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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Experiment on Earth demonstrates effect observed in space

Streaming jets of high-speed matter produce some of the stunning objects seen in space. Astronomers have seen them shooting out of young stars just being formed, X-ray binary stars and supermassive black holes at the centers of large galaxies. Theoretical explanations for what causes those beam-like jets have been around for years, but now an experiment by French and American researchers using extremely high-powered lasers offers experimental verification of one proposed mechanism for creating them.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2014

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Star is discovered to be a close neighbor of the Sun and the coldest of its kind

A 'brown dwarf' star that appears to be the coldest of its kind has been discovered by a Penn State University astronomer using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Spitzer Space Telescopes. Images from the space telescopes also pinpointed the object's distance at 7.2 light-years away, making it the fourth closest system to our Sun.

Posted: Apr 26th, 2014

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Move over exoplanets, exomoons may harbour life too

Although more than 1,000 exoplanets have been discovered since the first one was found in 1995, only a handful of those are thought to be habitable, at least by life as we know it. New research shows that exomoons, too, could provide habitable environments.

Posted: Apr 25th, 2014

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Cosmic illusion revealed

A team of researchers has announced the discovery of a galaxy that magnified a background, Type Ia supernova thirty-fold through gravitational lensing. This first example of strong gravitational lensing of a supernova confirms the team's previous explanation for the unusual properties of this supernova.

Posted: Apr 24th, 2014

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Cracker-sized satellites launch into orbit

After years of planning and several last-minute delays, about 100 Cornell-developed mini satellites demonstrating space flight at its simplest have launched into orbit and are now circling Earth.

Posted: Apr 24th, 2014

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Asteroids made easy

A team at Arizona State University is building its own 'patch of asteroid' inside of a small spinning satellite that will allow researchers to conduct experiments with the rocks in space.

Posted: Apr 23rd, 2014

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Liquid spacetime

What if spacetime were a kind of fluid? This is the question tackled by theoretical physicists working on quantum gravity by creating models attempting to reconcile gravity and quantum mechanics.

Posted: Apr 23rd, 2014

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Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

Posted: Apr 17th, 2014

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Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in 'habitable zone'

Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the 'habitable zone' - the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.

Posted: Apr 17th, 2014

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