Heavy metal may rain from the skies of planet WASP 76b | Science News

On one distant world, “heavy metal” could be a weather forecast. Telescope observations indicate that an exoplanet nearly 400 light-years away has iron rain. The planet, dubbed WASP 76b, is an extreme kind of exoplanet known as an ultrahot gas giant (SN: 7/30/19). These worlds “are complete oddballs,” says astronomer David Ehrenreich of the University [...]

How the Cold War Created Astrobiology – Issue 10: Mergers & Acquisitions – Nautilus

Astronomy and biology have been circling each other with timid infatuation since the first time a human thought about the possibility of other worlds and other suns. But the melding of the two into the modern field of astrobiology really began on Oct. 4, 1957, when a 23-inch aluminum sphere called Sputnik 1 lofted into [...]

The Sun’s death could mean new life in the outer solar system | Astronomy.com

Once our Sun has become a red giant, Pluto and its cousins in the Kuiper Belt — plus Neptune’s moon Triton — may be the most valuable real estate in the solar system. Today, these worlds hold abundant water ice and complex organic materials. Some of them could even hold oceans beneath their icy surfaces [...]