What if impact craters, long seen as harbingers of death, turned out to be the cradle of life? For Western University planetary scientist Gordon Osinski, this isn’t just the big question posed in his latest study, but an overriding theme of his celebrated academic career. The new study, published today in Astrobiology, posits that impact craters should absolutely be considered by space agencies like NASA and ESA as top exploration targets, not just for their invaluable post-impact geological records, but also – and perhaps more importantly – as prime locations for seeking potential habitats for extraterrestrial life.
The southern highlands of Mars are dissected by hundreds of ancient valley networks (3.9-3.5 billion years old), which are evidence that water once sculpted the Martian surface. According to new research, these valley networks were carved by water melting beneath glacial ice, not by free-flowing rivers as previously thought.
In London, Astrophysicist Parshati Patel, educational outreach and communications specialist at the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration at Western, is bringing sidewalk science to her neighborhood.
Our solar system is filled with hundreds of moons, many more moons than planets. But what about distant solar systems? We now know of well over 4,000 confirmed exoplanets – or planets orbiting distant stars – 4,171 right now, to be exact. Yet there’ve been, so far, still only a few possible detections of exomoons. It makes sense, given that moons of planets tend to be smaller and thus more difficult to find than planets themselves. But now scientists at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, have announced that they might have spotted six more exomoons!
Western University’s Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space) has landed a major contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop an Integrated Vision System for future rover missions that could ultimately represent a flagship Canadian technology contribution for international missions to the Moon.
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Launch of the Western Space Seed Grant Program
One of the primary goals of The Institute for Earth and Space Exploration is to support and promote interdisciplinary collaboration among our various departments and researchers in innovative projects. The Institute is pleased to offer at least 4 seed grants of up to over two years ($30,000 total funding) each to initiate innovative, high-impact collaborative projects between Institute faculty members. To learn more Click here
Welcome back Western!
As a new School year begins, we would like to welcome our incoming Western Space Graduate Council! To learn more about these awesome student leaders Click here