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Hubble Views a Black Hole of Puzzling Lightness

January 9, 2017

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Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy RX J1140.1+0307

This newly released Hubble image shows spiral galaxy RX J1140.1+0307, which is located one billion light-years away. This image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) onboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures a galaxy in the Virgo constellation. This camera was installed in 2002, and its wide field of view is double that […]

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Chandra’s Newest Image Reveals Black Hole Treasure Trove

January 5, 2017

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Chandra Deep Field South Deepest X-ray Image Ever Reveals Black Hole Treasure Trove

An unparalleled image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory gives astronomers the best look yet at the growth of black holes over billions of years beginning soon after the Big Bang. This is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, made with over 7 million seconds of observing time with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. These data give […]

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New NASA Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

January 5, 2017

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NASA Selects Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

A new NASA mission will allow astronomers to explore the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars. Objects such as black holes can heat surrounding gases to more than a million degrees. The high-energy X-ray radiation from this gas […]

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Scientists Provide New Insight into Pluto’s Bladed Terrain

January 5, 2017

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Scientists Offer Sharper Insight into Pluto’s Bladed Terrain

A team of researchers used a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices to find evidence of snow and ice features on Pluto. Formed by erosion, the features, known as “penitentes,” are bowl-shaped depressions with blade-like spires around the edge that rise several […]

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NEOWISE Mission Spots One Comet, Maybe Two

January 3, 2017

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NASA's NEOWISE Mission Spots Comet 2016 WF9

NASA’s NEOWISE mission has discovered some celestial objects traveling through our neighborhood, including one on the blurry line between asteroid and comet. An object called 2016 WF9 was detected by the NEOWISE project on November 27, 2016. It’s in an orbit that takes it on a scenic tour of our solar system. At its farthest […]

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Dawn Probe Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

January 2, 2017

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Dawn Spacecraft Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

The Herschel Telescope and the Dawn Spacecraft have observed the release of water vapor from Ceres and the Dawn Spacecraft has discovered water ice in Ceres’ polar region. The American Dawn space probe has been orbiting the asteroid Ceres between Mars and Jupiter since March 2015. Thanks to the two identical onboard cameras from the […]

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When Galaxies Collide – Hubble Views IRAS 14348-1447

January 2, 2017

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New Hubble Image of IRAS 14348-1447

This Hubble image of the week shows IRAS 14348-1447, which is located over a billion light-years away. This delicate smudge in deep space is far more turbulent than it first appears. Known as IRAS 14348-1447 — a name derived in part from that of its discoverer, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS for short) — this […]

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ESO Image of the Week – Planets in the Making

December 29, 2016

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Planets in the Making Around Young Star HD 163296

This newly released ESO image shows a disc of rotating, leftover material surrounding the young star HD 163296. Our Solar System formed out of a huge, primordial cloud of gas and dust. The vast majority of that cloud formed the Sun, while the leftover disc of rotating material around it eventually coalesced into the orbiting […]

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Astronomers Determine Orbit of Proxima Centauri

December 29, 2016

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Orbit of Proxima Centauri Determined After 100 Years

Using ESO’s planet-hunting HARPS instrument, astronomers have the strongest evidence to date that Proxima Centauri orbits Alpha Centauri A and B. Interest in our neighboring Alpha Centauri star system has been particularly high since the recent discovery of an Earth-mass planet, known as Proxima b, orbiting the system’s third star — and the closest star […]

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Band 5 Receivers Improve ALMA’s Ability to Search for Water in the Universe

December 29, 2016

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ALMA’s Ability to Search for Water in the Universe Improved

With the newly installed Band 5 receivers, ALMA has now opened its eyes to a whole new section of this radio spectrum, creating exciting new observational possibilities and improving the telescope’s ability to search for water in the Universe. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has begun observing in a new range of […]

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The Interstellar Medium: Crossing the Cosmic Void

December 27, 2016

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The Interstellar Medium Crossing the Cosmic Void

Humanity’s great leap into the space between the stars has, in a sense, already begun. NASA’s Voyager 1 probe broke through the sun’s magnetic bubble to touch the interstellar wind. Voyager 2 isn’t far behind. New Horizons shot past Pluto on its way to encounters with more distant dwarf worlds, the rubble at the solar […]

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Astronomers Release the Largest Digital Sky Survey

December 27, 2016

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Pan-STARRS Releases Largest Digital Sky Survey

The Pan-STARRS project is publicly releasing the world’s largest digital sky survey from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). “The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys allow anyone to access millions of images and use the database and catalogs containing precision measurements of billions of stars and galaxies,” said Dr. Ken Chambers, Director of the Pan-STARRS Observatories. “Pan-STARRS has […]

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A New Approach to Detecting Earth-Like Worlds

December 26, 2016

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Searching a Sea of ‘Noise’ to Find Exoplanets

Researchers from Yale University have developed a new approach to detect distant planets and refine the search for worlds similar to Earth. The new approach, outlined in a study published December 20 in The Astronomical Journal, relies on mathematical methods that have their foundations in physics research. Rather than trying to filter out the signal […]

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Hubble Views Two Festive-Looking Emission Nebulae

December 26, 2016

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Festive Nebulae Light Up Milky Way Galaxy Satellite

The Hubble Space Telescope captured two festive-looking emission nebulae conjoined so they appear as one. The sheer observing power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is rarely better illustrated than in an image such as this. This glowing pink nebula, named NGC 248, is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, just under 200,000 light-years away […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Megamaser IRAS 16399-0937

December 26, 2016

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Megamaser IRAS 16399-0937

This newly released Hubble image shows megamaser IRAS 16399-0937, which is located over 370 million light-years away. This galaxy has a far more exciting and futuristic classification than most — it is a megamaser. Megamasers are intensely bright, around 100 million times brighter than the masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. The entire […]

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Statistical Analysis Shows Unexpected Interaction Between Dark Matter and Ordinary Matter

December 15, 2016

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Statistical Analysis Shows an Unexpected Interaction Between Dark Matter and Ordinary Matter

A newly published statistical analysis of mini-spiral galaxies shows an unexpected interaction between dark matter and ordinary matter. The research shows that where the relationship is obvious and cannot be explained in a trivial way within the context of the Standard Model, these objects may serve as “portals” to a completely new form of Physics […]

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Captures New Image of Jupiter

December 14, 2016

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New Image of Jupiter from Juno

This newly released Juno image highlights the seventh of eight features forming a ‘string of pearls’ on Jupiter. This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of eight features forming a ‘string of pearls’ on Jupiter — massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas […]

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Hubble Reveals a Black Hole Ripping Apart a Passing Star

December 12, 2016

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Spinning Black Hole Swallowing Star Explains Superluminous Event

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers reveal a rapidly spinning black hole ripping apart a passing star that came too close. An extraordinarily brilliant point of light seen in a distant galaxy, and dubbed ASASSN-15lh, was thought to be the brightest supernova ever seen. But new observations from several observatories, including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space […]

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