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Imagine: with a wasteland as their canvas, a Master and his young Apprentice set about turning rubble into planets and moons, asteroids and comets. They levitate the worlds above their heads, spinning them in orbit around their symbolic Sun. “What... Continue reading
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"The idea that methane clouds could form this high on Titan is completely new," said Carrie Anderson, a Cassini participating scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study. "Nobody considered that possible... Continue reading
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The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct. 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North Pole.The Hinode spacecraft was... Continue reading
China launched its first space mission to the moon and back early Friday, authorities said, the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious program to one day land a Chinese citizen on the Earth's only natural satellite. The unnamed, unmanned probe... Continue reading
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“Combined observations from small and large telescopes provide a unique opportunity to understand the nature of this complex and enigmatic triple asteroid system,” said Franck Marchis, senior research scientist at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute. “Thanks to... Continue reading
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Once an object fall through the event horizon of a black hole, they’re lost forever. “It’s an exit door from our universe," said Shep Doeleman, assistant director at the MIT Haystack Observatory and research associate at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.... Continue reading
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Almost 2,000 extrasolar planets have been discovered to date and this number is constantly increasing. Yet, we still know little about these alien worlds, especially their atmospheres. The atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets could betray the presence of life on the... Continue reading
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While studying the atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan, scientists discovered intriguing zones of organic molecules unexpectedly shifted away from its north and south poles. These misaligned features seem to defy conventional thinking about Titan’s windy atmosphere, which should quickly smear... Continue reading
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No-one knows when life first established a firm foothold on Earth. Ask around in the scientific community, though, and you’ll probably hear that the surface of early Earth, before about 3.8 billion years ago, was too hostile an environment for... Continue reading
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NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a rapid-fire "storm" of high-energy blasts from a highly magnetized neutron star, also called a magnetar, on Jan. 22, 2009. Now astronomers analyzing this data have discovered underlying signals related to seismic waves rippling... Continue reading
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After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, emerged unscathed from the thermal vacuum chamber at... Continue reading
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It is extremely difficult to gather information about galaxies at the edge of the Universe: the signals from these heavenly bodies "dilute" in the course of their billion-year journey through space toward earth, making them difficult observational targets. Estimating how... Continue reading
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Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper by University of New Hampshire scientists. In... Continue reading
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A wealth of moons exist in our own solar system that could host life. Icy Europa, which is circling Jupiter, was recently discovered to have plumes of water erupting from its surface. Titan, in orbit around Saturn, is the only... Continue reading
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An international team of physicists has measured a subtle characteristic in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation that will allow them to map the large-scale structure of the universe, determine the masses of neutrinos and perhaps uncover some... Continue reading
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Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old spacecraft data. Venus's surface can't be seen... Continue reading
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Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have teased out the faint signal of a new organic molecule lurking in interstellar space. The molecule, known as iso-propyl cyanide (i-C3H7CN), is a variant (isomer) of a molecule already... Continue reading
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How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems,... Continue reading
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For years astronomers have searched for the elusive progenitors of hydrogen-deficient stellar explosions without success. However, this changed in June 2013 with the appearance of supernova iPTF13bvn and the subsequent detection of an object at the same location in archival... Continue reading
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Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have made what may be the most reliable distance measurement yet of an object that existed in the Universe’s formative years. The galaxy is one of the faintest, smallest and most distant galaxies... Continue reading
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A team led by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has created the first three-dimensional map of the ‘adolescent’ Universe, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. This map, built from data collected from the W. M.... Continue reading
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The Milky Way Galaxy is actually the largest member of a compact clutch of galaxies that are bound together by gravity. Swarming around our home Galaxy is a menagerie of smaller dwarf galaxies, the smallest of which are the relatively... Continue reading
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Space scientists at the University of Leicester have detected a curious signal in the X-ray sky – one that provides a tantalising insight into the nature of mysterious Dark Matter. The Leicester team has found what appears to be a... Continue reading
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Our view of other star systems just got a little more familiar, with the discovery of a planet 25,000 light-years away that resembles our own Uranus (Voyager 2 image above). Astronomers have discovered hundreds of planets around the Milky Way,... Continue reading
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"We aimed to find the hidden star formation in the Spiderweb cluster (above) — and succeeded — but we unearthed a new mystery in the process; it was not where we expected! The mega city is developing asymmetrically," says Helmut... Continue reading