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The existence and stability of atoms relies heavily on the fact that neutrons are slightly more mas-sive than protons. The experimentally determined masses differ by only around 0.14 percent. A slightly smaller or larger value of the mass difference would... Continue reading
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Dark matter is a giant question mark looming over our knowledge of the Universe. There is more dark matter in the Universe than visible matter, but it is extremely elusive; it does not reflect, absorb or emit light, making it... Continue reading
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Researchers from Brown University have completed a new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet’s equator. The study finds that the onslaught of water that filled the crater was one of at least two... Continue reading
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This composite image shows the motion of the dusty cloud G2 as it closes in on, and then passes, the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. These new observations with ESO's VLT have shown that the... Continue reading
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Star formation takes place in cold, dense molecular clouds. By heating and dispersing gas that could one day make stars, the black-hole wind forever alters a large portion of its galaxy. By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite... Continue reading
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On Earth, bursts of particles spewed by the Sun spark shimmering auroras, like the Northern Lights, that briefly dance at our planet’s poles. But, on Jupiter, there’s an auroral glow all the time, and new observations show that this Jovian... Continue reading
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It's almost a rite of passage in physics and astronomy. Scientists spend years scrounging up money to build a fantastic new instrument. Then, when the long-awaited device finally approaches completion, the panic begins: How will they handle the torrent of... Continue reading
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In a few months, the Craters, mountains and other landforms of Pluto will take shape before our eyes. When New Horizons flies past Pluto in July, we will see a new, alien landscape in stark detail. At that point, we... Continue reading
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Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths--planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone--broken up and fallen into... Continue reading
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New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to... Continue reading
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A chance discovery by a team of researchers, including a University of York scientist, has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. The study of fluids in motion -- now known as hydrodynamics -- goes back to the Egyptians,... Continue reading
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A 400 kilometer-wide impact zone from a huge meteorite that broke in two moments before it slammed into the Earth has been found in Central Australia. The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a... Continue reading
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"It is possible that pulsars imploding into black holes may provide the first concrete signal of particulate dark matter," said study co-author Joseph Bramante, a physicist at the University of Notre Dame. “In 2013, the first pulsar at the galactic... Continue reading
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A's comet probe Rosetta has for the first time ever measured nitrogen gas at a comet, providing clues to the early stages of the formation of our solar system. Molecular nitrogen, N2, is the major molecule in the atmosphere of... Continue reading
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"Dust itself is very important because it's the stuff that forms stars and planets, like the sun and Earth, respectively, so to know where it comes from is an important question," said Ryan Lau, Cornell postdoctoral associate for astronomy. "Our... Continue reading
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More than a million young stars are forming in a hot, dusty cloud of molecular gases in a tiny galaxy near our own, an international team of astronomers has discovered. The star cluster is buried within a supernebula in a... Continue reading
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Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine, the most powerful deliverer of bursts of electrical energy in the world, have helped untangle a long-standing mystery of astrophysics: why iron is found spattered throughout Earth's mantle, the roughly 2,000-mile thick region... Continue reading
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Overpopulation, the greenhouse effect, warming temperatures and overall climate disruption are all well recognized as a major threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the Earth. The issue of mankind's negative impact on the environment, albeit hotly debated and continuously... Continue reading
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Discussions at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, of icy volcanism on Ceres have led to speculation that the dwarf planet may potentially be habitable. Although Ceres does not have an atmosphere, life might exist in... Continue reading
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Scientists have produced a new map of the Moon's most unusual volcano (above) showing that its explosive eruption spread debris over an area much greater than previously thought. A team of astronomers and geologists, led by experts in the Institute... Continue reading
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"In these 31 planetary systems that were close to the habitable zone, our calculations showed that there was an average of two planets in the habitable zone" says Steffen Kjær Jacobsen with the research group Astrophysics and Planetary Science at... Continue reading
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In Hollywood blockbusters, explosions are often among the stars of the show. In space, explosions of actual stars are a focus for scientists who hope to better understand their births, lives, and deaths and how they interact with their surroundings.... Continue reading
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There are only five bodies in our solar system that are known to bear rings. The most obvious is the planet Saturn; to a lesser extent, rings of gas and dust also encircle Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. The fifth member... Continue reading
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The Higgs boson is an essential ingredient of the Standard Model of particle physics, the theory that describes all known elementary particles and their interactions. The Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism, through which the existence of the Higgs boson was predicted, is believed... Continue reading
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To spot the tint of Earth, alien astronomers from Andromeda might measure light shimmering off the surface of a planet, as sunlight reflected from our planet's vegetation reaches their telescopes. Conversely, astronomers here can see pigmentation on exoplanets and determine... Continue reading