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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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NASA advances CubeSat concept for planetary exploration

Although scientists are increasingly using pint-size satellites sometimes no larger than a loaf of bread to gather data from low-Earth orbit, they have yet to apply the less-expensive small-satellite technology to observe physical phenomena far from terra firma.

Posted: May 20th, 2016

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NASA finds first near-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone

NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the 'habitable zone' around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another Earth.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2015

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Brown dwarfs, stars share formation process, new study indicates

Astronomers have discovered jets of material ejected by still-forming young brown dwarfs. The discovery is the first direct evidence that brown dwarfs, intermediate in mass between stars and planets, are produced by a scaled-down version of the same process that produces stars.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2015

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Astronomers witness assembly of galaxies in the early Universe for the first time

An international team of astronomers led by the University of Cambridge have detected the most distant clouds of star-forming gas yet found in normal galaxies in the early Universe - less than one billion years after the Big Bang. The new observations will allow astronomers to start to see how the first galaxies were built up and how they cleared the cosmic fog during the era of reionisation.

Posted: Jul 22nd, 2015

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Jupiter twin discovered around solar twin

A research team has been targeting Sun-like stars in a bid to find planetary systems similar to our Solar System. The team has now uncovered a planet with a very similar mass to Jupiter, orbiting a Sun-like star, HIP 11915, at almost exactly the same distance as Jupiter.

Posted: Jul 15th, 2015

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Scientists study atmosphere of Venus through transit images

Two of NASA's heliophysics missions can now claim planetary science on their list of scientific findings. A group of scientists used the Venus transit - a very rare event where a planet passes between Earth and the sun, appearing to us as a dark dot steadily making its way across the sun's bright face - to make measurements of how the Venusian atmosphere absorbs different kinds of light.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2015

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NASA's Swift reveals a black hole bull's-eye

What looks like a shooting target is actually an image of nested rings of X-ray light centered on an erupting black hole. On June 15, NASA's Swift satellite detected the start of a new outburst from V404 Cygni, where a black hole and a sun-like star orbit each other.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2015

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Astronomers find a massive black hole that outgrew its galaxy

Astronomers have spotted a super-sized black hole in the early universe that grew much faster than its host galaxy. The discovery runs counter to most observations about black holes In most cases, black holes and their host galaxies expand at the same rate.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2015

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Data shows surfer-shaped waves in near-Earth space

Named Kelvin-Helmholtz waves in the late 1800s after their discoverers, these waves have since been discovered all over the universe: in clouds, in the atmospheres of other planets, and on the sun. Now two recently published papers highlight these shapely waves at the boundaries of near-Earth space.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2015

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Bricks to build an Earth found in every planetary system

Earth-like planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way are three times more likely to have the same type of minerals as Earth than astronomers had previously thought. In fact, conditions for making the building blocks of Earth-like rocks are ubiquitous throughout the Milky Way.

Posted: Jul 8th, 2015

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