Astrophysics News

Most Precise Measurement Ever of the Radius of a Planet Outside Our Solar System

July 24, 2014

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Scientists have made most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system, confirming Kepler-93b as a “super-Earth” that is about one-and-a-half times the size of our planet. Thanks to NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside […]

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Hubble Reveals That Three Hot Jupiters Are Surprisingly Dry

July 24, 2014

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Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers reveal that three exoplanets that were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres contain far less water than predicted by standard planet-formation theories. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar […]

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A New Approach in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

July 23, 2014

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Scientists are taking a new approach in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, studying exoplanet atmospheres for signs of pollution. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist […]

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No New Cosmological Concordance with Massive Sterile Neutrinos

July 23, 2014

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A newly published study shows that modifying the standard cosmological model in order to include fairly massive neutrinos does not explain all the physical observations simultaneously. Neutrinos, also known as ‘ghost particles’ because they barely interact with other particles or their surroundings, are massless particles according to the standard model of particle physics. However, there […]

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NASA Releases Four New Images to Celebrate Chandra’s 15th Anniversary

July 23, 2014

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To celebrate Chandra’s 15th anniversary, NASA has released four new images of supernova remnants – the Crab Nebula, Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58. Fifteen years ago, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through […]

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Hubble Probes the Extreme Outskirts of Elliptical Galaxy Centaurus A

July 22, 2014

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A team of scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the outskirts of elliptical galaxy Centaurus A, revealing that the galaxy’s halo spreads far further into space than expected. Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have probed the extreme outskirts of the stunning elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. The galaxy’s halo of stars has […]

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Astronomers Discover Transiting Exoplanet with Longest Known Year, Kepler-421b

July 22, 2014

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Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year, circling its star once every 704 days. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 […]

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Fermi Discovers a Pulsar That Switched from Radio Emissions to High-Energy Gamma Rays

July 22, 2014

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New measurements by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal a binary star system whose pulsar switched from radio emissions to high-energy gamma rays. Zoom into an artist’s concept of AY Sextantis, a binary star system whose pulsar switched from radio emissions to high-energy gamma rays in 2013. This transition likely means the pulsar’s spin-up process […]

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Dwarf Galaxy Movement Challenges to Our Understanding the Universe

July 21, 2014

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A newly published study examines the movement of small galaxies throughout the universe, finding that they ‘dance’ in orderly disc-shaped orbits around larger galaxies. The discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not ‘swarm’ around larger ones like bees do but ‘dance’ in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of […]

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Scientists Experimentally Recreate Conditions That Exist Deep Inside Giant Planets

July 18, 2014

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Using the largest laser in the world, scientists were able to experimentally recreate the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets for the first time. Lawrence Livermore scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter, Uranus and many of the planets recently discovered outside […]

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Astronomers Discover Evidence of How Giant Planets Form

July 18, 2014

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Using Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope observations of 16 Cygni, astronomers discovered evidence of how giant planets like Jupiter form. One of the main models to form giant planets is called “core accretion”. In this scenario, a rocky core forms first by aggregation of solid particles until it reaches a few Earth masses when it becomes massive enough […]

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First Detailed Analysis of Weak Lensing Dark Matter Peaks

July 18, 2014

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An international team of scientists present the first detailed analysis of the weak lensing peaks, finding that the abundance of peaks detected in CS82 is consistent with predictions from a Lambda cold dark matter cosmological model once noise effects are properly included. A number of studies have shown that Dark Matter is the principal mass […]

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