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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Examines Possible Mud Cracks

January 18, 2017

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Curiosity Rover Examines Possible Mud Cracks

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover has examined slabs of rock cross-hatched with shallow ridges that likely originated as cracks in drying mud. “Mud cracks are the most likely scenario here,” said Curiosity science team member Nathan Stein. He is a graduate student at Caltech in Pasadena, California, who led the investigation of a site called “Old […]

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VISTA Survey Reveals Hidden Secrets of Orion’s Clouds

January 17, 2017

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VISTA Reveals Hidden Secrets of Orion’s Clouds

The VISTA infrared survey telescope reveals the most detailed view of Orion A molecular cloud in the near-infrared. The new image from the VISION survey (VIenna Survey In Orion) is a montage of images taken in the near-infrared part of the spectrum by the VISTA survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It covers […]

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Juno Spacecraft Image Shows Crescent Jupiter with the Great Red Spot

January 16, 2017

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Juno Image Shows Jupiter with the Great Red Spot

Using data from Juno’s JunoCam instrument, citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko created this image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot. The image also shows a series of storms shaped like white ovals, known informally as the ‘string of pearls.’ Below the Great Red Spot a reddish long-lived storm known as Oval BA […]

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Astronomers Discover a Cosmic Particle Accelerator in Abell 3411 and 3412

January 13, 2017

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Astronomers Discover Powerful Cosmic Double Whammy

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes, a team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic one-two punch unlike any ever seen before. The phenomena occurred in a pair of colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. This result shows that an eruption from a supermassive black hole combined with […]

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UCLA Study Shows the Moon is Older Than Previously Thought

January 12, 2017

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Study Shows the Moon is Older Than Prevoiusly Thought

By analyzing minerals brought back by the 1971 Apollo mission, a new study from UCLA shows that the moon is 40 million to 140 million years older than scientists previously thought. A UCLA-led research team reports that the moon is at least 4.51 billion years old, or 40 million to 140 million years older than […]

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Astronomers Identify the Home Galaxy of a Fast Radio Burst

January 11, 2017

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Galaxy of a Fast Radio Burst Identified

For the first time, a team of astronomers has pinpointed the location of a “fast radio burst” and have used this to identify its home galaxy. The galaxy, located over 3 billion light years away, is small, a so-called dwarf galaxy, and very different to our own Milky Way. Also, a persistent, compact radio source […]

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Cassini Views Mimas’ Mountain

January 10, 2017

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New Cassini Image of Mimas' Mountain

This newly released Cassini image shows Herschel Crater on Saturn’s Moon Mimas, revealing an indication of the size of the crater’s towering walls and central peak. Named after the icy moon’s discoverer, astronomer William Herschel, the crater stretches 86 miles (139 kilometers) wide — almost one-third of the diameter of Mimas (246 miles or 396 […]

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Hubble Views Shadow Caused by Possible Planet Encircling TW Hydrae

January 9, 2017

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Hubble Views 'Shadow Play' Caused by Possible Planet

A team of astronomers view a shadow sweeping around a gas-and-dust disk encircling the young star TW Hydrae. Searching for planets around other stars is a tricky business. They’re so small and faint that it’s hard to spot them. But a possible planet in a nearby stellar system may be betraying its presence in a […]

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Hubble Views a Black Hole of Puzzling Lightness

January 9, 2017

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Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy RX J1140.1+0307

This newly released Hubble image shows spiral galaxy RX J1140.1+0307, which is located one billion light-years away. This image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) onboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures a galaxy in the Virgo constellation. This camera was installed in 2002, and its wide field of view is double that […]

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Scientists Provide New Insight into Pluto’s Bladed Terrain

January 5, 2017

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Scientists Offer Sharper Insight into Pluto’s Bladed Terrain

A team of researchers used a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices to find evidence of snow and ice features on Pluto. Formed by erosion, the features, known as “penitentes,” are bowl-shaped depressions with blade-like spires around the edge that rise several […]

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Dawn Probe Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

January 2, 2017

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Dawn Spacecraft Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

The Herschel Telescope and the Dawn Spacecraft have observed the release of water vapor from Ceres and the Dawn Spacecraft has discovered water ice in Ceres’ polar region. The American Dawn space probe has been orbiting the asteroid Ceres between Mars and Jupiter since March 2015. Thanks to the two identical onboard cameras from the […]

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Band 5 Receivers Improve ALMA’s Ability to Search for Water in the Universe

December 29, 2016

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ALMA’s Ability to Search for Water in the Universe Improved

With the newly installed Band 5 receivers, ALMA has now opened its eyes to a whole new section of this radio spectrum, creating exciting new observational possibilities and improving the telescope’s ability to search for water in the Universe. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has begun observing in a new range of […]

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New Material Provides an Elastic “Second Skin”

December 27, 2016

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MIT Engineers Develop Second skin Polymer

A team of researchers has developed a “second skin” polymer that can provide a barrier, cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver drugs. Scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Living Proof, and Olivo Labs have developed a new material that can temporarily protect and tighten skin, and smooth wrinkles. With further development, it could also be used […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Megamaser IRAS 16399-0937

December 26, 2016

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Megamaser IRAS 16399-0937

This newly released Hubble image shows megamaser IRAS 16399-0937, which is located over 370 million light-years away. This galaxy has a far more exciting and futuristic classification than most — it is a megamaser. Megamasers are intensely bright, around 100 million times brighter than the masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. The entire […]

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Statistical Analysis Shows Unexpected Interaction Between Dark Matter and Ordinary Matter

December 15, 2016

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Statistical Analysis Shows an Unexpected Interaction Between Dark Matter and Ordinary Matter

A newly published statistical analysis of mini-spiral galaxies shows an unexpected interaction between dark matter and ordinary matter. The research shows that where the relationship is obvious and cannot be explained in a trivial way within the context of the Standard Model, these objects may serve as “portals” to a completely new form of Physics […]

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Hubble Reveals a Black Hole Ripping Apart a Passing Star

December 12, 2016

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Spinning Black Hole Swallowing Star Explains Superluminous Event

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers reveal a rapidly spinning black hole ripping apart a passing star that came too close. An extraordinarily brilliant point of light seen in a distant galaxy, and dubbed ASASSN-15lh, was thought to be the brightest supernova ever seen. But new observations from several observatories, including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space […]

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Juno Mission Prepares for Jupiter Flyby

December 9, 2016

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Juno Prepares for December 11 Jupiter Flyby

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its third science flyby of Jupiter on Sunday, December 11, at 9:04 a.m. PST. At the time of closest approach (called perijove), Juno will be about 2,580 miles (4,150 kilometers) above the gas giant’s roiling cloud tops and traveling at a speed of about 129,000 mph (57.8 kilometers per second) […]

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Distant Galaxy SPT 0346-52 Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

December 8, 2016

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SPT 0346-52 Distant Galaxy Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

Using several telescopes including Chandra, astronomers have shown that a galaxy in the early Universe called SPT0346-52 is undergoing an extraordinary burst of star formation. The absence of X-rays from Chandra shows that there is no actively growing, supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. This means that the rate amount of infrared […]

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