Water on the Moon has been seen before in the shadows of craters. Now, water has been detected on the sunlit face of the Moon as well.

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This illustration highlights the Moon’s Clavius Crater with an illustration depicting water trapped in the lunar soil there, along with an image of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) that found sunlit lunar water. Image credit: NASA

Water is essential to the exploration of the Solar System, and this presents one of the greatest challenges to the colonization of space. The discovery of water ice hidden in the dark recesses of deep craters opens new resources for astronauts as they reach out beyond the Earth. However, accessing that water, deep in treacherous craters, would be challenging.

Water was just found in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters in the Moon’s southern hemisphere, which is visible from Earth. This suggests water deposits may be found throughout the lunar surface. …

A strange glittering is spotted around the supermassive black hole in M 87 — We talk to Dr. Maciek Weilgus of Harvard University who made the discovery.

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Maciek Wielgus of Harvard University vistis The Cosmic Companion to talk about his work finding an unexpected glittering around the supermassive black hole in the M 87 galaxy. Video credit: The Cosmic Companion

This week, we are joined by Dr. Maciek Wielgus, astronomer at Harvard University, speaking to us from Gdansk, Poland. We will discuss his work revealing glittering around the supermassive black hole at the center of the M 87 galaxy.

But first, we look at a new study identifying 24 exoplanets that appear to be even friendlier to life than Earth. We also see how superflares — powerful eruptions from stars — behave, and learn how they might affect life on other worlds. …

A hot super Neptune seen by astronomers shouldn’t exist — but there it is, as TESS looks on.

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The exoplanet LTT 9779b is far more massive than our own world, and the world is nearly five times larger. Temperatures on its surface put Venus — the hottest planet in our solar system — to shame. This exoplanet, discovered just last year, is so extreme it should not exist — at least not for long.

Hot Neptunes are — theoretically — worlds the size of Neptune or slightly larger than Neptune, orbiting close to their parent stars. …


James Maynard

Writing about space since I was 10, still not Carl Sagan. Weekly video show, podcast, comics, more: www.thecosmiccompanion.net

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