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WISE Reveals the X-Shaped Bulge of the Milky Way

July 19, 2016

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X Shape Marks Milky Way’s Central Bulge of Stars

Using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, astronomers reveal that the Milky Way’s central bulge of stars forms an “X” shape. The unconventional collaboration started in May 2015 when Dustin Lang, an astronomer at the Dunlap Institute of the University of Toronto, posted galaxy maps to Twitter, using data from WISE’s two […]

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ALMA Detects Water Snowline Around Young Star V883 Orionis

July 18, 2016

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Water Snowline Around Young Star V883 Orionis

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a team of astronomers has made the first ever resolved observation of a water snow line within a protoplanetary disc. This line marks where the temperature in the disc surrounding a young star drops sufficiently low for snow to form. A dramatic increase in the brightness of the […]

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Chandra Reveals Evidence for Violent Stellar Merger

July 15, 2016

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Astronomers Find Evidence for Violent Stellar Merger

Using data from Chandra, astronomers have the strongest evidence to date that violent stellar mergers produce pencil-thin jets. This result has implications for estimating the number of such mergers that may detected with gravitational wave observatories. Gamma-ray bursts, or GRBs, are some of the most violent and energetic events in the Universe. Although these events […]

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Kepler Shows Warm Jupiters Not As Lonely As Expected

July 14, 2016

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Warm Jupiters Not As Lonely As Expected

Astronomers have used data from the Kepler Space Telescope to give the clearest understanding yet of a class of exoplanets called Warm Jupiters, revealing that many have unexpected planetary companions. The team’s analysis, published July 10th in the Astrophysical Journal, provides strong evidence of the existence of two distinct types of Warm Jupiters, each with […]

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First In-orbit View from NASA’s Juno Spacecraft

July 13, 2016

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Juno Spacecraft Sends First In-orbit Image

The first high-resolution images of Jupiter are still several weeks away, but NASA’s Juno Spacecraft did capture this new image as it entered orbit around the planet. The JunoCam camera aboard NASA’s Juno mission is operational and sending down data after the spacecraft’s July 4 arrival at Jupiter. Juno’s visible-light camera was turned on six […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Starburst Galaxy MCG+07-33-027

July 11, 2016

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Hubble Views Starburst Galaxy Named MCG+07-33-027

This newly released Hubble image shows starburst galaxy MCG+07-33-027, which is located 300 million light-years away. This image was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and shows a starburst galaxy named MCG+07-33-027. This galaxy lies some 300 million light-years away from us, and is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high […]

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Maps Ceres Craters Where Ice Can Accumulate

July 8, 2016

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Dawn Maps Ceres Craters Where Ice Can Accumulate

Using data from NASA’s Dawn Mission, astronomers have identified permanently shadowed regions on the dwarf planet Ceres. These areas are likely cold enough to have trapped water ice for a billion years, suggesting that ice deposits could exist there now. “The conditions on Ceres are right for accumulating deposits of water ice,” said Norbert Schorghofer, […]

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Astronomers Discover a Planet in a Triple Star System

July 7, 2016

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Newly-Discovered Planet Has 3 Suns

Using direct imaging, a team of astronomers has discovered a young Jovian exoplanet within a triple-star system. If you thought Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine, was a strange world with its two suns in the sky, imagine this: a planet with either constant daylight or triple sunrises and sunsets each day depending on the seasons […]

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Astronomers Discover Evidence of a ‘Direct-Collapse Black Hole’

July 6, 2016

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CR7 Provides Evidence for an Unusual Kind of Black Hole

A newly published study details evidence for a direct collapse black hole in the Lyman α source CR7. Astronomers Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm of The University of Texas at Austin, working with Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in […]

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Juno Spacecraft in Orbit Around Jupiter

July 5, 2016

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NASA's Juno Spacecraft Successfully Enters Jupiter’s Orbit

NASA received confirmation that the Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 4th. “Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter,” said NASA administrator Charlie Bolden. “And what is more American than a NASA mission going boldly where […]

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Antarctic Ozone Layer Shows Signs of Healing

July 1, 2016

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MIT Scientists Observe First Signs of Healing in the Antarctic Ozone Layer

New research details the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer. Scientists found that the September ozone hole has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers — about half the area of the contiguous United States — since 2000, when ozone depletion was at its peak. The team also showed for the […]

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Hubble Telescope Views Vivid Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

June 30, 2016

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Hubble Views Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers view vivid auroras on the poles of Jupiter. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is best known for its colorful storms, the most famous being the Great Red Spot. Now astronomers have focused on another beautiful feature of the planet, using Hubble’s ultraviolet capabilities. The extraordinary vivid […]

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New Hydrogel Hybrid Could Be Used To Make Artificial Skin

June 29, 2016

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MIT Develops Tough Hydrogel Hybrid

MIT engineers have developed a method to bind gelatin-like polymer materials called hydrogels and elastomers, which could be used to make artificial skin and longer-lasting contact lenses. If you leave a cube of Jell-O on the kitchen counter, eventually its water will evaporate, leaving behind a shrunken, hardened mass — hardly an appetizing confection. The […]

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Hubble Image Reveals ‘Stellar Fireworks’ in Kiso 5639

June 28, 2016

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Hubble Reveals Stellar Fireworks in 'Skyrocket' Galaxy

New research shows that a stellar fireworks show is lighting up one end of galaxy Kiso 5639. Astronomers suggest that the frenzied star birth is sparked by intergalactic gas raining on one end of the galaxy as it drifts through space. Fireworks shows are not just confined to Earth’s skies. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has […]

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Low-Mass Black Hole May Represent New Population

June 27, 2016

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Clandestine Black Hole May Represent New Population

By combining data from Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have identified the true nature of an unusual source in the Milky Way galaxy. This object contains a very quiet black hole, a few times the Sun’s mass, about 7,200 light years from Earth. This discovery implies that there could be many more black holes […]

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New Horizons Reveals a ‘Super Grand Canyon’ on Charon

June 24, 2016

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Astronomers Discover "Super Grand Canyon" on Pluto’s Moon Charon

Images from NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft reveal an unusual canyon system that’s far longer and deeper than the Grand Canyon. The inset above magnifies a portion of the eastern limb in the global view of Charon at left, imaged by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft several hours before its closest approach on July 14, 2015. A […]

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Hubble Telescope Confirms New Dark Spot on Neptune

June 23, 2016

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New Dark Spot on Neptune Confirmed

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed the presence of a dark vortex in the atmosphere of Neptune. Though similar features were seen during the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune in 1989 and by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994, this vortex is the first one observed on Neptune in the 21st century. The discovery was […]

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XMM-Newton Reveals the First ‘Wind Nebula’ Around a Magnetar

June 21, 2016

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Astronomers Find Wind Nebula Around a Magnetar

Using the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, a team of astronomers has discovered a vast cloud of high-energy particles around a rare ultra-magnetic neutron star for the first time. The find offers a unique window into the properties, environment and outburst history of magnetars, which are the strongest magnets in the universe. A neutron star is the […]

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