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Space Exploration News

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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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Uncovering the mysteries of cosmic explosions

An automated software system played a key role in the discovery of supernova iPTF 14atg and could provide insight, a virtual Rosetta stone, into future supernovae and their underlying physics.

Posted: May 22nd, 2015

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WISE finds most luminous galaxy in universe

A remote galaxy shining brightly with infrared light equal to more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The galaxy, which belongs to a new class of objects recently discovered by WISE - nicknamed extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs - is the most luminous galaxy found to date.

Posted: May 22nd, 2015

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Hubble observes one-of-a-kind star nicknamed 'Nasty'

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered surprising new clues about a hefty, rapidly aging star whose behavior has never been seen before in our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the star is so weird that astronomers have nicknamed it 'Nasty 1', a play on its catalog name of NaSt1. The star may represent a brief transitory stage in the evolution of extremely massive stars.

Posted: May 22nd, 2015

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The dreadful beauty of Medusa

This beautiful planetary nebula is named after a dreadful creature from Greek mythology -- the Gorgon Medusa. It is also known as Sharpless 2-274 and is located in the constellation of [Gemini] (The Twins). The Medusa Nebula spans approximately four light-years and lies at a distance of about 1500 light-years. Despite its size it is extremely dim and hard to observe.

Posted: May 20th, 2015

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Comet Wild 2: A window into the birth of the solar system?

A team of scientists investigated the oxygen isotope and mineral composition of the comet dust returned from Wild 2. In a study published recently, the team discovered an unexpected combination of material that has deepened the mystery of Wild 2's past.

Posted: May 14th, 2015

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Hubble traces the migration of white dwarfs

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, collected a census of young white dwarf stars beginning their migration from the crowded centre of an ancient star cluster to its less populated outskirts. The new results challenge our ideas about how and when a star loses its mass near the end of its life.

Posted: May 14th, 2015

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Cause of galactic death: Strangulation

As murder mysteries go, it's a big one: how do galaxies die and what kills them? A new study has found that the primary cause of galactic death is strangulation, which occurs after galaxies are cut off from the raw materials needed to make new stars.

Posted: May 14th, 2015

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The dark side of star clusters

Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of 'dark' globular star clusters around the giant galaxy Centaurus A. These mysterious objects look similar to normal clusters, but contain much more mass and may either harbor unexpected amounts of dark matter, or contain massive black holes - neither of which was expected nor is understood.

Posted: May 13th, 2015

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