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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Magnetar formation mystery solved?

Magnetars are the super-dense remnants of supernova explosions. They are the strongest magnets known in the Universe - millions of times more powerful than the strongest magnets on Earth. A team of astronomers now believe they've found the partner star of a magnetar for the first time. This discovery helps to explain how magnetars form and why this particular star didn't collapse into a black hole as astronomers would expect.

Posted: May 14th, 2014

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Odd planet, so far from its star...

A gas giant has been added to the short list of exoplanets discovered through direct imaging. It is located around GU Psc, a star three times less massive than the Sun and located in the constellation Pisces.

Posted: May 13th, 2014

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The first building blocks of the universe

The first galaxies evolved only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. But why do they have such a great variety of shapes and structures? How did the universe evolve as a whole? Two German-Chinese Partner Groups are using observations and simulations to investigate how the early universe evolved

Posted: May 13th, 2014

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Hidden nurseries in the Milky Way

ATLASGAL is a survey of the Galactic Plane at a wavelength of 0.87 mm. It has revealed an unprecedented number of cold dense clumps of gas and dust as the cradles of massive stars, thus providing a complete view of their birthplaces in the Milky Way.

Posted: May 13th, 2014

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A turbulent birth for stars in merging galaxies

Using state of the art computer simulations, a team of French astrophysicists have for the first time explained a long standing mystery: why surges of star formation (so called 'starbursts') take place when galaxies collide.

Posted: May 12th, 2014

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NASA telescopes coordinate best-ever flare observations

On March 29, 2014, an X-class flare erupted from the right side of the sun - and vaulted into history as the best-observed flare of all time. The flare was witnessed by four different NASA spacecraft and one ground-based observatory - three of which had been fortuitously focused in on the correct spot as programmed into their viewing schedule a full day in advance.

Posted: May 8th, 2014

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Galaxies out of a Supercomputer

A new computer simulation shows the formation of galaxies with unprecedented precision, allowing astrophysicists to indirectly confirm the standard model of cosmology.

Posted: May 7th, 2014

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Nearest bright 'hypervelocity star' found

Astronomers discovered a 'hypervelocity star' that is the closest, second-brightest and among the largest of 20 found so far. Speeding at more than 1 million mph, the star may provide clues about the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way and the halo of mysterious 'dark matter' surrounding the galaxy.

Posted: May 7th, 2014

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Planck reveals magnetic fingerprint of our galaxy

An international team of astrophysicists has released an unprecedented map of the entire sky that charts the magnetic field shaping our Milky Way Galaxy. The map reveals magnetic field lines running parallel to the plane of the Galaxy, as well as great loops and whorls associated with nearby clouds of gas and dust.

Posted: May 6th, 2014

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Are we ready for contact with extraterrestrial intelligence?

The SETI project scientists are known for tracking possible extraterrestrial signals, but now they are also considering sending messages from Earth telling of our position. A researcher questions this idea in view of the results from a survey taken by students, revealing the general level of ignorance about the cosmos and the influence of religion when tackling these matters.

Posted: May 6th, 2014

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