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ACA's exoplanet, Mars/Venus chemical reactions, Farfarout, space gemstones, oscillons

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A Previously Undetected Chemical Reaction Has Been Spotted on Mars

Either the gas is being produced by magmatic activity beneath the surface or through complex chemical interactions involving surface dust and atmospheric gases. Whichever one is correct, it’ll be an exciting result.

Is It a Planet? Astronomers Spy Promising Potential World around Alpha Centauri A

The candidate could be a “warm Neptune” or a mirage. Either way, it signals the dawn of a revolution in astronomy

We don't really understand the habitable zones of alien planets

In the hunt for life outside the Earth, astronomers are keen to spot exoplanets in the "habitable zone," — the region around a star where liquid water can exist on a planet. While most research about the habitable zone has focused on a star's brightness (as temperature dictates whether water on a planet could be liquid, ice or gas), new research is showing that this is an extremely simplified and naive picture. The true test for whether or not a planet could host life may, in fact, rest in the most boring of gases: nitrogen.

The hellish chemistry of Venus’ atmosphere

The potential presence of phosphine on Venus is only the latest twist in the strange chemistry of our planetary neighbour, finds Clare Sansom.

Astronomers Confirm Solar System’s Most Distant Known Object Is Indeed Farfarout

With the help of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, and other ground-based telescopes, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed “Farfarout” is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. The object has just received its designation from the International Astronomical Union.

Outer space is a treasure chest of gemstones

Scientists suspect it might be raining diamonds on Neptune and Uranus. Evidence of opal on Mars hints at a watery past. Outside our solar system, there may be rubies and sapphires too. But the gems that form within Earth still might be the most dazzling.

Superpowerful 'oscillon' particles could have dominated the infant universe, then vanished

A weird, super-powerful particle that's not truly a particle could have dominated the universe when it was just a second old, releasing a flood of ripples that permeated all of space-time. Called oscillons, they would have been so energetic their "ripples" could have unleashed so-called gravitational waves — those vibrations in the fabric of space-time that are generated when monster black holes slam into each other. Future experiments to detect these early-universe gravitational waves could give us insights into the most extreme conditions that the universe has ever encountered.

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