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Astronomers Explain Mysterious Dimming of Markarian 1018

November 10, 2016

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Markarian 1018 Black Hole Dims Brilliant Galaxy

By combining data from Chandra, VLT and several other telescopes, astronomers reveal that the dimming of Markarian 1018 arises from the black hole at the center being deprived of enough fuel to illuminate its surroundings. Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of […]

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Spitzer and Swift Observe Microlensing Event, Pinpoint Brown Dwarf

November 10, 2016

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NASA Pinpoints Elusive Brown Dwarf

Using NASA’s Spitzer and Swift Space Telescopes, astronomers discovered a brown dwarf when it and its star passed between Earth and a much more distant star in our galaxy. This passing created a microlensing event, where the gravity of the system amplified the light of the background star over the course of several weeks. In […]

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ESO Views Protoplanetary Discs Being Shaped by Newborn Planets

November 9, 2016

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ESO’s SPHERE Instrument Reveals Protoplanetary Discs Being Shaped by Newborn Planets

Using data from the SPHERE instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers reveal protoplanetary discs being shaped by newborn planets. Sharp new observations have revealed striking features in planet-forming discs around young stars. The SPHERE instrument, mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has made it possible to observe the complex dynamics of young solar […]

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Views Wind Carved Rock on Mars

November 9, 2016

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New Image of Wind Carved Rock on Mars

This newly released NASA image shows wind carved rock on the surface of Mars. The distinctively fluted surface and elongated hills in this image in Medusae Fossae on Mars are caused by wind erosion of a soft fine-grained rock. Called yardangs, these features are aligned with the prevailing wind direction. This wind direction would have […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Measures a Day on Saturn

November 7, 2016

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Cassini Begins Epic Final Year at Saturn

Measuring the exact length of a Saturn day is turning out to be a bigger challenge than originally thought. Over more than a decade in Saturn orbit, Cassini’s instruments have wrestled with confusing measurements to determine the planet’s precise rotation rate. The mission’s final year and unprecedented trajectory will carry Cassini to unexplored regions so […]

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Astronomers Study the Pulsar Wind Nebula Created by PSR B0355+54

November 7, 2016

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Pulsar Wind Nebulae

A team of astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has modeled the detailed shape of the pulsar wind nebula created by PSR B0355+54. Neutron stars are the detritus of supernova explosions, with masses between one and several suns and diameters only tens of kilometers across. A pulsar is a spinning neutron star with a […]

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Hubble Views Lenticular Galaxy NGC 1222

November 7, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week NGC 1222

This newly released Hubble image shows lenticular galaxy NGC 1222, which is located 100 milion light-years away. NGC 1222, seen in this image taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), is a galaxy with a rather eventful story to tell. NGC 1222 has been described as a […]

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Astronomers Discover a”Nearly Naked” Supermassive Black Hole

November 3, 2016

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Researchers Discover a Nearly Naked Supermassive Black Hole

Using the Very Long Baseline Array a team of astronomers has discovered the shredded remains of a galaxy that passed through a larger galaxy, leaving only the smaller galaxy’s nearly-naked supermassive black hole to emerge and speed away at more than 2,000 miles per second. The galaxies are part of a cluster of galaxies more […]

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New Observations of the Vast Pillar-Like Structures within the Carina Nebula

November 2, 2016

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New-Pillars-of-Destruction-Images

Using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers reveal new observations of vast pillar-like structures within the Carina Nebula. The different pillars analyzed by an international team seem to be pillars of destruction — in contrast to the name of the iconic Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, which are of similar […]

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Captures a Partial Solar Eclipse

November 1, 2016

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NASA’s SDO Catches a Lunar Transit

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory experienced a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun. The moon’s shadow obstructs SDO’s otherwise constant view of the sun, and the shadow’s edge is sharp and distinct, since the moon has no atmosphere which would distort sunlight. From SDO’s point of […]

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Slow-Blue Nuclear Hypervariables in PanSTARRS-1

November 1, 2016

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Nuclear Hypervariables in PanSTARRS-1

Astronomers have used a sky survey to identify a class of blue, hypervariable galaxies; the origin of the variability is uncertain but might in some cases be due to microlensing. Extreme variability in the intensity of the optical light of galaxies, by factors of two or more, is of great interest to astronomers. It can […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Captures a New View of Saturn

October 31, 2016

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New Cassini View from Above Saturn

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft views Saturn from above. Saturn appears as a serene globe amid tranquil rings in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. In reality, the planet’s atmosphere is an ever-changing scene of high-speed winds and evolving weather patterns, punctuated by occasional large storms. The rings, consist of countless icy particles, which are continually colliding. […]

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Hubble Admires Youthful Globular Star Cluster NGC 362

October 31, 2016

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Hubble Views Star Cluster NGC 362

This newly released Hubble image shows globular cluster NGC 362. Globular clusters offer some of the most spectacular sights in the night sky. These ornate spheres contain hundreds of thousands of stars, and reside in the outskirts of galaxies. The Milky Way contains over 150 such clusters — and the one shown in this NASA/ESA […]

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NASA GRAIL Mission Provides Insights into Moon Impacts

October 28, 2016

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New Research on Lunar Impacts

Astronomers are using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission to provide new insights into the huge impacts that dominated the early history of Earth’s moon and other solid worlds, like Earth, Mars, and the satellites of the outer solar system. In two papers, published this week in the journal Science, researchers examine […]

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Astronomers Discover a Young Triple Protostar System

October 27, 2016

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A Triple Protostar System

A team of astronomers has seen a dusty disk of material around a young star fragmenting into a multiple-star system for the first time. Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array revealed the process in action. “This new work directly supports the conclusion that there are two […]

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Hubble Sees the Eerie Glow of a Dead Star

October 27, 2016

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New Hubble Image of the Crab Nebula

This newly released Hubble image of the Crab Nebula shows the eerie glow of a dead star, which exploded long ago as a supernova. But don’t be fooled; this ghoulish-looking object still has a pulse. Buried at its center is the star’s tell-tale heart, which beats with rhythmic precision. The “heart” is the crushed core […]

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Astronomers Find Unexpected Giant Glowing Halos around Distant Quasars

October 26, 2016

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Unexpected Giant Glowing Halos around Distant Quasars Discovered

A new survey by the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope indicates that halos around quasars are far more common than expected. The properties of the halos in this surprising find are also in striking disagreement with currently accepted theories of galaxy formation in the early Universe. An international collaboration of astronomers, led by […]

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10 Years of Revolutionary Solar Views from NASA’s STEREO Mission

October 25, 2016

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STEREO 10 Years of Revolutionary Solar Views

Ten years ago the twin STEREO spacecraft joined a fleet of NASA spacecraft monitoring the sun and its influence on Earth and space – and they provided a new and unique perspective. Launched 10 years ago, on October 25, 2006, the twin spacecraft of NASA’s STEREO mission – short for Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory […]

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