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A Deficit of Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources in Starburst Galaxies

December 22, 2014

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Astronomers Discover Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources in Starburst Galaxies

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have completed a study of active star-forming galaxies, revealing a large deficit in the number of ULXs detected. Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than a million suns emit at all wavelengths. ULXs […]

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Kepler Detects A Super-Earth Transiting the Bright K-Dwarf HIP 116454

December 22, 2014

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Kepler Discovers HIP 116454

Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft is still alive and working and has detected a newfound planet, HIP 116454b, has a diameter of 20,000 miles, two and a half times the size of Earth. Cambridge, Massachusetts – To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft’s […]

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Views a Significant Solar Flare

December 22, 2014

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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Views a Significant Solar Flare

A new video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows an X1.8-class flare erupting on the sun on December 19, 2014. The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:24 p.m. EST on December 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful […]

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New NASA Video Provides Astronaut’s-Eye View of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Re-entry

December 22, 2014

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New NASA Video Provides Astronaut’s-Eye View of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Re-entry

This new ten minute video from NASA’s Orion spacecraft provides viewers with a taste of the intense conditions the spacecraft and astronauts will endure when they return from deep space destinations. New video recorded during NASA’s Orion return through Earth’s atmosphere provides viewers a taste of what the vehicle endured as it returned through Earth’s […]

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Hubble Image of the Week: The Beautiful Side of IC 335

December 22, 2014

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New Hubble Image of Galaxy IC 335

This newly released Hubble image shows lenticular galaxy IC 335, which is located 60 million light-years away. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the galaxy IC 335 in front of a backdrop of distant galaxies. IC 335 is part of a galaxy group containing three other galaxies, and located in the Fornax Galaxy […]

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Scientists Find Evidence of Previously Unrecognized Water Reservoir on Mars

December 19, 2014

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Scientists Find Meteoritic Evidence of Mars Water Reservoir

A newly published study provides evidence for a previously unrecognized hydrogen reservoir on Mars, which could account for a large part of the initial water budge of Mars. NASA and an international team of planetary scientists have found evidence in meteorites on Earth that indicates Mars has a distinct and global reservoir of water or […]

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Europa Plumes Remain Elusive

December 19, 2014

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Cassini Helps Hunt for Plumes on Europa

Data NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveals that Europa contributes less material to its surrounding environment than previously thought. A fresh look at data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during its 2001 flyby of Jupiter shows that Europa’s tenuous atmosphere is even thinner than previously thought and also suggests that the thin, hot gas around the moon […]

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Chandra Measures Massive Galaxy Cluster in Distant Universe

December 18, 2014

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Chandra Weighs the Most Massive Galaxy Cluster to Date

Using Chandra data, researchers were able to accurately determine the mass and other properties of the most distant massive galaxy cluster discovered to date. Officially named XDCP J0044.0-2033, the cluster is about 9.6 billion light years from Earth. A newly discovered galaxy cluster is the most massive one ever detected with an age of 800 […]

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MESSENGER Reveals Possible Source of Surge of Calcium in Mercury Exosphere

December 17, 2014

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MESSENGER Observations Suggest Recurring Meteor Shower on Mercury

New data from NASA’s MESSENGER has revealed seasonal surges of calcium in the exosphere of Mercury, suggesting that a periodic meteor shower from the debris trail left by comet Encke is the source. The closest planet to the sun appears to get hit by a periodic meteor shower, possibly associated with a comet that produces […]

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A High-Obliquity Planet Could Be Habitable

December 17, 2014

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High Obliquity Planet Could Be Habitable

A newly published study from scientists at MIT reveals that even a high-obliquity planet with a nearly horizontal axis could potentially support life, so long as the planet were completely covered by an ocean. Nearly 2,000 planets beyond our solar system have been identified to date. Whether any of these exoplanets are hospitable to life […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Discovers Organic Chemistry on Mars

December 17, 2014

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Rover Finds Active Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

Using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer instrument in Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory, astronomers have detected a tenfold spike in the abundance of methane in the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a […]

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The Interaction Between Interstellar Dust and Our Galaxy’s Magnetic Field

December 16, 2014

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Image of the Magnetic Field Along the Galactic Plane

Using data from the Planck collaboration, this newly released image portrays the interaction between interstellar dust in the Milky Way and the structure of our Galaxy’s magnetic field. While the pastel tones and fine texture of this image may bring to mind brush strokes on an artist’s canvas, they are in fact a visualization of […]

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MAVEN Identifies Links to Atmospheric Loss on Mars

December 16, 2014

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MAVEN Identifies Links to Atmospheric Loss on Mars

New findings from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere, leading to atmospheric loss. Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. […]

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NASA’s Voyager 1 Experiences Three “Tsunami Waves” in Interstellar Space

December 16, 2014

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NASAs Voyager 1 Spacecraft Experiences a New Tsunami Wave from the Sun

New data show that the shock wave that NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing in February 2014 is still propagating outward. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced three “tsunami waves” in interstellar space. Listen to how these waves cause surrounding ionized matter […]

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New Map of Mars Shows Signs of Ancient Lakes and Quakes

December 15, 2014

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Signs of Ancient Mars Lakes and Quakes Seen in New Map

A new geological map based on NASA images shows signs of ancient lakes and quakes on Mars. This animation simulates a flyover of a portion of a Martian canyon detailed in a geological map produced by the U.S. Geological Survey and based on observations by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The landforms […]

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