History of Titan’s landscape resembles that of Mars, not Earth

In a paper published in Science, researchers report that Titan, like Mars but unlike Earth, has not undergone any active plate tectonics in its recent past. The upheaval of mountains by plate tectonics deflects the paths that rivers take. The team found that this telltale signature was missing from river networks on Mars and Titan. …

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NASA mission uncovers a dance of electrons in space

NASA’s MMS mission studies how electrons spiral and dive around the planet in a complex dance dictated by the magnetic and electric fields, and a new study revealed a bizarre new type of motion exhibited by these electrons. …

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Moon orbits third largest dwarf planet in our solar system

Astronomers have uncovered a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, 2007 OR10, in the frigid outskirts of our solar system called the Kuiper Belt. …

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Icy ring surrounds young planetary system

ALMA has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth. …

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First direct exploration of magnetic fields in the upper solar atmosphere

Scientists have explored the magnetic field in upper solar atmosphere by observing the polarization of ultraviolet light with the CLASP sounding rocket experiment during its 5-minute flight in space on Sept. 3, 2015. The data show that the structures of the solar chromosphere and transition region are more complicated than expected. It is proven that ultraviolet spectropolarimetry can be used in future investigations of the magnetic fields in upper solar chromosphere and transition region. …

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Destruction of a quantum monopole observed

Scientists have made the first experimental observations of the dynamics of isolated monopoles in quantum matter. The obtained fundamental understanding of monopole dynamics may help in the future to build even closer analogues of the magnetic monopoles.

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Space weather events linked to human activity

Human activities, like nuclear tests and radio transmissions, have been changing near-Earth space and weather, and have created artificial radiation belts, damaged satellites and induced auroras. …

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Real-time technique for studying ionic liquids at electrode interfaces

This electron microscope-based imaging technique could help scientists optimize the performance of ionic liquids for batteries and other energy storage devices.

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How hard did it rain on Mars?

Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet’s impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study. Scientists show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet’s surface as we see on Earth. …

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A Defense of the Reality of Time

Time isn’t just another dimension, argues Tim Maudlin. To make his case, he’s had to reinvent geometry. …

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