Thinking of beefing up your stargazing optics? Now would be a good time. Given clear skies, all of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii) can watch the red planet Mars disappear behind the moon – or reappear, or both – one month from today, on the morning of February 18, 2020.
Two astronauts will exit the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday for the 2nd of 3 spacewalks scheduled in January.
Image via NASA
In recent years, astronomers have pondered the search for biosignatures, or signs of life, in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets. Will the James Webb Space Telescope – due to launch in 2021 – be able to detect them? A new technique says yes.
About 21% of Earth's atmosphere is composed of oxygen. On our planet, it is produced by organisms such as plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Image via Shutterstock/ The Conversation.
The building blocks of life as we know it require chemical reactions involving phosphorus. But phosphorus is scarce on Earth. Where did enough of it come from to fuel life’s start? Carbonate-rich lakes, like Mono Lake in California, might hold a clue.
Mono Lake in Eastern California. This salty lake - with salt pillars - is rich in carbonates, similar to lakes that scientists involved in the new study think helped with the evolution of life on Earth billions of years ago. Image via Matthew Dillon/ Flickr/ Washington University.