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Simulated Mars mission reveals body's sodium rhythms

Researchers report that - in contrast to the prevailing dogma - sodium levels fluctuate rhythmically with 7-day and monthly cycles. The findings, which demonstrate that sodium is stored in the body, have implications for blood pressure control, hypertension and salt-associated cardiovascular risk.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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Galaxy's gamma-ray flares erupted far from its black hole

In 2011, a months-long blast of energy launched by an enormous black hole almost 11 billion years ago swept past Earth. Using a combination of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), the world's largest radio telescope, astronomers have zeroed in on the source of this ancient outburst.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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Exocomets may be as common as exoplanets

The discovery by astronomers of six likely comets around distant stars suggests that comets - dubbed "exocomets" - are just as common in other stellar systems with planets.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2013

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At least one in six stars has an Earth-sized planet

A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17 percent of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury. Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2013

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Carbon in Vesta's craters

Large impacts of asteroids may have transferred carbonaceous material to the protoplanet and inner solar system.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2013

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Celestial flybys set to thrill

Astronomers are gearing up for thrills this year when Earth gets buzzed by two rogue asteroids and two comets, including a wanderer last seen by the forerunners of mankind.

Posted: Jan 6th, 2013

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Big Bang under the microscope

Scientists have replaced the telescope by the microscope: Using the similarities between the structure of a crystal and the state of the cosmos in the early universe, they have explored a yet unconfirmed phenomenon, the formation of cosmic strings. These so-called "topological defects" are believed to have formed as the universe expanded shortly after the Big Bang.

Posted: Jan 4th, 2013

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Astrophysicists make stellar discovery about galaxies far, far away

A new study observes 13 smaller satellite galaxies orbiting around the immense Andromeda galaxy in a way similar to how the planets in our solar system orbit around the sun. The galaxies are orbiting on a thin, pancake-like plane at a scale 900 million times larger than our own solar system.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2013

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