“There was no moment in time when a dinosaur became a bird, and there is no single missing link between them,” said Steve Brusatte, who led the study.
One of the most anticipated astronomical events of 2014 is the close passage of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring to the planet Mars on October 19, 2014. The comet’s tiny nucleus, or core, will miss Mars by about 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers). But what a sight from Mars! The animation above shows Comet Siding Spring moving among the stars (yes, Mars sees the same patterns of stars we do from Earth). It’s the comet as seen from the location of Curiosity rover on Mars, now at the base of Mount Sharp in Mars’ Gale Crater, during Comet Siding Spring’s close flyby on October 19.
The mission’s emphasis has now changed from drive, drive, drive to systematic layer-by-layer investigation. “Curiosity flew hundreds of millions of miles to do this,” said a JPL scientist.
A fall day in Sweden. Photo by Jörgen Norrland Andersson.
Up to half of the water on Earth is likely older than the solar system itself, astronomers say. A new study in the journal Science suggests that much of the water on Earth and throughout our solar system likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. That would make it at least a million years older than the solar system.
The nearby dwarf galaxy DDO 68 – only 39 million light-years away – looks to be relatively youthful based on its structure, appearance, and composition. But its nearness to us in space would suggest that it’s not as young as it looks. A cosmic puzzle, inside.
Arctic sea ice continued its long-term decline in 2014. Meanwhile, sea ice on the other side of the planet was headed in the opposite direction. Why?
Your Friday FAQ …
Solar flares and CMEs – coronal mass ejections – are both gigantic explosions of energy on the sun, but they’re not the same thing.