June 20, 2016

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ALMA Reveals Methanol in the TW Hydrae Protoplanetary Disk

New Study Shows Comets are Forming in Distant Solar System

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have discovered the organic molecule methyl alcohol (methanol) in the protoplanetary disk around the star TW Hydrae. This is the first such detection of the compound in a young planet-forming disk, and points to a region where comets are forming. Astronomers announced that they have found the […]

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June 20, 2016

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Astronomers Confirm Youngest Known Transiting Exoplanet

New Study Confirms Youngest Transiting Exoplanet to Date

Using the MEarth-North and MEarth-South arrays, astronomers have confirmed the discovery of the youngest known planet, only 11 million years old, which transits its star once every 5.4 days. The existence of this infant world was first detected by NASA’s Kepler K2 mission. “Young stars tend to be very blotchy, with starspots that can mimic […]

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June 20, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – The Stars of the Large Magellanic Cloud

Hubble Views Stars of the Large Magellanic Cloud

This newly released Hubble image shows the globular cluster NGC 1854, a gathering of white and blue stars in the southern constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish). NGC 1854 is located about 135,000 light-years away, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of our closest cosmic neighbors and a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The […]

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June 17, 2016

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Astronomers Find an Unexpected Amount of Giant Planets in Star Cluster Messier 67

Unexpected Excess of Giant Planets in Star Cluster Messier 67

A team of astronomers reveals that there are far more planets of the hot Jupiter type than expected in star cluster Messier 67. The surprising discovery was obtained using a number of telescopes and instruments, among them the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The denser environment in a cluster will cause […]

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June 17, 2016

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New Equation Shows How Other People’s Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

How Other People's Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

A new equation shows how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us and how this compares to other people.The team developed an equation to predict happiness in 2014, highlighting the importance of expectations, and the new updated equation also takes into account other people’s fortunes. The study, published in Nature Communications, found […]

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June 16, 2016

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Did LIGO Find Dark Matter?

Gravitational Waves Detected

When it was announced that LIGO detected gravitational waves this past February, astrophysicists wondered about something else: Had the experiment found the “dark matter” that makes up most of the mass of the universe? http://www.mpg.de-streaming-eu.s3.amazonaws.com/de/forschung/Gravitationswellen_Hires_GW151226_HD.mp4 This simulation of the binary black-hole coalescence GW151226 shows two black holes of 14 and 8 solar masses orbiting each […]

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June 15, 2016

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Young Star FU Orionis May Hold Clues to Planet Formation

FU Orionis May Reveal Clues to Planet Formation

By combining data from two telescopes collected over a 12-year interval, astronomers were able to gain a unique perspective on FU Orionis. In 1936, the young star FU Orionis began gobbling material from its surrounding disk of gas and dust with a sudden voraciousness. During a three-month binge, as matter turned into energy, the star […]

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June 15, 2016

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Graphene Provides a New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

A New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

By slowing down light to a speed slower than flowing electrons, scientists have developed a new way to turn electricity into light. When an airplane begins to move faster than the speed of sound, it creates a shockwave that produces a well-known “boom” of sound. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a similar […]

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June 15, 2016

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LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves Again

LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves for the Second Time

The twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected gravitational waves for the second time. The signal was produced by two black holes colliding 1.4 billion light years away. For the second time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves — ripples through the fabric of space-time, created by extreme, cataclysmic events in the distant universe. […]

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June 14, 2016

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Bird Brains Have Significantly More Neurons Than Primate Brains Of The Same Mass

Birds Have Primate-Like Numbers of Neurons in the Forebrain

A new study systematically measures the number of neurons in the brains of birds, revealing that they have significantly more neurons packed into their small brains than are stuffed into mammalian and even primate brains of the same mass. The macaw has a brain the size of an unshelled walnut, while the macaque monkey has […]

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June 14, 2016

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Newly Discovered Kepler-1647 Is The Largest Planet That Orbits Two Suns

Newly Discovered Kepler-1647 Is The Largest Planet That Orbits Two Suns

Using the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have identified the largest planet to date around a double-star system. If you cast your eyes toward the constellation Cygnus, you’ll be looking in the direction of the largest planet yet discovered around a double-star system. It’s too faint to see with the naked eye, but a team led […]

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June 13, 2016

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How Altered Gut Microbes Cause Obesity

New Research Reveals How Altered Gut Microbes Cause Obesity

New research from Yale University details how altered gut microbiota causes obesity. Obesity is linked to changes in our gut microbes — the trillions of tiny organisms that inhabit our intestines. But the mechanism has not been clear. In a new study published in Nature, a Yale-led team of researchers has identified how an altered […]

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June 13, 2016

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Physicists Amplify Light Using Sound on a Silicon Chip

Scientists Amplify Light Using Sound on a Silicon Chip

A team of physicists has discovered a way to greatly boost the intensity of light waves on a silicon microchip using the power of sound. In a study to be published in the journal Nature Photonics, a team led by Peter Rakich describes a new waveguide system that harnesses the ability to precisely control the […]

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June 13, 2016

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Cassini Views a Disruption in Saturn’s Narrow F Ring

Cassini Views a Disruption in Saturn's Ring

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft captures a small disruption in Saturn’s F ring; which was likely caused by the interaction of a small object embedded in the ring itself and material in the core of the ring. A bright disruption in Saturn’s narrow F ring suggests it may have been disturbed recently. This feature was mostly likely […]

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June 13, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – Scattered Stars in Sagittarius

Hubble Views Scattered Stars

This newly released Hubble image shows scattered stars across the constellation of Sagittarius. This colorful and star-studded view of the Milky Way galaxy was captured when the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope pointed its cameras towards the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). Blue stars can be seen scattered across the frame, set against a distant backdrop […]

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June 11, 2016

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Delta IV Heavy Rocket Launch Image Gallery

Delta-IV-Heavy-Lift-Off3

On June 11, 2016 a Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the NROL-37 mission launched from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The purpose of the NROL-37 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is to deliver a classified spy satellite into orbit. This Delta IV Heavy Rocket Launch Image Gallery […]

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June 10, 2016

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Astronomers Study T-Tauri Stars in the Chamaeleon Star-Forming Region

Young Stars and Nebulosity in Chamaeleon

New research on young (T-Tauri) stars in the Chamaeleon and Rho Ophiuchus star-forming regions has determined their ages as being between about five – six million years old, as well as determining other properties. A newborn star typically goes through four stages of adolescence. It begins life as a protostar still enshrouded in its natal […]

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June 10, 2016

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New Horizons Spacecraft Views Jagged Shores of Pluto’s Highlands

New Image of the Jagged Shores of Pluto’s Highlands

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zooms in Pluto’s great ice plains and Krun Macula. This enhanced color view from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft shows the southeastern portion of Pluto’s great ice plains, where at lower right the plains border rugged, dark highlands informally named Krun Macula. (Krun is the lord of the underworld in the Mandaean […]

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