28-Fire: Does a planet need life for fire to burn?
Think about what types of things burn: wood, grasses, fossil fuels… mostly things that were formed by life. Fire also requires oxygen, which is largely produced by life. Did Earth have fire before life evolved? Could any other planets have fire? If there were an exoplanet with fires burning, would we have any way to detect that?Read More
17-Ice: Stolen moon ice
When you think of ice, you might imagine glaciers, the North Pole, a clink in your water glass. But it turns out that our closest neighbor in space isn’t just a dusty ball—the moon has ice tucked away in deep craters at each of its poles. On top of that, scientists think the moon stole its ice: from comets, asteroids, maybe even from the Earth.Read More
10-Extinctions: Showdown of the giant space rocks
Dani DellaGiustina is one of the youngest leaders of a NASA mission, and she was in charge of image processing for OSIRIS-REx before she even got her PhD. OSIRIS-REx is a spacecraft sent to study asteroid Bennu and scheduled to return a sample to Earth in 2023.Read More