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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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Astronomers Confirm Youngest Known Transiting Exoplanet

June 20, 2016

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

June 20, 2016

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

June 17, 2016

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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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Did LIGO Find Dark Matter?

June 16, 2016

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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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LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves Again

June 15, 2016

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

June 14, 2016

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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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How Altered Gut Microbes Cause Obesity

June 13, 2016

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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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New Horizons Spacecraft Views Jagged Shores of Pluto’s Highlands

June 10, 2016

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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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New Reseach Shows Cloudy Days on Hot Jupiters May Hide Atmospheric Water

June 8, 2016

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New Study Shows Cloudy Days on Exoplanets May Hide Atmospheric Water

New research suggests that as much as half of the water in the atmospheres of exoplanets may be blocked by clouds or hazes. Water is a hot topic in the study of exoplanets, including “hot Jupiters,” whose masses are similar to that of Jupiter, but which are much closer to their parent star than Jupiter […]

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CEMP Stars Could Host Carbon Planets

June 7, 2016

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First Life Might Have Been Born on Carbon Planets

A newly published study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggests that planet formation in the early universe might have created carbon planets consisting of graphite, carbides, and diamond. Our Earth consists of silicate rocks and an iron core with a thin veneer of water and life. But the first potentially habitable worlds to form […]

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Hubble Reveals Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Expected

June 2, 2016

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The Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Expected

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers reveal that the universe is expanding 5 percent to 9 percent faster than expected. “This surprising finding may be an important clue to understanding those mysterious parts of the universe that make up 95 percent of everything and don’t emit light, such as dark energy, dark matter and dark […]

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Lund Astronomers Believe Planet 9 Was an Exoplanet

May 31, 2016

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Planet 9 Was Once an Exoplanet

New research details how Planet 9 may have once been an exoplanet “captured” by our sun billions of years ago. Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first exoplanet to be discovered inside […]

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