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During an August 20 event at NASA headquarters, called Ancient Earth, Alien Earths, a panel of scientists from NASA and other organizations discussed how vastly different and inhospitable we all would find ancient Earth, if we could go back in... Continue reading
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Scientists continue to investigate the development of self-replicating, intricate sets of chemistry — in other words, life — from the chemical compounds thought available on early Earth. Out of this mixture of prebiotic chemicals, two nucleic acids — RNA and... Continue reading
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Massive stars end their life with a bang, exploding as supernovas and releasing massive amounts of energy and matter. What remains of the star is a small and extremely dense remnant: a neutron star or a black hole. Neutron stars... Continue reading
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Only one species of the billions of species that have existed on Earth has shown an aptitude for radios and even we failed to build one during the first 99% of our 7 million year history. Charley Lineweaver, a provocative... Continue reading
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"Fundamentally, the solar system and everything in it was ultimately derived from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust," says Andrew Westphal, physicist at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory and lead author on the paper published this... Continue reading
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It may sound like science fiction, but astronomers have worked out a scheme that will allow them to detect and measure particles ten times smaller than the width of a human hair, even at many light-years distance. They can do... Continue reading
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Astrophysicists obtained for the first time spectra of radiating cobalt registered at the supernova SN2014J, shown above, located 11 million light-years from Earth. Isotope 56Co has a half-life of just 77 days, and does not exist in normal conditions. However,... Continue reading
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Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles -- planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust... Continue reading
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A fully developed elliptical galaxy is a gas-deficient gathering of ancient stars theorized to develop from the inside out, with a compact core marking its beginnings. Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of... Continue reading
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Today's Most Popular..."Most of the universe consists of hydrogen in various forms," said Ludwik Adamowicz, a professor in the University of Arizona''s department of chemistry and biochemistry, but the H3+ ion is the most prevalent molecular ion in interstellar space.... Continue reading
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Quasars are the brightest objects in the Universe; their intense light is generated by gas as it falls towards a black hole. These mysterious objects emitting radio waves were first identified in 1963 by radio astronomers who called them quasi-stellar... Continue reading
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“We want to find out whether spacetime is a quantum system just like matter is,” said Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics and the developer of the holographic noise theory. “If we see something, it will completely... Continue reading
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When the universe was less than one microsecond old and more than one trillion degrees, it transformed from a plasma of quarks and gluons into bound states of quarks - also known as protons and neutrons, the fundamental building blocks... Continue reading
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Luckily for researchers, there is a possible laboratory in our solar system to help us better understand the conditions on Earth before life arose — a situation sometimes referred to as a “prebiotic” environment. That location is Titan, the largest... Continue reading
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There may be a suite of organic chemical reactions occurring in interstellar space that astronomers hadn't considered. In 2012, astronomers discovered methoxy molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the Perseus molecular cloud, around 600 light years from Earth. But... Continue reading
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Unravelling the mysteries of magnetic fields is crucial to understanding how our Universe works. For too long, many of the big questions about magnetic fields have simply been untestable before this new era of radio astronomy. "This opens a new... Continue reading
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"It's very exciting to think that the dwarf planets could have astrobiological potential," says New Horizons lead scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute. In 2011, the highly sensitive Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a... Continue reading
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Composite view showing Neptune on Triton's horizon. Neptune's south pole is to the left; clearly visible in the planets' southern hemisphere is a Great Dark Spot, a large anticyclonic storm system located about 20 degrees South. The foreground is a... Continue reading
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Superlatives are the trademark of the planet Jupiter. The magnetic field at the top edge of the cloud surrounding the largest member of the solar system is around ten times stronger than Earth’s, and is by far the largest magnetosphere... Continue reading
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The first breakthrough paper to come out of a massive U.S. expedition to one of Earth’s final frontiers shows that there’s life and an active ecosystem one-half mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, specifically in a... Continue reading
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Four previously unknown galaxy clusters each potentially containing thousands of individual galaxies have been discovered some 10 billion light years from Earth. Most clusters in the universe today are dominated by giant elliptical galaxies in which the dust and gas... Continue reading
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NGC 3603 is a very bright star cluster and is famed for having the highest concentration of massive stars that have been discovered in our galaxy so far. At the centre lies a Wolf–Rayet multiple star system, known as HD... Continue reading
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It came as something of a surprise when Center for Astrophysics astronomers and their colleagues discovered a faint line corresponding to no known element. Esra Bulbul, Adam Foster, Randall Smith, Scott Randall and their team were studying the averaged X-ray... Continue reading
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The universe has so many black holes that it’s impossible to count them all. There may be 100 million of these intriguing astral objects in our galaxy alone. Nearly all black holes fall into one of two classes: big, and... Continue reading
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Fedor Bezrukov from the RIKEN–BNL Research Center and Mikhail Shaposhnikov from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne propose that the Higgs boson, which was recently confirmed to be the origin of mass, may also be responsible for the... Continue reading