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Research Shows Black Holes Can Block the Formation of New Stars

October 21, 2014

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Study Reveals Black Holes Can Block the Formation of New Stars

A new study from Johns Hopkins University reveals that massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, providing crucial new evidence that it is these jets of “radio-frequency feedback” streaming from mature galaxies’ central black holes that prevent hot free gas from cooling and […]

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New Optical Device to Speed the Search for Earth-Like Exoplanets

October 21, 2014

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New Optical Device Should Speed the Search for Earth-Like Exoplanets

A new laser-based technology known as the green astro-comb will allow astronomers to determine whether distant exoplanets they discover are rocky Earth-like worlds or less dense gas giants like Jupiter. Astronomers Chih-Hao Li and David Phillips of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics want to rediscover Venus—that familiar, nearby planet stargazers can see with the naked […]

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First Resolved Image of the Nucleus of a Long-Period Comet

October 21, 2014

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New NASA MRO Images of Comet Siding Spring

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured new images of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, resulting in the first resolved image of the nucleus of a long-period comet. These images were taken of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on October 19, 2014, during the comet’s close flyby of Mars and the […]

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Scientists Simulate Astrophysical Jets

October 20, 2014

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Cosmic Jets of Young Stars Formed by Magnetic Fields

Using laser light and intense magnetic fields, an international team of scientists has simulated astrophysical jets in a laboratory environment for the first time. Astrophysical jets are counted among our Universe’s most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space. Now, […]

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Astronomers Discover New Clues to the Mystery of Coronal Heating

October 20, 2014

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Tiny Nanoflares Heat the Sun's Corona

Using observations from the recently launched Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, astronomers found new clues to the mystery of coronal heating. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Why is the Sun’s million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun’s surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa of the […]

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Hubble Views the Whirling Disc of NGC 4526

October 20, 2014

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The Whirling Disc of NGC 4526

This new Hubble image of the week shows NGC 4526, which is one of the brightest known lenticular galaxies. This neat little galaxy is known as NGC 4526. Its dark lanes of dust and bright diffuse glow make the galaxy appear to hang like a halo in the emptiness of space in this new image […]

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New SDO Image of the Sun Resembles Jack-o-Lantern Face

October 17, 2014

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New SDO Jack-o-Lantern Sun Image

This new image captured on October 8, 2014 by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows active regions on the sun combining to look something like a jack-o-lantern face. The active regions in this image appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy. They are markers of an intense and complex set of […]

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Hubble Finds Small Galaxy More Than 13 Billion Light-Years Away

October 17, 2014

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Hubble Finds Extremely Distant Galaxy More Than 13 Billion Light Years Away

Using the gravitational lensing power of galaxy cluster Abell 2744, Hubble has detected one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen. The small galaxy is estimated to be more than 13 billion light-years away. This galaxy offers a peek back to the very early formative years of the universe and may just be […]

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Saturn’s Moon Mimas May Have a Liquid Water Ocean Beneath the Surface

October 17, 2014

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Saturn Moon Mimas May Have a Fossil Core or an Ocean

New data from NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft reveal that Saturn’s moon Mimas may have a liquid water ocean beneath the moon’s impact-battered surface. A new study focused on the interior of Saturn’s icy moon Mimas suggests its cratered surface hides one of two intriguing possibilities: Either the moon’s frozen core is shaped something like a football, […]

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A Close Up View of the Primary Landing Site on Comet 67P

October 16, 2014

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Close Up View of Rosetta Comet Landing Site

This mosaic from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft shows a close up view of landing “Site J” – the primary landing site on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko for the mission’s Philae lander. The mosaic comprises two images taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on September 14, 2014, from a distance of about 19 miles (30 kilometers). […]

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Slow-Growing Galaxies Help Reveal How the Very First Stars in Our Universe Formed

October 16, 2014

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Study Measures Rates at which Galaxies Sextans A and ESO 146-G14 Create Stars

Using data from the Herschel mission, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, astronomers make some of the most accurate measurements yet of the rates at which small, sluggish galaxies create stars. What makes one rose bush blossom with flowers, while another remains barren? Astronomers ask a similar question of galaxies, wondering how […]

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Hubble Finds Three Potential Kuiper Belt Targets for New Horizons

October 16, 2014

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Hubble Uncovered Three Potential New Horizons Targets

The Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three potential targets for the New Horizons spacecraft to visit after it flies by Pluto in July 2015. The KBOs were detected through a dedicated Hubble observing program by a New Horizons search team that was awarded telescope time for this purpose. “This has been a very challenging search […]

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