Astronomers spot only the 2nd interstellar object ever seen

An amateur astronomer discovers an interstellar comet on its way to our Sun.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • The comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) was spotted by an amateur astronomer.
  • The object is moving so fast, it likely originated outside our solar system.
  • The comet should be observable for another year.
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99.99% of species go extinct. What is humanity’s future?

Mother Nature and the laws of physics have a death warrant out for humanity, says Michio Kaku. Can we escape it?

  • The great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov put a terrifying question on humanity's radar: Where will we be 50,000 years from now?
  • Humanity is close to exhausting the known laws of physics; it's the unknown – the unified theory of everything – that could dominate our destiny in the coming millennia. And that destiny is almost certainly tied to space travel. Why?
  • "Extinction is the norm," says Michio Kaku, 99.99% of all species on Earth eventually go extinct. "Mother Nature and the laws of physics have a death warrant for humanity," says Kaku. "[U]ltimately our destiny will be in outer space."
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Astronomers find a planet so hot it's streaming metals into space

This exoplanet is 10 times hotter than any world we measured and shaped like a football.

NASA/ESA/J. Olmsted/STScI
  • Astronomers study the exoplanet planet WASP-121b that's known as a "hot Jupiter."
  • The planet is so hot, metals like iron and magnesium stream off its surface.
  • The find is the latest accomplishment using the Hubble Space Telescope.
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TESS satellite identifies nearby, potentially habitable super-Earth

We may find signs of life a mere 31 light-years away.

NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/Tim Pyle
  • The TESS satellite recently identified a nearby super-Earth sitting in the habitable zone of its star.
  • TESS isn't equipped to make the sensitive measurements necessary to characterize the planet's atmosphere, but models suggest the planet could have running water, a major indicator that it can host life.
  • The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will be able to look at this planet in greater detail and assess whether life exists on it or not.
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Moon mission 2.0: What humanity will learn by going back to the Moon

Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.

  • July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
  • Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
  • NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.