Space Stories: Volcanic Exoplanets, Medieval Star Maps, and Near-Earth Asteroids

Image (Credit): The lava lake that sits atop Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Stocktrek Images / Richard Roscoe via Getty Images)

Here are some recent stories of interest. “Scientists Discover a New Way Exoplanets Could Make Oxygen; Unfortunately, it Doesn’t Require Life

The researchers have found an abiotic source of oxygen that stems from sulphur dioxide. Sulphur is not rare in celestial bodies, and since volcanoes produce sulphur and pump it into the atmosphere, terrestrial volcanic exoplanets may have oxygen in their atmospheres. And life needn’t be involved. “First Known Map of Night Sky Found Hidden in Medieval Parchment

A medieval parchment from a monastery in Egypt has yielded a surprising treasure. Hidden beneath Christian texts, scholars have discovered what seems to be part of the long-lost star catalogue of the astronomer Hipparchus — believed to be the earliest known attempt to map the entire sky. “30,000 Near-Earth Asteroids Discovered, and Numbers are Rising

We have now discovered 30,039 near-Earth asteroids in the solar system—rocky bodies orbiting the sun on a path that brings them close to Earth’s orbit. The majority of these were discovered in the last decade, showing how our ability to detect potentially risky asteroids is rapidly improving.