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Astronomy / Space Science - Life Sciences - 02.12.2016
Minimum effort for maximum effect
Ten days after astronaut Thomas Pesquet take-off into space on the Proxima mission, many questions remain about human adaptation to gravity. The research team at Inserm Unit 1093, ‘Cognition, Motor Activity and Sensorimotor Plasticity' (Inserm/Université de Bourgogne), focuses on the manner in which movements that depend on this parameter are performed.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 18.11.2016
Chicxulub: a unique crater to elucidate planetary surfaces
Chicxulub: a unique crater to elucidate planetary surfaces
The fall of an asteroid in the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico) 66 million years ago is believed to have caused the extinction of dinosaurs. It also created the Chicxulub impact crater, the only such crater on Earth that still has a peak ring – a type of structure commonly found, in contrast, on the surface of several objects in the Solar System.

Astronomy / Space Science - Life Sciences - 20.10.2016
Remaining vertical: a feat of perception for plants
Remaining vertical: a feat of perception for plants
Contrary to what happens in humans, plants use gravitational perception to distinguish their angle of inclination while not being destabilised by weight and acceleration forces.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 18.10.2016
19 October 2016: Europe has a rendez-vous with Mars
19 October 2016: Europe has a rendez-vous with Mars
Released by the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the ESA ExoMars mission, the Schiaparelli module is about to land on the red planet this Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 4:48 p.m. (Paris time).

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 19.09.2016
Shedding light on Pluto's glaciers
Shedding light on Pluto’s glaciers
What is the origin of the large heart-shaped nitrogen glacier revealed in 2015 on Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft? Two researchers from the Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (CNRS/École polytechnique/UPMC/ENS Paris) 1 show that Pluto's peculiar insolation and atmosphere favor nitrogen condensation near the equator, in the lower altitude regions, leading to an accumulation of ice at the bottom of Sputnik Planum, a vast topographic basin.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.09.2016
Gaia maps the position of a billion stars
Gaia maps the position of a billion stars
With one billion stars mapped in a thousand days, European researchers have shown that they are not afraid to tackle the most daunting tasks.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 24.08.2016
Closest ever exoplanet is potentially habitable
Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, has a rocky, Earth-sized planet located in the star's habitable zone, where liquid water can exist on the surface. This major discovery was made by an international team of researchers including Julien Morin from the Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier), and is published on 25 August 2016 in Nature .

Astronomy / Space Science - 04.07.2016
A giant impact: solving the mystery of how Mars' moons formed
A giant impact: solving the mystery of how Mars’ moons formed
Where did the two natural satellites of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, come from? For a long time, their shape suggested that they were asteroids captured by Mars. However, the shape and course of their orbits contradict this hypothesis. Two independent and complementary studies provide an answer to this question.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 21.06.2016
An ocean lies a few kilometers beneath Enceladus's icy surface
An ocean lies a few kilometers beneath Enceladus’s icy surface
With eruptions of ice and water vapor, and an ocean covered by an ice shell, Saturn's moon Enceladus is one of the most fascinating in the Solar System, especially as interpretations of data provided by the Cassini spacecraft have been contradictory until now.

Astronomy / Space Science - 20.06.2016
Newborn giant planet grazes its star
Newborn giant planet grazes its star
For the past 20 years, exoplanets known as 'hot Jupiters' have puzzled astronomers. These giant planets orbit 100 times closer to their host stars than Jupiter does to the Sun, which increases their surface temperatures. But how and when in their history did they migrate so close to their star? Now, an international team of astronomers has announced the discovery of a very young hot Jupiter orbiting in the immediate vicinity of a star that is barely two million years old—the stellar equivalent of a week-old infant.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 15.06.2016
Gravitational waves spotted again
Gravitational waves spotted again
On 26 December 2015, scientists from the LIGO and Virgo collaborations received an unexpected Christmas gift when the Advanced LIGO detectors recorded a new gravitational wave signal, three months after the first detection 1 . And once again, the signal—a tiny distortion of spacetime—came from the final spinning 'dance' of two black holes on the point of merging, a phenomenon known as coalescence.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 07.06.2016
LISA Pathfinder exceeds expectations
LISA Pathfinder exceeds expectations
Mission accomplished for the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft after only two months of science operations. Not only were the technologies needed for the future eLISA 1 gravitational wave space observatory validated, but the performance of the ESA demonstrator also exceeded the project specifications by a factor of five, and was very close to requirements for eLISA .

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 02.05.2016
Although boiling, water does shape Martian terrain
Although boiling, water does shape Martian terrain
At present, liquid water on Mars only exists in small quantities as a boiling liquid, and only during the warmest time of day in summer. Its role has therefore been considered insignificant until now.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 07.04.2016
Origin of life: an artificial comet holds the missing piece
Origin of life: an artificial comet holds the missing piece
Researchers have for the first time shown that ribose, a sugar that is one of the building blocks of genetic material in living organisms, may have formed in cometary ices. To obtain this result, scientists at the Institut de Chimie de Nice (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) carried out a highly detailed analysis of an artificial comet created by their colleagues at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud).

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 31.03.2016
The Moon thought to play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field
The Moon thought to play a major role in maintaining Earth’s magnetic field
The Earth's magnetic field permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun. This shield is produced by the geodynamo, the rapid motion of huge quantities of liquid iron alloy in the Earth's outer core. To maintain this magnetic field until the present day, the classical model required the Earth's core to have cooled by around 3 000 °C over the past 4.3 billion years.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 16.03.2016
“A source accelerating Galactic cosmic rays to unprecedented energy discovered at the centre of the Milky Way”
“A source accelerating Galactic cosmic rays to unprecedented energy discovered at the centre of the Milky Way”
For more than ten years the H.E.S.S. observatory in Namibia, run by an international collaboration of 42 institutions in 12 countries, has been mapping the centre of our galaxy in very-high-energy gamma rays. These gamma rays are produced by cosmic rays from the innermost region of the Galaxy.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 11.03.2016
Gravitational Waves, a new way to explore the Universe
Gravitational Waves, a new way to explore the Universe
On 14 September 2015, gravitational wave detectors from the LIGO/VIRGO collaboration observed a signal from the coalescence of two black holes with masses of 36 and 29 solar masses at a distance of about 1.3 billion light-years. This extraordinary discovery opens the way in astronomy to study gravitational waves.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 09.03.2016
Rosetta: type of ice reveals the age of comets
Rosetta: type of ice reveals the age of comets
The ice buried inside comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko is mainly found in crystalline form, which implies that it originated in the protosolar nebula and is therefore the same age as the Solar System. This discovery was made by an international team led by a researcher at the LAM 1 (CNRS/Aix Marseille Université) and also including scientists from the Laboratoire J.-L.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 02.03.2016
Great tilt gave Mars a new face
Great tilt gave Mars a new face
The surface of the planet Mars tilted by 20 to 25 degrees 3 to 3.5 billion years ago. This was caused by a massive volcanic structure, the Tharsis volcanic dome 1 , which is the largest in the Solar System.

Astronomy / Space Science - 23.02.2016
Searching for Planet 9
Searching for Planet 9
Using observations from the Cassini spacecraft, a team of French astronomers from the Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides (Observatoire de Paris / CNRS / UPMC / université Lille 1), and the laboratory GeoAzur (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur / CNRS / Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis / IRD) have been able to specify the possible positions of a ninth planet in the Solar System.

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