Paul Scott Anderson
Large spiral structure with bright arms and other dots, curved lines and text annotations on black background.

Earth faster, closer to Milky Way black hole, than previously thought

A new survey of our galaxy by astronomers with VERA in Japan has shown that Earth is both moving faster and is closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy than previously thought. But don’t worry, our planet is safe!

Bright, fuzzy white and reddish stars on dark background.

Did the Wow! signal come from this star?

Where did the famous mystery Wow! signal, detected in 1977, come from? Astronomer Alberto Caballero might have pinpointed the host star. It’s a sunlike star 1,800 light-years away, in the direction of the center of our Milky Way.

Lake in reddish terrain with mountain in the middle and stream on left side.

Curiosity rover spots signs of ancient megafloods on Mars

We already know that Gale Crater on Mars used to hold a lake or series of lakes a few billion years ago. Now, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found evidence for ancient giant floods that washed through the region as well.

Long crack in reddish rocky terrain.

Is Mars still volcanically active?

A new study of geologically young lava flows in Elysium Planitia suggests that Mars might still have residual volcanic activity below its surface. The finding could also correlate with seismic activity detected by the InSight lander in the same region and may have implications for possible Martian life.

Bright geyser-like vertical spray of water with planet and stars in background.

Does Jupiter’s moon Europa have geysers? If so, what’s their source?

If watery plumes do burst from Europa’s surface, they might originate not in the moon’s underground ocean, but instead in pockets of brine trapped in the moon’s crust. If that’s so, it could be a source of frustration for those who want to probe Europa’s ocean for possible life.

Desert with hills in distance and wispy clouds in blue sky above.

Clues to Mars life in Earth’s Atacama Desert

Researchers in the U.S. and Spain have discovered a plethora of previously unknown microbes living in wet clay layers below Chile’s arid Atacama Desert. The finding will help future rovers search for life on Mars.

Reddish, streaked planet close to its star, and other stars in background.

Meet the hell planet with a magma ocean and rocky rain

Exoplanet K2-141b is fiery hot world that circles so close to its star that 1 side of the planet features a deep ocean of molten lava. Meanwhile, the other side is freezing cold.

Cross-sectional map of seafloor terrain with raised ridges and text annotations.

Ancient life signs under dinosaur-killing Chicxulub crater

Researchers have found evidence for an ancient microbial ecosystem in a hydrothermal system beneath Mexico’s Chicxulub Crater, thought to be the site of the impact that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Bright yellowish and bluish moon in front of dimmer giant planet.

How Jupiter’s moon Io gets its hellish atmosphere

Hot, active volcanoes produce almost half of Jupiter’s moon Io’s sulfur atmosphere, according to new observations using the ALMA telescope. The rest comes from cold sulfur deposits that freeze on the surface, then sublimate in sunlight.

Round spacecraft with long thin lines and stars in background.

Life-hunting Perseverance rover is halfway to Mars

NASA announced that its Perseverance rover mission – which will search for evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars – has now passed the halfway mark in its journey to the planet.