Paul Scott Anderson has had a passion for space exploration that began when he was a child when he watched Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. While in school he was known for his passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which was a chronicle of planetary exploration. In 2015, the blog was renamed as Planetaria. While interested in all aspects of space exploration, his primary passion is planetary science. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now currently writes for AmericaSpace and Futurism (part of Vocal). He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, and has also been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.
The Cassini mission to Saturn is over, but scientists still pore over its data. The newest discovery is of organic compounds – the ingredients of amino acids, the building blocks of life – in water vapor plumes from Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
The discovery of exoplanet GJ 3512b – a planet “too big for its star” – adds fuel to the competition between 2 theoretical models of how planets form. It suggests many more Jupiter-like planets are waiting to be found, orbiting nearby sunlike stars.
As the number of newly discovered exoplanets – planets orbiting distant suns – continues to rise, so do unexpected surprises. Scientists say that giant exoplanet GJ 3512b shouldn’t even exist around its tiny star, but it does.
What would an extraterrestrial intelligence need to observe Earth, long-term, from nearby? Materials, a firm anchor, concealment? Earth’s co-orbital objects, or quasi-satellites, might be the ideal place to “lurk.”
Maps are handy for travel. But what if you’re traveling to a place never before visited? For the ExoMars mission, due to launch next summer, scientists have developed new 3-D models of the area to be explored, which may be an old Martian river delta.
This star undergoes a long-term dimming that’s so mysterious it was, at one time, proposed as possible evidence of an alien culture. Now, scientists say, a disk of debris – torn from a melting exomoon – might explain Tabby’s Star.
Could a collision between 2 asteroids millions of miles away cause an ice age on Earth, some 460 million years ago? A new study of earthly rocks and sediments – plus micrometeorites that fell in Antarctica – suggest it’s possible.
It was exciting last week when scientists announced water vapor in a super-Earth’s atmosphere. But, even as the announcement came, other scientists were cautioning that the planet – K2-18b – is probably less like a super-Earth and more like a mini-Neptune.
It’s a first-ever detection of water vapor in a super-Earth’s atmosphere, orbiting in the habitable zone of its star, 110 light-years away. The discovery supports the possibility that our galaxy contains many such habitable worlds.