Paul Scott Anderson
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.

Long blue lightning-like flash, with many tendrils, on black background.

Electric! Astronomers find sprites in Jupiter’s atmosphere

Scientists with NASA’s Juno mission say they have detected sprites or elves – electrical phenomena above thunderstorms on Earth – in the clouds of Jupiter for the first time. Unlike the red-colored earthly ones however, the Jovian ones are blue.

Super-Earth and sub-Neptune found orbiting a red dwarf star

Astronomers using a telescope in Mexico have found two more exoplanets – a super-Earth and a sub-Neptune – orbiting a red dwarf star 120 light-years from Earth.

Bright red-orange blob with white spot on it, on black background.

Betelgeuse is smaller, closer, and won’t explode any time soon

According to new research, the red supergiant star Betelgeuse – which began to dim dramatically in brightness in late 2019 – might not explode for another 100,000 years. The star is also smaller and closer to us than first thought.