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Searching for distant and wandering worlds

10 April 2016 Astronomy Now

In a global exoplanet observation experiment, NASA’s Kepler K2 mission and Earth-based observatories on six continents hope to survey millions of stars toward the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. Using a technique called gravitational microlensing, scientists will hunt for exoplanets that orbit far from their host star and for free-floating exoplanets that wander between the stars.

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Last vestiges of surface water on Mars indicated by salt flat

9 August 2015 Astronomy Now

Mars turned cold and dry long ago, but scientists have discovered evidence of an ancient lake that likely represents some of the last potentially habitable surface water ever to exist on the Red Planet. University of Colorado Boulder researchers estimate that the lake was only about 8 percent as salty as the Earth’s oceans and therefore may have been hospitable to microbial life.