The Hubble telescope has seen evidence of water plumes venting from the surface. Water blankets 71 percent of our home planet’s surface at depths that average about 4 kilometers.

Microscopes and lenses

Within natural science, disciplines that are basic science develop basic information to explain and perhaps predict phenomena in the natural world. Applied science is the use of scientific processes and knowledge as the means to achieve a particularly practical or useful result.


However, physicist Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity suggests that time passes at different rates for different people. Someone speeding along on a spaceship moving close to the speed of light – 671 million miles per hour! Lucy’s principal investigator is based out of the Boulder, Colorado, branch of Southwest Research Institute, headquartered in San Antonio. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance.

The third act sees the entry of a newly discovered set of physical laws—those governing radioactivity. Radioactivity offered not only a resolution to the puzzle of the earth’s energy supply but also a chronology independent of questionable geologic assumptions and a depth of time more than adequate for the processes of evolution.

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Questioning the party line on climate

Methods of the formal sciences are, however, essential to the construction and testing of scientific models dealing with observable reality, and major advances in formal sciences have often enabled major advances in the empirical sciences. STIRRING THE POT As Jupiter and Saturn paced back and forth in the early solar system, they re­arranged the rock and ice debris encircling the young sun, as seen in this schematic. Some of the icy asteroids that formed beyond the orbit of Jupiter would then have flocked to the inner solar system, water in tow, and become incorporated into the nascent rocky planets, including Earth. An astronomical unit is the distance between the sun and Earth.

These observations place water in the inner solar system well after Jupiter and Saturn were on the prowl, lobbing asteroids around the solar system. If this moon of Saturn has a subsurface ocean, it may be hiding about 25 to 30 km beneath the moon’s battered surface. Beneath its cratered surface, this Jovian moon has an ice layer estimated to be 100 kilometers thick. DIFFERENT FLAVORS The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen, the D/H ratio, varies widely among solar system bodies. The makeup of Earth’s water overlaps with water trapped in certain meteorites . Comets from the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt typically have two times the D/H ratio as water on Earth, though a couple comets are a close match.