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A team of Australian and Spanish astronomers have caught greedy galaxy NGC 1512, a spectacular barred spiral galaxy, gobbling on its neighbors and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past. Galaxies grow by churning loose gas from their surroundings... Continue reading
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"Should we find a second form of life right here on our doorstep, we could be confident that life is a truly cosmic phenomenon. If so, there may well be sentient beings somewhere in the galaxy wondering, as do we,... Continue reading
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An ancient lake could hold the key to our understanding of how complex life evolved on Earth, according to research carried out by the University of Aberdeen. Scientists have studied samples of lake sediments deposited 1.5 billion years ago in... Continue reading
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"We are about five Einsteins away from explaining the universe's existence." Martin Amis, English novelist and author of Einstein's Monsters and Heavy Water. In the image above, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has picked up the faint, ghostly glow of stars... Continue reading
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People commonly perceive mountain ranges as jumbles of pyramid-shaped masses that steadily narrow as they slope upward. While that's certainly how they appear from a ground-level human viewpoint, new research shows that pyramid-shaped mountains are not only a minority in... Continue reading
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"As we look out into the Universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the Universe must in some sense have known that we were coming."... Continue reading
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Wide view of sunset over Gusev Crater taken by NASA’s Spirit Rover in 2005. Both blue aureole and pink sky are seen. Because of the fine nature of Martian dust, it can scatter blue light coming from the Sun forward... Continue reading
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Researchers have pinpointed the driest location on Earth in the Atacama Desert, a region in Chile already recognised as the most arid in the world. They have also found evidence of life at the site, a discovery that could have... Continue reading
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Few things are more refreshing than the kiss of sea spray on your face. You may not realize it, but that cool, moist air influences our climate by affecting how clouds are formed and how sunlight is scattered over the... Continue reading
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On Tuesday, March 24th 2015, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity completed its first Red Planet marathon-- 26.219 miles – with a finish time of roughly 11 years and two months. "This mission isn't about setting distance records; it's about making scientific... Continue reading
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Our solar system has been voyaging through the very low density Local Interstellar Cloud, a region about 30 light-years across that's as sparse as a handful of air stretched over a column that is hundreds of light years long, or... Continue reading
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Using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, a group of astronomers of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have discovered the first quadruple quasar: four rare active black holes situated in close proximity to one another. The quartet resides... Continue reading
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Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, collected a census of young white dwarf stars beginning their migration from the crowded center of an ancient star cluster to its less populated outskirts. The new results... Continue reading
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The discovery of a 'left-handed' magnetic field that pervades the universe could help explain a long standing mystery – the absence of cosmic antimatter. Planets, stars, gas and dust are almost entirely made up of 'normal' matter of the kind... Continue reading
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A new study by astronomers at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and the Rochester Institute of Technology confirms long-held suspicions about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light. "Our work traces the complex motions, particle interactions and turbulent magnetic fields... Continue reading
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As murder mysteries go, it's a big one: how do galaxies die and what kills them? A new study, published today in the journal Nature, has found that the primary cause of galactic death is strangulation, which occurs after galaxies... Continue reading
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The elliptical galaxy Centaurus A (also known as NGC 5128) shown in deep field above is the closest giant galaxy to the Milky Way and is suspected to harbour as many as 2000 globular clusters. Many of these globulars are... Continue reading
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Astrophysicists prepare weather forecasts for planets beyond our solar system using Kepler data to find evidence of daily weather cycles on exoplanets "Cloudy for the morning, turning to clear with scorching heat in the afternoon." While this might describe a... Continue reading
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In the search for life beyond Earth, scientists have justifiably focused on water because all biology as we know it requires this fluid. A wild card, however, is whether alternative liquids can also suffice as life-enablers. For example, Saturn’s frigid... Continue reading
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To measure distances in the Universe, astronomers use Cepheids, a family of variable stars whose luminosity varies with time. Their role as distance calibrators has brought them attention from researchers for more than a century. While it was thought that... Continue reading
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After an epic journey across the breadth of the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is finally nearing its destination: the Pluto system, a staggering 3 billion miles from Earth. In December, after a journey of nine years, the spacecraft... Continue reading
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A new study from the University of Cambridge has identified one of the oldest fossil brains ever discovered - more than 500 million years old - and used it to help determine how heads first evolved in early animals. The... Continue reading
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Is dark matter the "operating system" of the Universe? Tom Broadhurst, an Ikerbasque researcher at the UPV/EHU's Department of Theoretical Physics, thinks it is. He has participated alongside scientists of the National Taiwan University in a piece of research that... Continue reading
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Like galactic storm chasers, University of Arizona astronomers are leading an effort to discover how clouds and weather systems change over time on other worlds. Using simultaneous observations from the two space telescopes, UA astronomers are tracking the evolution of... Continue reading
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Like galactic storm chasers, University of Arizona astronomers are leading an effort to discover how clouds and weather systems change over time on other worlds. Using simultaneous observations from the two space telescopes, UA astronomers are tracking the evolution of... Continue reading