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An ‘Extremely Surprising’ Storm System Just Appeared Over Neptune

Do not be alarmed, but a bright storm system three quarters the width of our entire planet has emerged over Neptune’s equator, in a region where no bright clouds have ever been witnessed before. Read More >>

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Four Breathtaking Solar Eclipses You Can See From Other Planets

On August 21st, millions of Earthlings will gather to watch as a total solar eclipse sweeps across the centreline of the United States over the course of 90 minutes. For many, it’ll be once-in-a-life-time spectacle. But if you had a spacecraft on hand, you wouldn’t need to wait decades for the next total solar eclipse to arrive at a town near you—you could simply jet off to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, or even Pluto. That’s because there’s a veritable zoo of solar eclipses occurring all across our solar system, all the time. Read More >>

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Rogue Planets May Be Even Lonelier Than We Thought

Rogue planets sound adventurous, like pirates of the final frontier minus the scurvy. The reality is much more depressing: these bodies are untethered to a star, so they’re doomed to dance around the void solo. To make things even sadder, new research suggests certain rogue planets, namely the Jupiter-sized ones, are far lonelier than previously suggested. Read More >>

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Massive Tides Could Boost TRAPPIST-1’s Prospects For Life

Earlier this year, Earthlings rejoiced when scientists announced the discovery of three rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of TRAPPIST-1, an “ultracool dwarf” star located just 39 light years away. Soon after, astronomers brought us back down Earth, pointing out that it might be hard for life to survive on a world in such a tight orbit around such a dim star. But the debate has now taken yet another delicious twist, this time, in favour of aliens. Read More >>

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There’s Growing Evidence That Pluto’s Largest Moon Had a Massive Ocean

Pluto’s moon Charon is the best sidekick a dwarf planet could hope for: unwavering in its loyalty, content to be a minor character in somebody else’s narrative. But two years after the New Horizons flyby, the largest of Pluto’s five moons is finally getting some well-deserved time in the spotlight. New research suggests that Charon’s storied history includes tectonic activity, cryovolcanism, and perhaps, a globe-spanning ocean. Read More >>

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Jupiter Is A Swole Grandpa

Of the eight planets in our solar system, Jupiter is indubitably the most swole. It is large, with a radius of 43,440 miles (69,911 kilometres). It also has a bit of a rage problem, as the planet’s constantly shifting storms are notoriously chaotic. While the Jovian origin story has always been a bit of a mystery, a new study suggests the weird world got very large very quickly, and not from crushing protein shakes. Read More >>

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This Freakishly Hot Exoplanet is Totally Screwed

Approximately 650 light-years away, a Jupiter-like planet is caught in an uncomfortably tight orbit around its toasty hot host star. Featuring a dayside temperature of 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit, this unfortunate planet is literally vaporising, and it has sprouted a distinctly comet-like tail. Astronomers say the planet—the hottest giant exoplanet ever discovered—is not long for this world. Read More >>

space
A Wild Origin Story For Saturn’s Most Mysterious Moon

Enceladus is having a moment: ever since NASA announced it had all the basic ingredients to support life, people have become interested in the unusual Saturnian moon. In addition to hiding a warm subterranean ocean beneath its crust, Enceladus produces enough energy from its hydrothermal vents that could hypothetically support alien microbes. To add another layer of weirdness to this strange world, new research suggests Enceladus may have tipped over long ago. Read More >>

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The Most Mysterious TRAPPIST-1 Planet Finally Reveals Some Secrets

Now that TRAPPIST-1 is the trendiest star system in the galaxy, astronomers and nerds alike are clamouring to learn more about it. We know that the seven-planet system contains three planets in the habitable zone, which means they could hypothetically support liquid water, and even life. We also know that the TRAPPIST-1 planets orbit around their ultracool dwarf star very closely, which could be good or bad for finding life, depending on who you ask. And now, we know a little more about the most distant planet in the bunch. Read More >>

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Scientists Are Already Planning the Next Mission to Pluto

The Pluto-shaped void in our hearts has yet to be filled by Planet 9, copious amounts of Ben & Jerry’s, or anything. Ever since the summer of 2015, when NASA’s New Horizons performed a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons, fans of the dwarf planet have wondered if or when we’d ever go back. According to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, he and some other planetary scientists are already drawing up the blueprint for a return trip—and this time, it’d be much more than just a flyby. Read More >>

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Celebrate Hubble’s Birthday by Tearfully Reviewing Its Best Photos

For so many nerds, the Hubble space telescope feels more like a friend than a hunk of metal in the cold vacuum of space—a friend whose job you’re super jealous of. The ‘scope, which launched on the space shuttle Discovery in 1990, has sent back some of the most incredible images from the final frontier—over 1.3 million observations of planets, galaxies and more, all while hurling about our planet at 17,000 miles per hour from its vantage point in low Earth orbit. Read More >>

science
Most Habitable Earth-Like Planets May Be Waterworlds

Over 70 per cent of our planet is covered in water, and we tend to think that’s a lot. A new study suggests that our world is special in this regard, and that most habitable planets are dominated by oceans that consume over 90 per cent their surface area. That may be good for primitive marine life, but not so good for aspiring civilisations. Read More >>

it was aliens
TRAPPIST-1 Has Some Serious New Competition For Best Place to Find Aliens

It seems like every week, there’s a new contender for Coolest Planet Where There Are Definitely Aliens. For those of us who want to believe, this is an emotionally exhausting cycle, as we’re built up and let down time and again. At the risk of fucking with our fragile hearts even more, it’s worth mentioning that a recently discovered exoplanet 39 lightyears from Earth might actually give the current favourites — Proxima b and the TRAPPIST-1 system — a run for their money. Read More >>

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Astronomers Just Detected a Huge Cold Spot on Jupiter

Using the Very Large Telescope array, an international team of astronomers has discovered a previously undetected cold spot on Jupiter. Measuring 8,700 miles wide and 7,500 miles across, the mysterious spot is bigger than the Earth itself. Intriguingly, the weather anomaly is likely being generated by Jupiter’s spectacular Northern Lights. Read More >>

science
An Asteroid Hunter on What We Need to Do to Prevent Armageddon

Humans are rightly terrified by the threat of nuclear war, but there’s also a non-zero chance that a giant rock will come hurling through our atmosphere to ruin every Earthling’s day. When that happened 66 million years ago, it triggered a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But we have something the dinosaurs didn’t: scientists who are working hard to account for all of the dangerous asteroids in our solar neighbourhood, and to develop technologies that can move them off a deadly collision course. Read More >>