A new study led by Mohamad Ali-Dib, a research scientist at the NYU Abu Dhabi Center for Astro, Particle, and Planetary Physics, reports the significant discovery that two groups of TNOs with different surface colors also have very different orbital patterns. This new information can be compared to models of the solar system to provide fresh insights into its early chemistry.
New UArizona research finds that the target asteroid of NASA's Psyche mission may not be as metallic or dense as previously predicted, hinting that it might not be an exposed planetary core after all.
A research group from Kobe University has demonstrated that the heat generated by the impact of a small astronomical body could enable aqueous alteration and organic solid formation to occur on the surface of an asteroid. These results have significantly increased the number of prospective astronomical bodies that could have brought water and the origins of life to Earth.
Comets that circle the Sun in very elongated orbits spread their debris so thin along their orbit or eject it out of the solar system altogether that their meteor showers are hard to detect. From a new meteor shower survey published in the journal Icarus, researchers now report that they can detect showers from the debris in the path of comets that pass close to Earth orbit and are known to return as infrequent as once every 4,000 years.
Unbound nickel atoms and other heavy elements have been observed in very hot cosmic environments, including the atmospheres of ultra-hot exoplanets and evaporating comets that ventured too close to our Sun or other stars. A new study conducted by JU researchers reveals the presence of nickel atoms in the cold gasses surrounding the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov. The team's finding is being published in Nature on 19 May 2021.
A new study by a Belgian team using data from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope has shown that iron and nickel exist in the atmospheres of comets throughout our Solar System, even those far from the Sun. A separate study by a Polish team, who also used ESO data, reported that nickel vapor is also present in the icy interstellar comet 2I/Borisov. This is the first time heavy metals have been found in the cold atmospheres of distant comets.
High-precision noble gas analyses indicate that solar wind particles from our primordial Sun were encased in the Earth's core over 4.5 billion years ago. Researchers from Heidelberg University have concluded that the particles made their way into the overlying rock mantle over millions of years. The scientists found solar noble gases in an iron meteorite they studied. Because of their chemical composition, such meteorites are often used as natural models for the Earth's metallic core.
New observations reveal that Mars could still be volcanically active, raising the possibility for habitable conditions in the near surface of Mars in recent history. Ongoing research investigates the possibility that the most recent volcanic activity on Mars, which occurred about 50,000 years ago, might have been triggered by a nearby asteroid impact that happened around the same time.
A team of researchers searched for pieces of an asteroid tracked in space and then observed to impact Botswana on June 2018. Guided by SETI Institute astronomer Peter Jenniskens, they found 23 meteorites deep inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and have published their findings in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. "Combining observations of the small asteroid in space with information gleaned from the meteorites shows it likely came from Vesta," said Jenniskens.
A new breakthrough astrophysics code, named Octo-Tiger, simulates the evolution of self-gravitating and rotating systems of arbitrary geometry using adaptive mesh refinement and a new method to parallelize the code to achieve superior speeds. This new code to model stellar collisions is more expeditious than the established code used for numerical simulations.