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“This is really a tip-of-the-iceberg discovery,” said study co-author Jason Rowe, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who spent a year analyzing data gathered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope that led to finding the planet known... Continue reading
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Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. The results will help guide researchers’ next steps in understanding whether life exists, or... Continue reading
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"Perhaps empty space is not completely empty after all, but permeated by an unknown field, similar to the Higgs-field", says Professor Hartmut Abele of the Vienna University of Technology, director of the Atominstitut. These theories are named after Aristotle's "quintessence"... Continue reading
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New findings may have the effect of expanding that perceived habitable zone by 10 to 20 percent, almost doubling the number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy. A fluctuating tilt in a planet’s orbit does not preclude the possibility... Continue reading
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NASA will host a news teleconference at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday, April 17, to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope. The journal Science has embargoed the findings until the time... Continue reading
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Five years ago today, on March 6, 2009, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope rocketed into the night skies to find planets around other stars within a field of view 1/400th the size of the Milky Way in search of potentially habitable... Continue reading
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"We have not seen anything like this before," said Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London. "We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a... Continue reading
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Massive Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth planets orbiting distant stars have exposed continents... Continue reading
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In 1980 and 1981 NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 space probes passed for the first time over the planet Saturn, located 1,500 million km from the Sun. Among their numerous discoveries they observed a strange, hexagon-shaped structure in the planet's... Continue reading
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In this week's Sneek Peek of "Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still," Neil de Grasse Tyson takes us on a journey into the the very fabric of our existence, exploring the atomic and sub-atomic structure of the Universe. In documenting the emergence... Continue reading
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"We haven't found strange stars yet," explains Prashanth Jaikumar at the Argonne National Laboratory. "But that doesn't mean they don't exist. Maybe we have found them. Maybe some of these neutron stars are really strange stars. According to our theory,... Continue reading
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Since Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012, there have been several rumors that evidence has been found of Martian life in the forms of fossils, statues and even a carved alien skull and that NASA has "covered up" the existence... Continue reading
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“We knew it was big, but we didn’t know how big,” Donald Lowe, a geologist at Stanford University said. A massive asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island and about three to five times larger than the rock thought to... Continue reading
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Gusev Crater once held a lake, according to a team of Mars scientists. If desert mirages occur on Mars, "Lake Gusev" belongs among them. This come-and-go body of ancient water has come and gone more than once, at least in... Continue reading
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Thirteen billion years ago our universe was dark. There were neither stars nor galaxies; there was only hydrogen gas left over after the Big Bang. This early universe was hot and ionized. But as the universe expanded, it cooled, and... Continue reading
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The discovery of dark matter means we would have identified the dominant form of matter in the universe that seeded structure and led to galaxies, solar systems and planets, and ultimately to our Earth with intelligent life. In late February,... Continue reading
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Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured this eye-catching image of planetary nebula PN A66 33 — usually known as Abell 33. Created when an aging star blew off its outer layers, this beautiful blue bubble is,... Continue reading
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A new approach can distinguish between two subtly different scenarios that could explain the genetic similarities shared by Neandertals and modern humans from Europe and Asia. Technical objections to the idea that Neandertals interbred with the ancestors of Eurasians have... Continue reading
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Quasars are young galaxies powered by massive black holes, extremely bright, extremely distant, and thus highly redshifted. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), pioneered the use of quasars to... Continue reading
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A cold gas cloud named G2, about three times the mass of Earth, will pass near Sgr A** in 2014 and already is being affected by tides from the black hole's powerful gravitational field. Astronomers expect G2 will swing so... Continue reading
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During a lunch at Los Alamos in 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi asked his colleagues working on the Manhattan Project, "Don't you ever wonder where everybody is?" Fermi argued that given the large number of stars and planetary systems in the... Continue reading
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In last night's Episode 4, Hiding in the Light, Neil deGrasse Tyson took us on a tour de force of light and its central impact on our existence. Our human window on the Universe is within a stunningly small range... Continue reading
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Astronomers discovered a massive cluster of young galaxies forming in the distant universe. The growing galactic metropolis, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, is the most distant known massive "proto-cluster" of galaxies, lying about 12.6 billion light-years away from Earth. Members of the developing... Continue reading
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What happens inside a dying star? A recent experiment at CERN’s REX accelerator offers clues that could help astrophysicists to recalculate the ages of some of the largest explosions in the universe. Core-collapse supernovae are spectacular stellar explosions that can... Continue reading
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If all organisms on Earth synthesize L-amino acids, where do D-amino acids come from? Amino acids have the property of being able to spontaneously flip from one form to another, a process called racemization. Racemization is very slow. Most organisms... Continue reading