Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Space greens beat the blues

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Where people will go in the cosmos, plants will go, say researchers in a new report. Plants may also play a key role in maintaining the psychological well-being of space crews. The next frontier of space plant experimentation is to examine the psychological impact of plant life on astronauts.
via Science Daily
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Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons

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Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos.
via Science Daily
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A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen thanks to plasma technology

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Plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars, a new study has found. It suggests that Mars, with its 96 per cent carbon dioxide atmosphere, has nearly ideal conditions for creating oxygen from CO2 through a process known as decomposition.
via Science Daily
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How bright is the moon, really?

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is planning to take new measurements of the Moon's brightness, a highly useful property that satellites rely upon every day.
via Science Daily
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Potential human habitat located on the moon

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A new study confirms the existence of a large open lava tube in the Marius Hills region of the moon, which could be used to protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.
via Science Daily
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Looking for microbe 'fingerprints' on simulated Martian rocks

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Scientists are searching for unique bio-signatures left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. A new paper describes investigations into these signatures at a miniaturized 'Mars farm' where researchers can observe interactions between the archaeon Metallosphaera sedula and Mars-like rocks. These microbes are capable of oxidizing and integrating metals into their metabolism.
via Science Daily
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars

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Research by planetary scientists finds that periodic melting of ice sheets on a cold early Mars would have created enough water to carve the ancient valleys and lakebeds seen on the planet today.
via Science Daily
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To keep Saturn's A ring contained, its moons stand united

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For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn's moon Janus confined the planet's A ring -- the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA's Cassini mission data, astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled.
via Science Daily
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Webcam on Mars Express surveys high-altitude clouds

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An unprecedented catalogue of more than 21 000 images taken by a webcam on ESA’s Mars Express is proving its worth as a science instrument, providing a global survey of unusual high-altitude cloud features on the Red Planet.


via ESA Space Science
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Webcam_on_Mars_Express_surveys_high-altitude_clouds

Monday, 16 October 2017

Unpacking What We Just Learned About Neutron Star Collisions

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Here are answers to some questions you might have about the discovery that was announced on Monday.
via New York Times