space exploration

Forget Ridley Scott’s Alien. There’s a new, real-life horror story in space. As one national newspaper headline warned this week, the International Space Station is ‘filled with germs’. But should such a revelation really make us scream? The story stems from a new NASA study (reported in Microbiome) which found that some bacterial pathogens, including… Read more

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun returning its best-ever views of the northern extremes of Saturn’s icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. The spacecraft obtained the images during its Oct. 14 flyby, passing 1,142 miles (1,839 kilometers) above the moon’s surface. Mission controllers say the spacecraft will continue transmitting images and other data from the encounter for the… Read more

Sensitive new telescopes now permit astronomers to detect the waste heat that is expected to be a signature of advanced alien civilizations that can harness enormous energies on the scale of the stellar output of their own galaxy. Professor Michael Garrett (ASTRON General & Scientific Director) has used radio observations of candidate galaxies to show… Read more

A gargantuan black hole that is one of the most massive black holes ever observed has been discovered inside of a normal size galaxy. The majority of black holes have small mass compared with their host galaxy. The black hole, found by Benny Trakhtenbrot, of ETH Zurich’s Institute for Astronomy, along with an international team… Read more

In what could be a clue to evidence of life on Mars, the discovery of traces of opal gemstones on the surface of the Red Planet, has been reported by researchers at the University of Glasgow in a new study. The opal was found in a 1.7-gram portion of the Martian meteorite called Nakhla, supplied… Read more