MESSENGER Heads Past Venus, Next Stop: Venus

NASA’s MESSENGER made its closest approach to Venus today, coming within 2,990 kilometers (1,860 miles) of its surface. The spacecraft used this close encounter with Venus’ gravity well to alter its trajectory as it travels towards its final destination: Mercury. This won’t be its final encounter with our twin planet, though. MESSENGER will meet up …

Researchers mimic high-pressure form of ice found in giant icy moons

Jupiter’s icy moon Callisto. Image credit: NASA Click to enlarge As scientists learn more about our Solar System, they’ve found water ice in some unusual situations. One of the most intriguing of these environments is on icy moons, like Jupiter’s Europa, and Uranus’ Triton. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have recreated this kind …

Most Milky Way Stars Are Single

For many years astronomers have known that massive, bright stars are usually found to be in multiple star systems. But a recent study by Charles Lada of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggests that most stars are actually all alone. A new study on low-mass stars – such as red dwarfs – has found that these stars rarely occur in multiples and that they are more abundant than high-mass stars, such as the Sun. Since planets form more easily around single stars, they could be more common than previously thought.