Cosmic dust

  • On February 23, 1987, a supernova lit up the night sky, visible to the naked eye for the first time in almost 400 years. Now, more than 30 years on astronomers say they’ve finally found the neutron star that was produced in the explosion.
  • Modern Mars is a desolate husk of a planet, as far as life is concerned. But it’s not completely uninhabitable, since microbes could be hiding in the cracks of rocks and dirt. And now a new study has found a possible food source for these organisms – space dust.
  • Saturn may sport the most famous rings in the solar system, but it’s far from the only thing with some bling. Now, two new studies have found evidence of new rings in the inner solar system – a dusty one in the orbit of Mercury and a new set of asteroids following Venus’ path around the Sun.
  • Hungarian astronomers have spotted two new pseudo-satellites – in the form of clouds of dust – caught in the gravitational tug-of-war between the Earth and the Moon.
  • Scientists have studied sediment taken from rooftop gutters across Europe and discovered cosmic dust hidden within, marking the first time these extraterrestrial sprinkles have turned up in urban environments.​