Stories by Ray Sanders

Investigating exoplanet surfaces

In order to better understand the composition of rocky exoplanets, researchers have proposed a method to identify chemical signatures from surface materials. A better understanding of exoplanet surface compositions will help ...

May 27, 2013

Can astronomers detect exoplanet oceans?

Detecting water on the surface of exoplanets is becoming a high priority for researchers, as surface water is considered a requirement for habitability. New research examines whether or not the "glint" of light from a planet ...

Jul 13, 2012

Hubble Space Telescope detects fifth moon of Pluto (Update)

( -- Nearly one year ago, Pluto made headlines as the discovery of a fourth moon (shown above), dubbed "P4" was announced by a team which included Alan Stern, Principal Investigator for the New Horizons mission enroute ...

Jul 11, 2012

When stellar metallicity sparks planet formation

New research predicts the criteria needed for Earth-like planets to form around a star that have one-tenth the metallicity of our Sun. If researchers find small, rocky planets orbiting stars with lower metallicity, it may ...

Apr 10, 2012

Simulations unravel mysteries of 2009 Jupiter impact

( -- During July of 1994, both amateur and professional astronomers were captivated as comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 broke apart and slammed into the atmosphere of Jupiter. While these types of impacts are generally ...

Mar 30, 2012

Do moons of gas giants affect the habitable zone?

( -- If you aren’t familiar with the Drake Equation, or how it may actually apply to exomoons, continue reading to learn more about the famous equation. Additionally, what conditions could make a habitable ...

Mar 07, 2012

NASA showcases ‘spinoff’ technologies

Contrary to popular belief, Tang, Velcro and Teflon (along with the zero-gravity “space” pen) aren’t derived from NASA technology. NASA has, however, developed numerous technologies over the years, which are ...

Feb 09, 2012

Are pulsars giant permanent magnets?

Some of the most bizarre phenomenon in the universe are neutron stars. Very few things in our universe can rival the density in these remnants of supernova explosions. Neutron stars emit intense radiation from their magnetic ...

Nov 22, 2011

NASA to test new atomic clock

When people think of space technologies, many think of solar panels, propulsion systems and guidance systems. One important piece of technology in spaceflight is an accurate timing device.

Oct 17, 2011

NASA to test new solar sail technology

Solar sails, much like anti-matter and ion engines appear at first glance to only exist in science fiction. Many technologies from science fiction however, become science fact.

Oct 14, 2011

China to launch space station module prototype

China’s space program is in the news again, this time with unconfirmed reports that the Tiangong 1 space lab may be launching into orbit sometime this year – possibly later this month.  Previous news reports ...

Aug 17, 2011