Round Ball Gives More Evidence of Mars' Watery Past

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Round Ball Gives More Evidence of Mars' Watery Past
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Via Ian O'Neill

According to MSL scientists based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., the ball isn't as big as it looks — it's approximately one centimeter wide. Their explanation is that it is most likely something known as a "concretion." Other examples of concretions have been found on the Martian surface before — take, for example, the tiny haematite concretions, or "blueberries", observed by Mars rover Opportunity in 2004 — and they were created during sedimentary rock formation when Mars was abundant in liquid water many millions of years ago.

The Most Earth-Like Planet Found Thus Far

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The Most Earth-Like Planet Found Thus Far
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About 500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus lives a star, which, though smaller and redder than the sun, has a planet that may look awfully familiar.

With a diameter just 10 percent bigger than Earth's, the newly found world is the first of its size found basking in the benign temperature region around a parent star where water, if it exists, could pool in liquid form.

Scientists on the hunt for Earth's twin are focused on worlds that could support liquid surface water, which may be necessary to brew the chemistry of life.

Have Astronomers Discovered a Thorne–Zytkow Object?

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Have Astronomers Discovered a Thorne–Zytkow Object?
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From Laughing Squid:

Astronomers have discovered what may be a Thorne–Zytkow object (TZO), a binary star system where a neutron star is enveloped by a red giant or supergiant star. TZO's were first theorised in 1977 by Kip Thorne and Anna Zytkow. On June 4th, 2014 a team of astronomers led by Emily Levesque that included Zytkow published a paper identifying red supergiant star HV 2112 in the Small Magellanic Cloud as a possible TZO candidate.