Using computer simulations, researchers have pieced together a possible scenario where Titan caused another of Saturn’s moons to break up and become the beautiful ring system we see today. Plus, organic molecules on Mars, the death of the dinosaurs, and a review of Lightyear on Disney+.
As we return from our summer hiatus, we are back with a rundown of some of the stories that came out during the break. On the planetary front, JWST has been taking amazing images and learning about exoplanets. On the astrophysics front, we’ve got stories on dark matter and Betelgeuse. And there were thirty orbital launches, including a whole lot of Starlinks… but not including Artemis.
Based on X-ray detections from the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, scientists used the Chandra X-ray Observatory and found rings called light echoes moving out from a black hole and its companion star, reflecting off the surrounding dust clouds. Plus, solving the puzzle of the Sun and using glassy nodules to find a meteorite impact.
A tiny black hole, only three solar masses, has been found inside the Milky Way in the constellation Monoceros. One of the smallest black holes ever found, it is also the closest one to Earth. Plus, Perseverance, Gaia, a brown dwarf, new images of Jupiter, seismic monitoring from space, and this week’s What’s Up.
In another first for NASA’s Perseverance rover, a cube-shaped instrument called MOXIE, or Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, has successfully converted some of Mars’ atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen. Plus, a wild roundup of stories including exoplanets, sky maps, fast radio bursts, meteorites, and the problem with symmetry.
Monday was the first day of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and we are going to spend at least the next two weeks sharing as much science as possible. The conference is taking place virtually this year, and of course, Mars is the big focus. Plus icy worlds, volcanic worlds, and exoplanets, and we’re bringing you a little of everything.