Carl Sagan’s wisdom and vision, and how far we’ve come since his time

Even Carl Sagan could by no means have dreamed that liveable exoplanets could possibly be so plentiful. Sagan speculated that different stars could have planets in orbit round them, however he handed away in 1996 simply because the period of exoplanet discovery started. He by no means bought to be taught simply how plentiful exoplanets are. Scientists not too long ago mixed knowledge from NASA’s Kepler house telescope and the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission to estimate there could possibly be 300 million liveable planets in our personal galaxy. The new estimate takes into consideration star temperatures and the frequency of rocky worlds that might host liquid water on their surfaces. Pictured: An illustration representing the legacy of NASA’s Kepler house telescope, the mission that expanded our consciousness of the abundance of exoplanets. Image credit score: NASA/Ames Research Center/W. Stenzel/D. Rutter.
The European Space Agency’s Philae comet lander tumbled by means of historical ice in 2014 that was “fluffi­er than cap­puc­ci­no froth.” The conclusion comes from a brand new reconstruction of Philae’s path because it bounced throughout comet 67P earlier than coming to a relaxation in a darkish crevice. The fluffy ice seemingly dates again to the daybreak of our photo voltaic system and could possibly be simply sampled by a future house mission. Learn why we examine asteroids, comets, and different small worlds.
NASA has launched further photographs and video from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s historic pattern assortment on asteroid Bennu on 20 October. The mission has yielded some recent science, too: A brand new examine predicts Bennu in all probability started its life in the primary asteroid belt earlier than gravity from different worlds nudged it nearer to Earth 1.75 million years in the past.
A brand new video reveals how the orbits of our photo voltaic system’s large planets could have modified since their births. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are all thought to have been born nearer to the Sun and then moved, in accordance with the Nice mannequin, named after town in France the place it was developed. New analysis by Matt Clement on the Carnegie Institution for Science supplies a extra detailed clarification of what could have occurred, as proven within the video.

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