March 23, 2015

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Terra Satellite Sees Shadows of Solar Eclipse in the Arctic Ocean

Terra Satellite Views Shadows of Solar Eclipse

NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of the clouds in the Arctic Ocean during last week’s total solar eclipse. During the morning of March 20, 2015, a total solar eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, and a partial solar eclipse from northern Africa and northern Asia. NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the Arctic Ocean […]

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March 23, 2015

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Hubble Image of the Week – A Galaxy on the Edge

Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy NGC 5023

This newly released Hubble image shows an edge-on view of the spiral galaxy NGC 5023. Due to its orientation we cannot appreciate its spiral arms, but we can admire the elegant profile of its disc. The galaxy lies over 30 million light-years away from us. NGC 5023 is part of the M51 group of galaxies. […]

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March 20, 2015

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“Chemical Fingerprints” Could Help Scientists Recognize Life on the Surface of Exoplanets

Surface Biosignatures of Exoplanets May Help Detect Extraterrestrial Life

A new catalog of reflectance spectra for a diverse range of pigmented microorganisms may help scientists recognize life on the surface of planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. A team of astronomers and biologists has recorded the “chemical fingerprints” of 137 different species of microorganism. In future, this could help to recognize life on […]

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March 20, 2015

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Carnufex Carolinensis – North America’s Top Predator Before Dinosaurs?

Carnufex Carolinensis

New research from North Carolina State University shows that a 9-foot long crocodile ancestor may have been North America’s top predator before the dinosaurs arrived. A newly discovered crocodilian ancestor may have filled one of North America’s top predator roles before dinosaurs arrived on the continent. Carnufex carolinensis, or the “Carolina Butcher,” was a 9-foot […]

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March 20, 2015

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Astronomers Use Globular Clusters to Measure Galaxy Evolution

Measuring Galaxy Evolution

A new study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals that globular clusters are often gathered into distinct groupings whose shapes reflect the formation of the clusters and the histories of the galaxies. Globular clusters are gravitationally bound ensembles of stars, as many as a million stars in some cases, grouped in roughly spherical clusters […]

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March 20, 2015

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SOFIA Reveals Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

A newly published study reveals that supernovae are capable of producing enough material to form planets. Using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an international scientific team discovered that supernovae are capable of producing a substantial amount of the material from which planets like Earth can form. These findings are published in the March […]

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March 20, 2015

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2015 Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Annual Extent is the Lowest on Record

2015 Arctic Sea Ice Sets New Record Winter Low

Arctic sea ice has reached its peak winter extent for the year, and new data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center shows that it is the lowest winter maximum on record. This short video shows the bulk of the Arctic sea ice freeze cycle from October through this year’s apparent winter maximum […]

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March 19, 2015

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Research Shows Billions of Planets in the Milky Way Have the Potential for Life

Planets in the Habitable Zone around Most Stars

Astronomers reveal that billions of the stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and life to exist. Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple […]

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March 19, 2015

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Young Star Cluster Displays Highly Efficient Star Formation

Stars Forming in a Nearby Galaxy

An international team discovers a remarkable star cluster where more than a million young stars are forming in a hot, dusty cloud of molecular gases. The star cluster is buried within a supernebula in a dwarf galaxy known as NGC 5253, in the constellation Centaurus. The cluster has one billion times the luminosity of our […]

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March 19, 2015

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LRO Spacecraft Finds New Impact Craters on The Moon

LRO Spacecraft Finds Recent Impact Crater on the Moon

By comparing pictures taken early in the mission with more recent images, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed more than two-dozen new impact craters – including an 18-meter-wide crater caused by a bright flash on March 17, 2013. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s powerful cameras are enabling scientists to find present-day impact craters on the Moon. […]

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March 19, 2015

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MAVEN Spacecraft Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

MAVEN Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

New research being presented at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference details the discovery of an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that […]

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March 17, 2015

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New VLT Image Shows Star Cluster NGC 6193 and Nebula NGC 6188

Star Cluster NGC 6193 and Nebula NGC 6188

This newly released image from the VLT Survey Telescope shows the young open cluster NGC 6193 in the center, and the emission nebula NGC 6188 to the right. This dramatic landscape in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar) is a treasure trove of celestial objects. Star clusters, emission nebulae and active star-forming regions are […]

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March 17, 2015

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Researchers Hope To Provide New Insights Into Quantum Gravity

New Insights into Quantum Gravity

A new grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation will help fund experiments at Yale University that may provide new insights into quantum gravity. Yale University has received a grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to fund experiments that researchers hope will provide new insights into quantum gravity. Jack Harris, associate professor of physics, will […]

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March 17, 2015

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Classical Nova Explosion Could Have Big Impact

GK Persei Mini Supernova Explosion

Astronomers used data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory to observe the differences in GK Persei over a span of nearly 14 years, providing clues to the dynamics of other, much larger stellar eruptions. In Hollywood blockbusters, explosions are often among the stars of the show. In space, explosions of actual stars are a focus for […]

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March 17, 2015

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New Threat to East Antarctic Ice

Totten Glacier Catchment is New Threat To Ocean Levels

New research reveals two seafloor gateways that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, raising concerns about how it will affect sea level rise. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, NASA and other research organizations have discovered two seafloor troughs that could allow warm ocean water to reach […]

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March 17, 2015

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NASA Begins Testing Electric Propulsion Technologies

LEAPTech to Demonstrate Electric Propulsion Technologies

Over the next several months, NASA researchers will perform ground testing on the electric propulsion technologies from the Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology project. The arrival of a unique experimental demonstrator at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center on February 26 may herald a future in which many aircraft are powered by electric motors. The Leading […]

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March 16, 2015

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Chiron May Possess Saturn-Like Rings

Chiron May Have Saturn-like Rings

Using data from NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, astronomers reveal features around Chiron that may signal rings, jets, or a shell of dust. There are only five bodies in our solar system that are known to bear rings. The most obvious is the planet Saturn; to a lesser […]

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