Paul Scott Anderson
Bright icy moon with craters and fissures.

Explained! Enceladus’ enigmatic tiger stripes

How did the so-called tiger stripes – huge parallel cracks – form in the icy surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus? A new study from the Carnegie Institution for Science provides some answers.

Grey rock-like fragments on dark background.

Meet the microorganism that likes to eat meteorites

At least one type of microbe on Earth not only likes to eat meteorites but actually prefers them as a food source, according to a new international scientific study.

Multi-colored gas swirling into a bright star with orbiting planet.

This white dwarf star has a giant, evaporating planet

White dwarf stars are typically more or less Earth-sized. The planet orbiting white dwarf WDJ0914+1914 appears to be at least twice as big as its star! High intensity radiation from its star is causing this planet to evaporate. Will the same thing happen in our solar system someday?

Two bright stars close to each other.

Does complex life exist elsewhere? Study of exoplanet-tilts boosts hopes

A new study focuses on the axial tilt of Earthlike exoplanets in binary or double star systems. It boosts hope for complex life elsewhere … although not, these astronomers say, within the star system closest to our sun.

Many planets in a cloud of dust and gas.

Thousands of exoplanets may orbit supermassive black holes

It sounds unbelievable, but a new study from Kagoshima University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan says that exoplanets – thousands of them – could be orbiting supermassive black holes.

Long asteroid-like object in space.

Was ‘Oumuamua a cosmic dust bunny?

‘Oumuamua – the weird object that entered our solar system in 2017 and quickly fled back toward interstellar space – might not be an asteroid or comet from a distant solar system, as many believed. It might instead be a “cosmic dust bunny.”

Water vapor plume on a moon with large planet in the sky.

Scientists confirm Europa’s water vapor geysers … maybe

New observations appear to confirm the existence of water vapor geysers on Europa. The findings are tantalizing, but some scientists are not convinced yet.

Sea creature with claw mouth and stalks.

Bizarre Tully Monster fossil is still a mystery

Was the Tully Monster – which left behind one of the strangest fossils ever discovered – a vertebrate or an invertebrate? The mystery continues.

Seedling in a shower of rain.

Who knew? Plants ‘panic’ when it rains

Using a spray bottle to simulate rain, researchers found a “panic-like” response in plants. Complex chemical warning signals were passed from leaf to leaf and even communicated to other plants.

Curiosity’s ‘mind-boggling’ new Mars mystery: oxygen

Scientists are still trying to figure out where Mars’ methane comes from. Now there’s a new mystery that might be connected: unusual fluctuations of oxygen in Mars’ atmosphere, detected by the Curiosity rover.