Tag Archives: solar system

Our Solar System’s “shocking” origin

Washington, DC— According to one longstanding theory, our Solar System’s formation was triggered by a shock wave from an exploding supernova. The shock wave injected material from the exploding star into a neighboring cloud of dust and gas, causing it to collapse in on itself and form the Sun and its surrounding planets. (more…)

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A better way to learn if alien planets have the right stuff

A new method for analyzing the chemical composition of stars may help scientists winnow the search for Earth 2.0.

Yale University researchers Debra Fischer and John Michael Brewer, in a new study that will appear in the Astrophysical Journal, describe a computational modeling technique that gives a clearer sense of the chemistry of stars, revealing the conditions present when their planets formed. The system creates a new way to assess the habitability and biological evolution possibilities of planets outside our solar system. (more…)

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Our turbulent sun

UD physicist helps explain characteristics of swirling solar wind

Just a few hundred yards from the house where Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) lived in Arcetri for the last nine years of his life, the University of Delaware’s William Matthaeus is working to further the world’s understanding of the heliosphere – the big bubble of magnetism that holds the solar system together – and especially its turbulent nature. (more…)

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New Study Finds Oceans Arrived Early to Earth

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface and are home to the world’s greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: where did Earth’s water come from and when? (more…)

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Questions for Peter Schultz: What can we learn by landing on a comet?

Brown geoscientist Peter Schultz, a veteran of three NASA missions to comets and asteroids, talks about the European Space Agency’s mission to land on a comet and what the scientific community hopes to learn about these orbiting bodies.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — On Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, the European Space Agency landed a spacecraft on the surface of a comet for the first time. Scientists hope data returned from the Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae Lander might not only offer a new perspective on the nature of comets, but also shed light the evolution of the solar system. (more…)

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Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

Berkeley Lab researchers help give a first look at suspected extra-solar particles.

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA’s Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks, which likely originated from beyond our solar system, are more complex in composition and structure than previously imagined. (more…)

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