May 2, 2016

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New Elevation Map of Pluto’s ‘Heart’ from New Horizons

New Elevation Map of Pluto from New Horizons

NASA releases a new elevation map of Pluto’s heart-shaped surface area. This newest shaded relief view of the region surrounding the left side of Pluto’s heart-shaped feature – informally named Sputnik Planum – shows that the vast expanse of the icy surface is on average 2 miles (3 kilometers) lower than the surrounding terrain. Angular […]

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May 2, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – NGC 4394

New Hubble Image of NGC 4394

This newly released Hubble images shows NGC 4394, which is located about 55 million light-years away. Discovered in 1784 by the German–British astronomer William Herschel, NGC 4394 is a barred spiral galaxy situated about 55 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy lies in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair), and is considered to be […]

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April 29, 2016

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Hubble Views Galaxy UGC 477

Hubble Views Galaxy UGC 477

This newly released Hubble image shows galaxy UGC 477, which is located just over 110 million light-years away in the constellation of Pisces (The Fish). UGC 477 is a low surface brightness (LSB) galaxy. First proposed in 1976 by Mike Disney, the existence of LSB galaxies was confirmed only in 1986 with the discovery of […]

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April 29, 2016

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Astronomers Develop New Method to Determine Oxygen Abundance in Stars

New Models Determine the Oxygen Abundance in Giant Stars

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have developed a new computational method to determine the abundance of oxygen in these and similar stars, and in particular in giant stars. The code finds values that are more self-consistent than previous estimates. Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium. […]

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April 28, 2016

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Fermi Helps Link Cosmic Neutrino to Blazar Blast

NASA's Fermi Helps Link Cosmic Neutrino to Blazar Blast

Nearly 10 billion years ago, the black hole at the center of a galaxy known as PKS B1424-418 produced a powerful outburst. Light from this blast began arriving at Earth in 2012. Now astronomers using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have shown that a record-breaking neutrino seen around the same time likely was […]

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April 28, 2016

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Galaxy Clusters Reveal Information About Dark Energy

Russian Doll Galaxy Clusters Reveal Information About Dark Energy

Researchers are using a large sample of galaxy cluster to investigate dark energy, showing that dark energy has not changed over billions of years. Astronomers have used data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s Planck and a large list of optical telescopes to develop a powerful new method for investigating dark energy, the mysterious energy […]

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April 26, 2016

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Astronomers Discover Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

Using the Hubble Space Telescope a team of astronomers just discovered a moon orbiting dwarf planet Makemake — the third largest known object past the orbit of Neptune, about two thirds the size of Pluto. Peering to the outskirts of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, […]

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April 26, 2016

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Astronomers Use Light Echoes to Measure Protoplanetary Disk

Spitzer Uses Light Echoes to Give Clues to Protoplanetary Disk

Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and four ground-based telescopes, astronomers determine the distance from a star to the inner rim of its surrounding protoplanetary disk. Imagine you want to measure the size of a room, but it’s completely dark. If you shout, you can tell if the space you’re in is relatively big […]

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April 26, 2016

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Astronomers Gain a Better Understanding of Spica

Stellar Modelling of Spica

A newly published study details Spica, an eccentric double-lined spectroscopic binary system with a β Cep type variable primary component. The familiar star Spica (Alpha Virginis) is the fifteenth brightest star in the night sky, in part because it is relatively nearby, only about 250 light-years away. It is easy to find by following the […]

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April 25, 2016

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New Study Shows Fructose Alters Brain Genes, Which Can Lead to Disease

New Research Shows Fructose Alters Brain Genes, Can Lead to Disease

A new study by researchers at UCLA reveals that genes in the brain can be damaged by fructose, leading to diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A range of diseases — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer’s disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — are linked to […]

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April 25, 2016

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New Study Traces the Impact of Volcanic Activity on Climate Change

New Research Traces the Impact of Volcanic Activity on Climate Change

A newly published study shows that for the majority of Earth’s history, continental arc volcanism has been the main driver of long-term climate variability. A geology-based analysis of Earth’s climate history over the past 700 million years provides evidence that climate change has occurred traditionally through slow shifts in the release of carbon dioxide — […]

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April 25, 2016

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NASA to Begin Historic New Era of X-Plane Research

NASA Moves to Begin Historic New Era of X-Plane Research

NASA’s aeronautical innovators are preparing to put in the sky an array of new experimental aircraft, each intended to carry on the legacy of demonstrating advanced technologies that will push back the frontiers of aviation. History is about to repeat itself. There have been periods of time during the past seven decades – some busier […]

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April 21, 2016

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New Horizons Image Shows Pluto’s ‘Halo’ Craters

New Horizons Views Pluto’s ‘Halo’ Craters

This newly released image from the New Horizons Spacecraft looks within Pluto’s informally named Vega Terra region, showing a field of eye-catching craters that looks like a cluster of bright halos scattered across a dark landscape. The region is far west of the hemisphere NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft viewed during close approach last summer. The […]

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April 21, 2016

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Hubble Views the Bubble Nebula

Hubble Views a Star ‘Inflating’ a Giant Bubble

Just in time for the 26th anniversary of Hubble’s launch on April 24, 1990, the telescope has photographed an enormous, balloon-like bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. Astronomers trained the iconic telescope on this colorful feature, called the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635. “As Hubble makes its 26th revolution around our […]

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April 20, 2016

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Scientists Identify a Free-Floating, Planetary-Mass Object in TW Hydrae

Astronomers Find Lone Planetary-Mass Object in Family of Stars

New data from WISE and its predecessor, the Two Micron All Sky Survey, reveals the lowest-mass free-floating object in TW Hydrae family — a likely brown dwarf called WISEA J114724.10−204021.3. In 2011, astronomers announced that our galaxy is likely teeming with free-floating planets. In fact, these lonely worlds, which sit quietly in the darkness of […]

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April 19, 2016

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Fermi Observations Poised to Pin Down Gravitational Wave Sources

Fermi Telescope Poised to Pin Down Gravitational Wave Sources

Fermi observations are helping researchers gain a much deeper understanding of gravitational waves. On September 14, waves of energy traveling for more than a billion years gently rattled space-time in the vicinity of Earth. The disturbance, produced by a pair of merging black holes, was captured by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) facilities in […]

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April 19, 2016

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New Images Reveal More Details on Ceres’ Craters

New Ceres Images Reveal Bright Craters

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed marvelous sights on dwarf planet Ceres during its first year in orbit, including the mysterious bright spots in Occator Crater. Craters with bright material on dwarf planet Ceres shine in new images from NASA’s Dawn mission. In its lowest-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of 240 miles (385 kilometers) from […]

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April 19, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – Elegance Conceals an Eventful Past

Hubble Views NGC 4111

This newly released Hubble image shows lenticular galaxy NGC 4111. The elegant simplicity of NGC 4111, seen here in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, hides a more violent history than you might think. NGC 4111 is a lenticular, or lens-shaped, galaxy, lying about 50 million light-years from us in the constellation of […]

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