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NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits nearly... Continue reading
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Astrophysicists have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary... Continue reading
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Astronomers have found evidence for a faded electron cloud "coming back to life," much like the mythical phoenix, after two galaxy clusters collided. This "radio phoenix," so-called because the high-energy electrons radiate primarily at radio frequencies, is found in Abell... Continue reading
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We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. For... Continue reading
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A team of international scientists has shown for the first time that galaxies can change their structure over the course of their lifetime. By observing the sky as it is today, and peering back in time using the Hubble and... Continue reading
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The shimmering colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula's shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes... Continue reading
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Bizarre creatures that go years without water. Others that can survive the vacuum of open space. Some of the most unusual organisms found on Earth provide insights for Washington State University planetary scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch to predict what life could... Continue reading
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Everything that is changing around and within us - from the relatively simple motion of celestial bodies, to weather and complex biological processes - is a dynamical system. A large part of science is guessing the laws of nature that... Continue reading
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The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published by scientists from... Continue reading
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Tiny beads of volcanic glass found on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions are a sign that fire fountain eruptions took place on the Moon's surface. Now, scientists from Brown University and the Carnegie Institution for Science have identified... Continue reading
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A recalculation of the dates at which boulders were uncovered by melting glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age has conclusively shown that the glacial retreat was due to rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases,... 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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Physicists suggest a new way to look for dark matter: they believe that dark matter particles annihilate into so-called dark radiation when they collide. If true, then we should be able to detect the signals from this radiation. The majority... Continue reading
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Dark energy is hiding in our midst in the form of hypothetical particles called “chameleons,” Holger Müller and his team at UC Berkeley plan to flush them out. The results of an experiment reported in this week’s issue of Science... Continue reading
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Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful new evidence in support of 2013 observations confirming the existence of cosmic neutrinos. The... Continue reading
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An international team of astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has been scouring cosmic images of X-ray emission, hunting for elusive clues that reveal the culprit responsible for violent acts that have left deep scars on the... Continue reading
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Ironically, the largest planets in the solar system likely formed first. Jupiter and Saturn, which are mostly hydrogen and helium, presumably accumulated their gasses before the solar nebula dispersed. Observations of young star systems show that the gas disks that... Continue reading
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A newly discovered dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way has offered up a surprise -- it appears to be radiating gamma rays, according to an analysis by physicists at Carnegie Mellon, Brown, and Cambridge universities. The exact source of... Continue reading
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A new study shown that meteorite impacts on ancient oceans may have created nucleobases and amino acids. Researchers from Tohoku University, National Institute for Materials Science and Hiroshima University discovered this after conducting impact experiments simulating a meteorite hitting an... Continue reading
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"There are far-reaching implications for this discovery," said Tiago Campante, from the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the research. "We now know that Earth-sized planets have formed throughout most of the Universe's 13.8 billion year... Continue reading
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A remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion suns was discovered this past May using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The galaxy is the most luminous galaxy found to date and belongs to... Continue reading
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Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, mounted on the 4-meter Blanco telescope at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, have discovered... Continue reading
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A spectacular galaxy collision has been discovered lurking behind the Milky Way, some 30 million light years away, which means that it is relatively close by. It has been dubbed “Kathryn’s Wheel” both after the famous firework that it resembles.... Continue reading
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Computer simulations show that the extra friction from a galaxy collision would make the dark matter slow down. The nature of that interaction is unknown; it could be caused by well-known effects or some exotic unknown force. All that can... Continue reading
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"We know that dark matter is needed in our Galaxy to keep the stars and gas rotating at their observed speeds," says Dr. Miguel Pato, at Technische Universität München. "However, we still do not know what dark matter is composed... Continue reading