Are clouds blocking our view of water on exoplanets?
A new NASA study tries to work out what the atmospheres of ‘hot Jupiters’ have in common.
Why is Antarctica’s sea ice spreading as the Arctic’s shrinks?
The health of sea ice between the poles couldn’t be more different. The extremes, US researchers say, boil down to geology.
Australian scientists smash solar cell efficiency record
By splitting the spectrum into four, scientists have maximised electricity generation from a beam of sunlight.
Being asleep or awake may hinge on brain salts
How brain cells regulate waking and snoozing is still mostly a mystery. A new study shows deciding factors may come from outside the cells.
How to cook up asteroids on Earth for space mining gear tests
The OSIRIS-REx mission to return samples from an asteroid will cost nearly $1 billion, and to make sure it’s up to the job, NASA needs practice material.
Comet and asteroid barrage may have given Martian life a leg-up
Where Earth nurtured life, Mars (as far as we know) has not. But a seemingly destructive event some four billion years ago may have given Martian life the boost it needed.
New gravity map gives us a glimpse inside Mars
Data from three orbiting NASA spacecraft give us an unprecedented picture of the Red Planet.
What’s behind Titan’s mysterious bright ‘magic island’?
Eight years of Cassini photography has uncovered a strange region brightening and growing on Saturn’s largest moon.
How to send a satellite abroad and prepare it for launch
When a satellite is built in France but launched in Russia, moving it can be a logistical nightmare. But European weather satellite Sentinel-3A made that trip, which involved planes, trains and automobiles … and, of course, a rocket. Belinda smith tracks its progress.
Not all trees are equal in the fight against carbon
Europe’s replacement forests aren’t half as good at cooling the planet as the old broad-leafed variety.