Space

Space mining is not science fiction, and Canada could figure prominently

Cliffs in ancient ice on Mars. Credit: NASA

In this era of climate crisis, space mining is a topic of increasing relevance. The need for a net-zero carbon economy requires a surge in the supply of non-renewable natural resources such as battery metals. This forms the background to a new space race involving nations and the private sector.


Canada is a space-faring nation, a world leader in mining and a major player in the global carbon economy. It’s therefore well-positioned to actively participate in the emerging space resources domain.

But the issues arising in this sphere are

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A rare interstellar comet reveals its secrets and 5 other top space and science stories this week

Welcome to Wonder Theory, your weekly space and science digest.

It has been said by many an educator that space and dinosaurs are the gateway to an interest in science. That was certainly true for me when I was a child. What I witnessed visiting museums and planetariums — as well as just laying on the ground and looking up at the night sky — captured my imagination.

The CNN Space and Science team has produced a veritable sandbox of space and dinosaur stories, among other fascinating science news articles, that delighted and amazed us this week.

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Carbon-ring molecules tied to life found in space for the first time

Complex carbon-bearing molecules that could help explain how life got started have been identified in space for the first time.

These molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, consist of several linked hexagonal rings of carbon with hydrogen atoms at the edges. Astronomers have suspected for decades that these molecules are abundant in space, but none had been directly spotted before.

Simpler molecules with a single ring of carbon have been seen before. But “we’re now excited to see that we’re able to detect these larger PAHs for the first time in space,” says astrochemist Brett McGuire of MIT, whose

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A supermassive black hole is speeding through space, and astronomers don’t know why

A supermassive black hole is racing across the universe at 110,000 mph (177,000 km/h), and the astronomers who spotted it don’t know why.

The fast-moving black hole, which is roughly 3 million times heavier than our sun, is zipping through the center of the galaxy J0437+2456, about 230 million light-years away.

Scientists have long theorized that black holes could move, but such movement is rare because their giant mass requires an equally enormous force to get them going.  

Related: The 12 strangest objects in the universe

“We don’t expect the majority of supermassive black holes to be moving; they’re usually

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Why Former Astronaut Leland Melvin Says Space Science Education Is Essential

Leland Melvin is an astronaut, athlete, scientist, author and STEM educator. He served as a head of NASA Education, White House STEM Task Force co-chair, and US representative on the International Space Education Board. At the moment, he is working on a graphic novel series featuring kids going to space, and is teaching a free class called “Becoming an Astronaut” on Varsity Tutors, an online learning platform.

Julia Brodsky: Do you see space exploration and space science as something that can unite us all as

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Microbes Unknown to Science Discovered on The International Space Station

The menagerie of bacterial and fungal species living among us is ever growing – and this is no exception in low-gravity environments, such as the International Space Station (ISS).

 

Researchers from the United States and India working with NASA have now discovered four strains of bacteria living in different places in the ISS – three of which were, until now, completely unknown to science.

Three of the four strains were isolated back in 2015 and 2016 – one was found on an overhead panel of the ISS research stations, the second was found in the Cupola, the third was

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