January 18, 2016

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Harvard Astrophysicists Examine the Properties of Pre-Stellar Cores

Far-Infrared Dust Temperatures and Column Densities of the MALT90 Molecular Clump Sample

A new infrared study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics examined the cores of star-forming dust clouds in various stages of development, enabling astronomers to categorize the temperatures, densities, and evolutionary characters of young stellar nurseries. Stars like the Sun begin their lives as cold, dense cores of dust and gas that collapse under the […]

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January 18, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – Galaxy NGC 5408

New Hubble Image of NGC 5408

This newly released Hubble image shows galaxy NGC 5408, which is located 16 million light-years away. Most galaxies possess a majestic spiral or elliptical structure. About a quarter of galaxies, though, defy such conventional, rounded aesthetics, instead sporting a messy, indefinable shape. Known as irregular galaxies, this group includes NGC 5408, the galaxy that has […]

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January 15, 2016

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Astronomers Detect Signs of an Invisible Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way

Nobeyama Radio Telescope Detects Signs of an Invisible Black Hole

Using the Nobeyama Radio Telescope, a team of astronomers has detected signs of an invisible black hole with a mass of 100 thousand times the mass of the Sun around the center of the Milky Way. The team assumes that this possible “intermediate mass” black hole is a key to understanding the birth of the […]

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January 15, 2016

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New Horizons Spacecraft Reveals Possible Ice Volcano on Pluto

New Horizons Discovers Possible Ice Volcano on Pluto

A new image from the New Horizons Spacecraft reveals more of Pluto’s surface features. Scientists with NASA’s New Horizons mission have assembled this highest-resolution color view of one of two potential cryovolcanoes spotted on the surface of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015. This feature, known as Wright Mons, was informally named […]

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January 15, 2016

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WISE Reveals Most Luminous Galaxy W2246-0526 Is Ripping Itself Apart

Astronomers View Luminous Galaxy Ripping Itself Apart

New research reveals that the distant galaxy W2246-0526 is expelling tremendously turbulent gas (a phenomenon never seen before in an object of this kind) and is tearing itself apart. In a far-off galaxy, 12.4 billion light-years from Earth, a ravenous black hole is devouring galactic grub. Its feeding frenzy produces so much energy, it stirs […]

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January 14, 2016

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XMM-Newton Reveals High-Speed Winds Around a Supermassive Black Hole

XMM-Newton Reveals High-Speed Gas Streaming from a Spiral Galaxy

ESA’s XMM-Newton reveals that winds around a supermassive black hole located 800 million light-years from Earth are moving at 23,000–33,000 km/s, about 10% the speed of light. ESA’s XMM-Newton has found a wind of high-speed gas streaming from the center of a bright spiral galaxy like our own that may be reducing its ability to […]

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January 14, 2016

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Life-Extending Hormone FGF21 Also Protects Against the Loss of Immune Function

FGF21 Hormone Protests Against the Loss of Immune Function

New research from Yale University shows that the hormone FGF21, which extends lifespan in mice by 40%, protects against the loss of immune function that comes with age. Published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 11, the study’s findings have future implications for improving immune function in the elderly, […]

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January 14, 2016

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Cassini Spacecraft Provides Close-up of Enceladus Terrain

Cassini Close-up of Enceladus Dalmatian Terrain

This new image taken by the Cassini Spacecraft on December 19, 2015 provides a close-up of Enceladus. This terrain is on the moon’s Saturn-facing side, a few degrees south of the equator. The view has been rotated so that north on Enceladus is up. During its final close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, NASA’s Cassini […]

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January 13, 2016

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New Material Can Store Solar Energy During the Day and Release it Later as Heat

A New Way to Store Solar Heat

Engineers from MIT have developed a new material could harvest sunlight by day and release heat on demand hours or days later. Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. […]

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January 13, 2016

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New Research Shows Hyperactive Neurons May Trigger Alzheimer’s

Hyperactive neurons may be culprit in Alzheimer’s

New research from Yale University shows that an increase in neuronal activity can spur the creation of plaques and toxic amyloid beta peptides, which are believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. A long-term reduction in neuronal activity reduces amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Yale University researchers have found. The study, using mouse models of Alzheimer’s, […]

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January 13, 2016

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GRAVITY Instrument Reveals a New Double Star

GRAVITY Discovers New Double Star in Orion Trapezium Cluster

The first observations with the new GRAVITY probe reveal that one of the components of the Trapezium Cluster (Theta1 Orionis F) is a double star. Zooming in on black holes is the main mission for the newly installed instrument GRAVITY at ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. During its first observations, GRAVITY successfully combined starlight […]

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January 12, 2016

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Dawn Images Reveal New Details on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Dawn ImagesShow New Details On Ceres

New images NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft reveal surface features of dwarf planet Ceres in exquisite detail. Dawn took these images near its current altitude of 240 miles (385 kilometers) from Ceres, between December 19 and 23, 2015. Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres, shows off many fascinating attributes at the high image resolution […]

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January 12, 2016

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Views Seasonal Terrain on Mars

New NASA Image Shows the Surface of Mars

This newly released image shows radial troughs on the surface of Mars. Mars’ seasonal cap of carbon dioxide ice has eroded many beautiful terrains as it sublimates (goes directly from ice to vapor) every spring. In the region where the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image, […]

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January 11, 2016

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Two-Stage Process Makes Incandescent Bulbs More Efficient

New Two-Stage Process Makes Incandescent Bulbs More Efficient

Using a two-stage process that captures heat loss and reflects it back to the filament to be re-absorbed and re-emitted as visible light, engineers from MIT have combined the warm look of traditional light bulbs with 21st-century energy efficiency. Traditional light bulbs, thought to be well on their way to oblivion, may receive a reprieve […]

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January 11, 2016

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Yale Examines How Bacteria Might Trigger and Treat Autoimmune Disease

How Beneficial Bacteria Inside Our Bodies Might Trigger and Treat Autoimmune Disease

New research from Yale University is exploring how beneficial bacteria that live in the gut might trick the body into an autoimmune reaction known as antiphospholipid syndrome. Doctors often describe the body’s immune system in military terms. Physical barriers such as skin and mucus prevent invasion by disease-causing pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. If […]

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January 11, 2016

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Supercomputers Simulate the Formation of Carbon-Rich Molecules in Space

Formation of Carbon-Rich Molecules in Space

Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have used a new generation of supercomputers to simulate how atoms in space might combine to form carbon-rich molecules and clusters. The space between stars is not empty, but contains an abundance of diffuse material, about 5-10% of the total mass of our galaxy (excluding dark matter). Most […]

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January 11, 2016

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New Cassini View of Saturn and Tethys

Cassini Image of Saturn

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft views the sunlit side of Saturn. It is easy to forget just how large Saturn is, at around 10 times the diameter of Earth. And with a diameter of about 72,400 miles (116,500 kilometers), the planet simply dwarfs its retinue of moons. One of those satellites, Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers […]

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January 11, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week: A Galactic Mega-Merger

New Hubble Image of NGC 3597

This newly released Hubble image shows elliptical galaxy NGC 3597, which is located 150 million light-years away. The subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is known as NGC 3597. It is the product of a collision between two good-sized galaxies, and is slowly evolving to become a giant elliptical galaxy. This type of […]

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