Category Astronomy/ Space

Space Dust may Transport Life between Worlds

Space dust collisions as a planetary escape mechanism. arxiv.org/abs/1711.01895

Space dust collisions as a planetary escape mechanism. arxiv.org/abs/1711.01895

Life on our planet might have originated from biological particles brought to Earth in streams of space dust, a study suggests. Fast-moving flows of interplanetary dust that continually bombard our planet’s atmosphere could deliver tiny organisms from far-off worlds, or send Earth-based organisms to other planets, according to the research. The dust streams could collide with biological particles in Earth’s atmosphere with enough energy to knock them into space, a scientist has suggested.

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Hydrogen Fuel from water by harnessing Red and Near-infrared regions of sunlight

This is an image of near-infrared-light-driven hydrogen evolution from water photo-driven by triruthenium photosensitizer. Credit: Kyushu University

This is an image of near-infrared-light-driven hydrogen evolution from water photo-driven by triruthenium photosensitizer. Credit: Kyushu University

Scientists have synthesized a compound with 3 ruthenium atoms connected by an organic molecule that absorbs near-infrared light to produce hydrogen from water. The absorbed light stimulates electrons to ‘jump’ into orbitals that do not exist in other, similar compounds. This is the first successful use of infrared light to reduce water into hydrogen, which can be used for energy conversion and storage, and other industrial purposes in a future sustainable energy society.

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Lava or not, Exoplanet 55 Cancri e likely to have Atmosphere

The super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, depicted with its star in this artist's concept, likely has an atmosphere thicker than Earth's but with ingredients that could be similar to those of Earth's atmosphere. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, depicted with its star in this artist’s concept, likely has an atmosphere thicker than Earth’s but with ingredients that could be similar to those of Earth’s atmosphere. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day and night sides. Based on a 2016 study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists speculated that lava would flow freely in lakes on the starlit side and become hardened on the face of perpetual darkness...

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Hunt for Dark Matter is Narrowed

This is Michal Rawlik of ETH Zürich and Nicholas Ayres of Sussex University. Credit: University of Sussex

This is Michal Rawlik of ETH Zürich and Nicholas Ayres of Sussex University. Credit: University of Sussex

Scientists at the University of Sussex have disproved the existence of a specific type of axion – an important candidate ‘dark matter’ particle – across a wide range of its possible masses. The data were collected by an international consortium, the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment (nEDM) Collaboration, whose experiment is based at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland. Data were taken there and, earlier, at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. Professor Philip Harris said: “Experts largely agree that a major portion of the mass in the universe consists of ‘dark matter’. Its nature, however, remains completely obscure...

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