Zircon in a meteorite opens the door on Mars’ past

Zircons in a Martian meteorite widens the possible timeframe for life on Mars.

Credit: Deng, et al./University of Copenhagen
  • A meteorite from Mars unexpectedly contains zircons that reveal the planets history.
  • The rock likely comes from one of the solar system's tallest volcanoes.
  • Analyzing the zirconium required smashing some very expensive rock.
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Astrophysicists reconstruct the Milky Way's family tree

A team of astrophysicists used AI to figure out which clusters of stars merged to become our galaxy.

Credit: D. Kruijssen / Heidelberg University
  • Scientists use artificial intelligence to reconstruct the globular clusters that merged to form our Milky Way galaxy.
  • The researchers ran simulations on a neural network to discover the history and details about our galactic ancestors.
  • They found that a collision with a previous galaxy called "Kraken" was so powerful it transformed the Milky Way.
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Jupiter’s intense radiation makes its moon Europa glow

Using a laboratory model, scientists get a nice Jovian surprise.

  • Europa is continually bombarded by radiation from Jupiter.
  • According to new research, that radiation may make the moon glow.
  • The colors of the glow may help scientist identify Europa's compounds.
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    3 experiments that prove the Earth is round

    Celebrate Science Day 2020 by proving the Earth is not flat.

    Credit: NASA/sharplaninac/Adobe Stock/Big Think
    • Flat-Earthers drive rational people nuts.
    • A physicist offers three experiments to confirm it is those people who are crazy, not you.
    • The experiments, however, do require a belief in mathematics.
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    There may be 300 million habitable planets in our galaxy

    A new study from NASA and the SETI Institute comes up with an exciting number of potentially life-supporting planets.

    Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle
    • A study analyzes data from the Kepler Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's GAIA survey to estimate the number of habitable planets.
    • There may be 30 such planets in our own galactic neighborhood.
    • The new estimate may help inform future research and missions.
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