Rumbling ‘Marsquakes’ on the Red Planet are Mystifying and Exciting Scientists

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

NASA's InSight lander has its seismic instrument tucked under a shield to protect it from wind and extreme temperatures. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) NASA’s Mars InSight spacecraft landed on the Red Planet in November 2018. Scientists equipped the mission with a seismometer so they could learn how Mars releases seismic energy — that is, to get a feel for how the Red Planet rumbles. So far, InSight has recorded more than 100 seismic signals, and researchers are confident at leas ...read more

Astronomers Zoom in on a Galaxy 9 Billion Light-years Away Thanks to Gravitational Lensing

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

(Credit: MIT/Image courtesy of the researchers) When even the most powerful telescopes can’t capture the views you want, it helps to have natural magnifying glasses to rely on. In a paper published Monday in Nature Astronomy, researchers describe how they zoomed in to capture a young, star-forming galaxy roughly nine billion light-years away in X-ray light. To study such a distant galaxy, they used the fact that massive objects can warp space-time around them and magnify light ...read more

The Cosmos’ Most Powerful Magnets May Form When Stars Collide

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

These snapshots of two merging stars in action show the overall strength of the magnetic field in color (yellow is more magnetic), as well as the magnetic field lines (hatching). The stars on the left, which don't have very strong magnetic fields, are just about to merge into a more massive and magnetic star (right). According to new research, such mergers can dramatically bolster the strength of the final star's magnetic field. (Credit: F. Schneider et al./Nature volume 574, pages 211–214 ...read more

This Interstellar Space Rock Looks a Lot Like Our Own Solar System’s Comets

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

The Gemini Observatory in Hawaii caught this first-ever color image of the interstellar comet Borisov and its faint tail. (Credit:Composite image by Travis Rector. Credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA) Asteroids, comets and other rocky objects litter the solar system, left over from when the planets formed. Scientists study these space rocks to learn about what the early solar system was like. Now, we’re entering an era in which we can learn about alien planetary systems in the same way, ...read more

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