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Exoplanet Covered In Ice And Lava Shows Earth’s Distant Future

In a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, an international team of scientists describes a hellish exoplanet, providing a glimpse into Earth’s distant future.

In analyzing the illumination pattern of the exoplanet K2-141b, the team discovered that about two-thirds of the planet faces perpetual daylight. K2-141b is an Earth-size exoplanet orbiting an orange dwarf – stars which are slightly cooler than our own sun – in the Sagittarius constellation. K2-141b belongs to a subset of rocky planets that orbit very close to their star. The planet needs just six hours to make a full orbit. This proximity keeps the exoplanet gravitationally locked in place, meaning the same side always faces the star.

Based on this observation, the researchers tried to simulate the environmental

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Einstein’s theory of relativity, critical for GPS, seen in distant stars

Einstein's theory of relativity, critical for GPS, seen in distant stars
The intriguing system known as 4U 1916-053 contains two stars in a remarkably close orbit. One is the core of a star that has had its outer layers stripped away, leaving a star that is much denser than the Sun. The other is a neutron star, an even denser object created when a massive star collapses in a supernova explosion. The neutron star (grey) is shown in this artist’s impression at the center of a disk of hot gas pulled away from its companion (white star on left). Credit: Spectrum: NASA/CXC/University of Michigan/N. Trueba et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

What do Albert Einstein, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and a pair of stars 200,000 trillion miles from Earth have in common?


The answer is an effect from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity called the “gravitational redshift,” where light is shifted to redder colors because of gravity. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray

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NASA Designs Transforming Rover for Exploring Distant Worlds

One of the challenges of exploring distant worlds is the variety of terrains that a vehicle might encounter there. There could be flat planes, which are relatively easy to traverse in a wheeled vehicle, and there could be steep slopes, which are much harder. That’s why NASA is developing a new type of rover that can transform to take a shape most suited to the environment.

The DuAxel rover is made up of two individual rovers with two wheels each, both called Axel. Together, the four-wheeled rover can travel across rugged terrain and drive across considerable distances. But when it approaches difficult terrain, the two Axels can split apart, with the rear one staying in place while the front one moves forward on a single axel. The two remain connected by a tether, and the front half can investigate hard-to-reach objects by rappelling down slopes while staying safely connected to

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