The biggest mass extinction event on Earth occurred at the end of the Permian period, resulting in the extinction of 95% of marine life and 80% of terrestrial life. Now, scientists have found that the terrestrial portion of the event lasted nearly ten times as long as the ocean version. Plus, a spaghettified star, the search for Moon Trees, all about Mars, and new works on dark matter and dark energy.
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.
Fermilab released the first results of their Muon g-2 experiment this week, and the fundamental particles don’t behave as predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Plus, dust, more dust, Martian water (again), and a review of Packing for Mars by Mary Roach.
Using substantial ground arrays and underground muon detectors, the Tibet ASγ Collaboration has captured evidence of ultra-high-energy gamma rays that are thought to be the result of nuclear interactions between cosmic rays and interstellar gas. Plus, OSIRIS-REx, Ingenuity, InSight, comet 2I/Borisov, and things getting hit (or not) by other things.
We interview a pair of scientists who have examined microorganisms embedded in halite crystals to determine the feasibility of finding similar evidence of past life in return samples from Mars. Plus, ‘Oumuamua, Bennu, Ryugu, winds on Jupiter and a space jellyfish.
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.