Planet 9 could be an alien world
A new study claims that the recently inferred hypothetical planet 9 could be an exoplanet that originally formed around another star and was later captured by our Sun billions of years ago. The findings are based on new computer simulations.
Most detailed view yet of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy
Astronomers have used the new GRAVITY instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope to obtain the most detailed observations yet of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. The observations will allow scientists to test predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Potential habitats for life found on Mars
Astronomers have found evidence of carbonates beneath the surface of Mars -- pointing to a warmer and wetter environment capable of fostering the emergence of life -- in the red planet’s past. The new findings include evidence for widespread buried deposits of iron and calcium rich Martian carbonates, which suggests a wetter past for the Red Planet.
Private missions to Mars
The Netherlands based Mars One organization says it’s continuing with its plans to send people on a one way mission to establish the first permanent human colony on the red planet by 2027. The project is one of several plans by non-government organisations to fly to Mars in the near future. Another – by SpaceX – is planning to launch a scientific satellite based on its Dragon capsule to the red planet in 2018.
Evidence for recent hydrothermal activity found on Ceres
A new study has found that those mysterious bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres have the highest concentration of carbonate minerals ever seen beyond Earth. The findings indicate recent hydrothermal activity is the most likely cause for the bright spots which were detected by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in Ceres Occator Crater.
Chinese conduct surprise launch of Long March 4B rocket
Beijing has carried out a surprise launch of a Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert of north-western China's Gansu Province. The mission carried the second Shijian-16 experimental satellite which will be used for studying the effects of radiation and the orbital space environment on new equipment and technology.
The show notes for SpaceTime with Stuart Gary podcast