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Astronomers Develop New Method to Determine Oxygen Abundance in Stars

April 29, 2016

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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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Astronomers Discover Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

April 26, 2016

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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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Astronomers Use Light Echoes to Measure Protoplanetary Disk

April 26, 2016

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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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New Study Traces the Impact of Volcanic Activity on Climate Change

April 25, 2016

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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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Hubble Views the Bubble Nebula

April 21, 2016

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

April 20, 2016

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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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New Images Reveal More Details on Ceres’ Craters

April 19, 2016

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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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New Debugging Method Finds 23 Undetected Security Flaws in Popular Web Applications

April 18, 2016

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New Debugging Method Finds Undetected Security Flaws in Popular Web Applications

A new debugging system found 23 previously undiagnosed security flaws in 50 popular Web applications, and it took no more than 64 seconds to analyze any given program. By exploiting some peculiarities of the popular Web programming framework Ruby on Rails, MIT researchers have developed a system that can quickly comb through tens of thousands […]

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New Spitzer Image: A Space Spider Watches Over Young Stars

April 14, 2016

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New Spitzer Image of the Spider Nebula

This new infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey shows IC 417, which is about 10,000 light-years away. A nebula known as “the Spider” glows fluorescent green in an infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). The Spider, officially named […]

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New Discovery Challenges Dark Matter, Stellar Acceleration Models

April 13, 2016

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New Hypervelocity Binary Star Challenges Dark Matter, Stellar Acceleration Models

Astronomers have discovered a hypervelocity binary star that challenges dark matter and stellar acceleration models. A team of astronomers at the Friedrich Alexander University led by Péter Németh has discovered a binary star moving nearly at the escape velocity of our galaxy. There are about two dozen so-called hypervelocity stars known to be escaping the […]

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MIT Researchers Create Perfect Nanoscrolls from Graphene Oxide

April 12, 2016

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Researchers Create Perfect Nanoscrolls

Using both low- and high-frequency ultrasonic techniques, scientists have fabricated nanoscrolls made from graphene oxide flakes. Water filters of the future may be made from billions of tiny, graphene-based nanoscrolls. Each scroll, made by rolling up a single, atom-thick layer of graphene, could be tailored to trap specific molecules and pollutants in its tightly wound […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Dwarf Galaxy Leo A

April 11, 2016

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Hubble Image of Dwarf Galaxy Leo A

This newly released Hubble image shows dwarf galaxy Leo A, which is located roughly 2.5 million light-years from Earth. At first glance this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image seems to show an array of different cosmic objects, but the speckling of stars shown here actually forms a single body — a nearby dwarf galaxy known […]

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Cassini Spacecraft Not Affected by Hypothetical Planet 9

April 8, 2016

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NASA Reports Cassini Spacecraft Not Affected by Hypothetical Planet 9

According to mission managers and orbit determination experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Cassini Spacecraft is not experiencing unexplained deviations in its orbit around Saturn. Several recent news stories have reported that a mysterious anomaly in Cassini’s orbit could potentially be explained by the gravitational tug of a theorized massive new planet in our […]

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Hot Jupiter KELT-4Ab Boasts Rare Triple Suns

April 6, 2016

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Newly Discovered Hot Jupiter KELT-4Ab Boasts Rare Triple Suns

Using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, a team of astronomers has discovered an alien planet that has three suns in its sky. Eat your heart out, Tatooine: A newly discovered alien planet has not one, not two, but three suns in its sky. While scientists know of many planets with two suns, a planet with […]

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Journey to the Center of the Milky Way

April 4, 2016

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Hubble Views the Center of the Milky Way

Using Hubble, astronomers peer through the dust which normally obscures the view of the center of the Milky Way. Peering deep into the heart of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Apart from a few, blue, foreground stars, almost […]

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Astronomers Reveal a Planet Forming in an Earth-Like Orbit Around Young Star TW Hydrae

March 31, 2016

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Astronomers Find a Planet Forming in an Earth-like Orbit around a Young Star

Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, astronomers reveal a planet-forming disk in unprecedented detail, revealing a series of concentric dusty bright rings and dark gaps, including intriguing features that suggest a planet with an Earth-like orbit is forming there. Disks of dust and gas that surround young stars are the formation sites of […]

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Astronomers Identify Likely Trigger for Milky Way’s Youngest Supernova

March 30, 2016

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Astronomers Identify Trigger for Milky Way's Youngest Supernova

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the NSF’s Jansky Very Large Array, astronomers have determined the likely trigger for the most recent supernova in the Milky Way. Astronomers had previously identified G1.9+0.3 as the remnant of the most recent supernova in our Galaxy. It is estimated to have occurred about 110 years ago from the […]

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Astronomers Investigate the Mystery of Migrating ‘Hot Jupiters’

March 29, 2016

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Hot Jupiter HD 80606b

Using infrared light, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope measured the extreme temperature swings of exoplanet HD 80606b. The last decade has seen a bonanza of exoplanet discoveries. Nearly 2,000 exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — have been confirmed so far, and more than 5,000 candidate exoplanets have been identified. Many of these exotic worlds […]

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