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Mars life clues from methane and ‘sticks’

The Curiosity rover has made 2 new and interesting discoveries – the first about methane in Mars’ air and the other about stick-rock formations – both related the possibility of life.

Sun in zodiac constellations, 2018

Sun-entry dates to zodiac constellations in 2018, using boundaries for constellations set by International Astronomical Union in 1930s.

Fast radio bursts: A mystery unfolds

Repeating, short, unpredictable radio bursts left astronomers perplexed. Now they think the bursts were twisted by the extreme environment around a supernova or supermassive black hole.

New year’s comets

Will 2018 give us a bright comet? There are a couple of possibilities. In the meantime, here are some photos of comets, visible through telescopes, as 2018 begins.

10 places to find snow beyond Earth

From NASA, here are 10 snowy or icy worlds beyond our own.

No alien megastructure for Tabby’s Star

This star’s odd, sporadic dimmings and brightenings caused speculation about vast structures built by alien civilizations. But a crowd-funded observing campaign led to a different conclusion.

Did our solar system form in a bubble around a giant star?

And now … a big bubble theory. Scientists are discussing the possibility that our solar system formed in wind-blown bubbles around a giant, long-dead star.

2018’s closest supermoon January 1

January has 2 full supermoons. Earth’s western hemisphere has its 1st one on the 1st full night of 2018. Eastern hemisphere? Your fullest supermoon is January 2.

Are December’s solstice and January’s perihelion related?

December solstice 2017 was December 21. Earth is closest to the sun for 2018 on January 2-3. Coincidence?

Next New Horizons flyby will happen a year from today

The New Horizons flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 – a year from today, on January 1, 2019 – will be the most distant in the history of space exploration.