This meteorite was here before Earth existed. Here's why it matters.

This meteorite is the oldest known volcanic rock in the solar system, dated at 4,565,000,000 years old.

  • It's very rare that we discover something on our planet that was around before we were even a small speck. But every once in a while, we do—and this meteorite is a living testament.
  • Scientists estimate the new discovery to be approximately 4.6 billion years old, almost as old as the solar system itself.
  • New discoveries like this one bring us a small step closer in piecing together what an earlier version of Earth might have looked like.
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Scientists discover ice volcanos on Ceres

Cryovolcanoes that eject ice instead of magma have been confirmed to exist on Ceres, which will help studying this formation on other planets and moons throughout the solar system.

  • Cryovolcanoes that ooze out ice instead of shooting out magma have been confirmed to exist on the asteroid Ceres.
  • Scientists believe that ice volcanoes may be prevalent throughout the solar system in places like Titan and Pluto.
  • Further research is needed to find out if they serve an important function for planetary structure and exo geological systems.
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NASA's A.I. Discovers a Second Solar System With 8 Planets, Just Like Ours

A machine learning algorithm has shown it can discover planets from weak signals overlooked in the Kepler spacecraft’s database.

The Kepler planetary system and ours. Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel

Humans in the Western world for a long time thought that Earth was the center of the universe. At one point, it was heresy not to think so. After the heliocentric universe was adopted, we felt smaller and less self-important. But we’d also gained something, new knowledge and a new avenue in which to explore the heavens. That was a paradigm shift in our understanding and now, it’s happening again.

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NASA Discovers 7 New Exoplanets That Could Sustain Life

TRAPPIST-1 is 40 light years from Earth. It would take us millions of years to get there. 

 

The recently announced TRAPPIST-1 solar system. (Image: NASA)

Back in September 2016, NASA announced that nearby exoplanet Proxima b might have what it takes to sustain life. In December however, it announced that it gets bombarded with “super flares” from time to time by its star, Proxima Centauri, and so perhaps isn’t the best candidate. It was a letdown for those of us who marvel at the thought of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy, but this latest announcement might just make up for it. The odds are better at least.

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Hey Bill Nye! Why Don't Gas Giants Have Gas Moons?

A very small person asks a very big question: why aren't the moons of gaseous planets also made of gas?

It took a very small person to ask a big question, one that planetary scientists pondered for a long time. There are four gas giants in our solar system – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – but why are their moons not made of gas? They’re solid, unlike the planets they orbit.

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