Just like the mythical creation stories that depict the formation of the world as the story of order from chaos, the early Earth was home to a chaotic clutter of organic molecules from which, somehow, more complex biological structures such as RNA and DNA emerged. There was no guiding hand to dictate how the molecules

When we think of life on Earth, we might think of individual examples ranging from animals to bacteria. When astrobiologists study life, however, they have to consider not only individual organisms, but also ecosystems, and the biosphere as a whole. In astrobiology, there is an increasing interest in whether life as we know it is

Astronomers have found fresh evidence for significant planetary diversity within a single exoplanet system, suggesting that giant high-speed collisions are partly responsible for planetary evolution. An international team of scientists led by Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and involving physicists from the University of Bristol spent three years observing the exoplanetary system Kepler-107 via

The Milky Way galaxy’s disk of stars is anything but stable and flat. Instead, it becomes increasingly warped and twisted far away from the Milky Way’s center, according to astronomers from National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC). From a great distance, the galaxy would look like a thin disk of stars that

Researchers have found that certain ultra-thin magnetic materials can switch from insulator to conductor under high pressure, a phenomenon that could be used in the development of next-generation electronics and memory storage devices. The international team of researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, say that their results, reported in the journal Physical Review Letters,

The composition of the universe—the elements that are the building blocks for every bit of matter—is ever-changing and ever-evolving, thanks to the lives and deaths of stars. An outline of how those elements form as stars grow and explode and fade and merge is detailed in a review article published Jan. 31 is the journal

Scientists have been searching for “dark matter” – an unknown and invisible substance thought to make up the vast majority of matter in the universe – for nearly a century. The reason for this persistence is that dark matter is needed to account for the fact that galaxies don’t seem to obey the fundamental laws

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study some of the oldest and faintest stars in the globular cluster NGC 6752 have made an unexpected finding. They discovered a dwarf galaxy in our cosmic backyard, only 30 million light-years away. The finding is reported in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society:

A clever use of non-science engineering data from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has let a team of researchers, including an Arizona State University graduate student, measure the density of rock layers in 96-mile-wide Gale Crater. The findings, to be published February 1, 2019, in the journal Science, show that the layers are more porous than

For over a century and a half, Eta Carinae has been one of the most luminous – and most enigmatic – stars of the southern Milky Way. Part of its nature was revealed in 1847, when, in a giant eruption, it ejected a nebula called the Homunculus (“little man”). The event made Eta Carinae the

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