In physics, as in life, it’s always good to look at things from different perspectives. Since the beginning of quantum physics, how light moves and interacts with matter around it has …

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The instability at the beginning of the solar system: Does it portend an undiscovered planet?

All stars, including our sun, are born from a cloud of dust and gas. This cloud can also seed planets that will orbit the star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Michigan State University’s Seth Jacobson and colleagues in China and France have unveiled a new theory that could help solve a galactic mystery of how our solar system …

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Giant ichthyosaur’s huge tooth points to sea creatures with robust bite

The remains of a huge sea creature with enormous teeth that could have helped it capture giant squid have been found in the Swiss Alps. Ichthyosaurs were large marine reptiles with an elongated, snakey shape. They first emerged after the end of the Permian extinction, an event also known as the “great dying”, which occurred …

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SpaceX mission arrives at ISS with first Black woman to join space station crew

The astronauts had spent 16 hours orbiting aboard their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft after a pre-sunrise launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:52 am ET. The capsule, which is fully autonomous, circled the Earth more than ten times, maneuvering closer to the ISS before making a gentle, precise contact with one of the …

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