The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 32nd year in orbit by premiering a stunning new Hubble image of a collection of five galaxies, known as Hickson Compact Group 40. Even after all these years, Hubble continues to uncover the mysteries of the universe. These are a few science achievements from Hubble’s latest year in orbit.
NASA is planning two missions to Venus to assess if the now-toxic planet once had an ocean, continents and life. Scientists are beginning the effort on Earth by training sensors and machine learning systems to analyze the building blocks of our own planet. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann
Science Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to take on some of big questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, such as: Do they stop transmission? Will we need boosters? When will life get back to “normal.”
Sarah also talks with Anders Johansen, professor of planetary sciences and planet formation at the University of Copenhagen, about his Science Advances paper on a new theory for the formation of rocky planets in our Solar System. Instead of emerging out of ever-larger collisions of protoplanets, the new idea is that terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars formed from the buildup of many small pebbles.
Earth is not the only place in the solar system with rain, rivers, lakes and seas. Saturn’s moon Titan has them, too — not of water, but of liquid methane and ethane. This Earth-like world even hides an ocean of liquid water deep beneath its surface! Find out what you need to know about Titan.
In 2015, after a nine-and-a-half-year journey, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft raced past Pluto, beaming images of the dwarf planet back to Earth.
Five years after the mission, researchers are poring over images of Pluto’s far-side, which was shrouded in shadow during New Horizon’s flypast. They hope that these images will help give a better understanding of how Pluto was born and even whether a hidden ocean resides beneath the world’s icy crust.