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Four hundred years ago, the astronomer Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four large moons forever changed humanity's view of the universe, helping to bring about the understanding that Earth was not the center of all motion. Today one of these Galilean... Continue reading
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There is growing interaction of the biosphere with the 'technosphere' - a concept pioneered by Peter Haff of Duke University - the sum total of all human-made manufactured machines and objects, and the systems that control them. In total, an... Continue reading
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One of the biggest questions in astrophysics is: does life exists beyond earth? To even begin answering this, we need to know how many planets like ours exist out there, and when they formed. However determining ages of stars (and... Continue reading
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The universe has slowed down and speeded up, not just once, but 7 times in the last 13.8 billion years, on average emulating dark matter in the process. “The ringing has been decaying and is now very small – much... Continue reading
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"The Planck data confirm the basic predictions that quantum fluctuations are at the origin of all structures in the Universe," said Jean-Loup Puget, Principal Investigator for the HFI-instrument on the Planck satellite. Viatcheslav Mukhanov, a cosmologist at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in... Continue reading
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For a planet, this would be like a day at the spa. After years of growing old, a massive planet could, in theory, brighten up with a radiant, youthful glow. Rejuvenated planets, as they are nicknamed, are only hypothetical. But... Continue reading
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New work from Carnegie's Alan Boss offers a potential solution to a longstanding problem in the prevailing theory of how rocky planets formed in our own Solar System, as well as in others. The snag he's untangling: how dust grains... Continue reading
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"Even if we never reach the stars by our own efforts, in the millions of years that lie ahead it is almost certain that the stars will come to us. Isolationism is neither a practical policy on the national or... Continue reading
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When galaxies first assembled, during a period often referred to as 'Cosmic Dawn,' most of the space between the stars was filled with a mixture of hydrogen and helium produced in the Big Bang. As subsequent generations of massive stars... Continue reading
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Astronomers expect that galaxies grow by swallowing smaller galaxies. But the evidence is usually not easy to see -- just as the remains of the water thrown from a glass into a pond will quickly merge with the pond water,... Continue reading
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"This cloud is very spectacular, though the evaporation rate does not threaten the planet right now," explains David Ehrenreich of the Observatory of the University of Geneva in Switzerland. "But we know that in the past, the star, which is... Continue reading
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In late 2013, when the neutron star at the heart of one of our galaxy's oddest supernovae gave off a massive burst of X-rays, the resulting echoes -- created when the X-rays bounced off clouds of dust in interstellar space... Continue reading
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A new NASA computer simulation shows that dark matter particles colliding in the extreme gravity of a black hole can produce strong, potentially observable gamma-ray light. Detecting this emission would provide astronomers with a new tool for understanding both black... Continue reading
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"I call the universe a green dragon because I want to avoid lulling you into thinking we can have the universe in our grasp, like a stray dog shut up in its kennel. I want to remind us of this... Continue reading
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“In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible.... Continue reading
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The closer we get to Ceres, the more intriguing the distant dwarf planet becomes. New images of Ceres from NASA's Dawn spacecraft provide more clues about its mysterious bright spots, and also reveal a pyramid-shaped peak towering over a relatively... Continue reading
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A group of researchers from the Stony Brook University (the State University of New York) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has discovered 854 "ultra dark galaxies" in the Coma Cluster by analyzing archival data from the Subaru Telescope.... Continue reading
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"It is hard to know how our future descendants will regard the little sliver of history that we live in. It is hard to know what events will seem important to them, what the narrative of now will look like... Continue reading
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A swarm of 10,000 or more black holes may be orbiting the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, according to results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This would represent the highest concentration of black holes anywhere in the Galaxy. These relatively... Continue reading
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"A big misconception is that a black hole is made of matter that has just been compacted to a very small size. That's not true. A black hole is made from warped space and time. It may have been created... Continue reading
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"Plate tectonics are essential to life as we know it," said Diana Valencia of Harvard University. "Our calculations show that bigger is better when it comes to the habitability of rocky planets." Plate tectonics -the movement of huge chunks, or... Continue reading
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It is thought that a majority of the galaxies in the universe have a massive black hole in the galactic center. Since these black holes have masses of several millions to tens of billions of solar masses, they are called... Continue reading
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Using the Hubble Space Telescope's infrared vision, astronomers have unveiled some of the previously hidden origins of quasars, the brightest objects in the universe. A new study finds that quasars are born when galaxies crash into each other and fuel... Continue reading
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Titan is a remarkable object in the Solar System. Like Earth and Venus, and unlike any other moon, it has a rocky surface and a thick atmosphere. It is the only object in the Solar System aside from the Earth... Continue reading
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Supermassive black holes lurk at the center of every large galaxy. These cosmic behemoths can be millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun. Determining just how massive, however, has been daunting, especially for spiral galaxies and their... Continue reading