Space

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Interstellar object ‘Oumuamua – that strange, cigar-shaped chunk of rock from somewhere a vast distance beyond the Solar System – is, new research has concluded, absolutely, positively not an alien spaceship. OK, well, probably not. We can’t tell for sure without closely examining the thing, and it’s passed beyond our reach now. But, after carefully
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In the bewildering quagmire that is the gas between the stars, the Hubble Space Telescope has identified evidence of ionised buckminsterfullerene, the carbon molecule known colloquially as “buckyballs”. Containing 60 carbon atoms arranged in a soccer ball shape, buckminsterfullerene (C60) occurs naturally here on Earth – in soot. But in 2010, it was also detected in
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Scientists have recreated Titan-like conditions in a lab, and found that organic molecules from Titan’s atmosphere could be forming rings of alien crystals around the methane lakes that dot the Saturn moon’s surface. Previously, the team led by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory had discovered two of these ‘molecular minerals’. Now they’ve discovered a
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Here on Earth we’re making big plans to send the first humans to Mars, but it looks like Starfleet may have gotten there first. In the expanse of the Hellas Planitia, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has photographed a huge formation in the shape of the organisation’s famous chevron logo. “Enterprising viewers will make the discovery
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It was the year 2000 and scientists had never seen anything like it: astronomers reported evidence of “superflares” on distant stars – solar outbursts many thousands of times more energetic than typical solar flares. As researchers observed over subsequent studies, these intense eruptions were more common on young, rapidly rotating stars, and on stars exhibiting