Strategies for Detecting Biological Molecules on Titan

Saturn's moon Titan has all the ingredients needed to produce “life as we know it.” When exposed to liquid water, organic molecules analogous to those found on Titan produce a range of biomolecules such as amino acids. Titan thus provides a natural laboratory for studying the products of prebiotic chemistry. In this work, we examine […]

Why don't we have potato-shaped planets?

(NASA, ESA, W. Sparks (STScI), and the USGS Astrogeology Science Center) This week our question comes from Martine Dennis, a listener in Orillia, Ontario. Martine emailed us with a question about the shapes of objects in space. Are all planets and planetoids spherical? If so, are there stages t becoming spherical? Does dark matter "push" everything into […]

Mars Rover Spots Clouds Shaped Gravity Waves

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS—NASA’s Curiosity rover usually keeps its instruments firmly focused on Mars’s ground, zapping grit with its laser or drilling cores in bedrock. But every few days, the SUV-sized robot, like any good dreamer, shifts its sights upward to the clouds. Well into its fifth year, the rover has now shot more than 500 […]

Scientists Offer Sharper Insight into Pluto’s Bladed Terrain

The research, led by John Moores of York University, Toronto, and done in collaboration with scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, indicates that these icy features may also exist on other planets where environmental conditions are similar. READ MORE... Interview with Dr. John Moores, Hosted by Gill […]