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Writer Fuel: One in Twelve “Twin” Stars Has Likely Eaten a Planet

star engulfs a planet - deposit photos

About one in every 12 stars may have swallowed a planet, a new study finds. Previous research had discovered that some distant stars possess unusual levels of elements, such as iron, which one would expect to make up rocky worlds such as Earth. This and other evidence suggested that stars may sometimes ingest planets, but much remained uncertain … Read more

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Writer Fuel: The Moon Shakes a Lot More Than We Knew

A photograph of the moon's surface. (Image credit: NASA)

The moon is much more seismically active than we realized, a new study shows. A reanalysis of abandoned data from NASA’s Apollo missions has uncovered more than 22,000 previously unknown moonquakes — nearly tripling the total number of known seismic events on the moon. Moonquakes are the lunar equivalent of earthquakes, caused by movement in … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Why Do Space Headaches Happen?

astronaut - deposit photos

Spaceflight can be a real headache — literally. Since the days of the Apollo program, astronauts have reported experiencing head pain during their stint in microgravity. And many of them had never dealt with recurrent headaches on Earth. It seems that something about space travel sometimes triggers migraine or tension headache–like symptoms, including pain, sensitivity … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Asteroid Bennu Contains Building Blocks of Life

his mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on Dec. 2, 2018 by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 km). NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Nearly four years after NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft collected a sample from an asteroid, scientists are finally revealing the intriguing composition of the space rock. Among them, the near-Earth asteroid, known as Bennu, contains a surprising reservoir of a mineral called magnesium phosphate. These bright-white particles sprinkled in a sea of Bennu’s dark rocks is a … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Why Aren’t All Orbits Circular?

orbits - deposit photos

Many maps of the solar system make it look as though everything in space moves in perfect, concentric circles. Planets orbit the sun, and moons orbit the planets. So that must be the case for everything in space, right? Not quite. Orbits form all sorts of shapes. “Planets and other bodies rarely go around in … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Giant Volcano Discovered Hiding In Plain Sight on Mars

Giant Volcano - Mars

Scientists have discovered a giant volcano on Mars that has been “hidden in plain sight” for more than 50 years. The volcano is around 280 miles (450 kilometers) wide and more than 29,600 feet (9,000 meters) high. It is located in the eastern part of Mars’ Tharsis volcanic province near the planet’s equator, scientists revealed … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Mars May Affect Our Climate – Every 2.4 Million Years

Mars - Deposit Photos

Mars’ gravitational pull on Earth may be influencing the climate on our planet, new research hints. Geological evidence tracing back more than 65 million years and taken from hundreds of sites across the world suggests that deep-sea currents have repeatedly gone through periods of being either stronger or weaker. This happens every 2.4 million years … Read more

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Writer Fuel: NASA’s Astroid-Slamming Mission Changed the Shape of Its Target

NASA DART Mission

Scientists have discovered that the target asteroid of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) may have been reshaped by the impact. A new investigation into the collision’s aftermath revealed that the asteroid, which is the smaller component of a binary asteroid system, exhibits a loose “rubble-pile” composition. DART slammed into the moonlet Dimorphos, which orbits … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Could We Dry Out the Stratosphere to Fight Climate Change?

illustration of Earth with eyes, a mouth, a towel on its head and a thermometer in its mouth - deposit photos

Water vapor in the stratosphere forms a sponge-like barrier that prevents heat radiating from Earth from escaping out into space. Now, scientists are exploring the plausibility of dehydrating this layer of the atmosphere to cool our warming planet. The stratosphere extends between 7.5 and 31 miles (12 and 50 kilometers) above Earth’s surface and sits … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Passing Stars May Have Altered Earth’s Orbit – And Climate – Many Times

Earth and two suns - deposit photos

Earth’s present-day climate change is human-induced, but the gravitational tugs of other planets can also cause long-term climatic patterns by slightly changing our planet’s orbit. Now, research suggests that massive passing stars can alter Earth’s path, too — and that these cosmic tugs may limit researchers’ ability to study the links between past changes in … Read more