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Phoenix cluster sets record pace at forming stars

Astronomers have found an extraordinary galaxy cluster, one of the largest objects in the universe, that is breaking several important cosmic records. Observations of the Phoenix cluster with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the National Science Foundation's South Pole Telescope, and eight other world-class observatories may force astronomers to rethink how these colossal structures and the galaxies that inhabit them evolve.

Posted: Aug 15th, 2012

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Recreating a slice of the universe

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and their colleagues at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have invented a new computational approach that can accurately follow the birth and evolution of thousands of galaxies over billions of years. For the first time it is now possible to build a universe from scratch that brims with galaxies like we observe around us.

Posted: Aug 15th, 2012

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Keeping up with Curiosity

When Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on August 5, John Grotzinger, the mission's chief scientist and the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at Caltech, was given the 'keys' to the car-sized rover.

Posted: Aug 10th, 2012

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NASA's Curiosity beams back a color 360 of Gale Crater

The first images from Curiosity's color Mast Camera, or Mastcam, have been received by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The 130 low-resolution thumbnails, which were received Thursday morning, provide scientists and engineers of NASA's newest Mars rover their first color, horizon-to-horizon glimpse of Gale Crater.

Posted: Aug 9th, 2012

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Plenty of dark matter near the Sun

An international team of researchers used a state-of-the-art simulation of the Milky Way to test their mass-measuring method before applying it to real data. This threw up a number of surprises: they noticed that standard techniques used over the past twenty years were biased, always tending to underestimate the amount of dark matter.

Posted: Aug 9th, 2012

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Transformed X-48c flies successfully

The aircraft, designed by The Boeing Co. and built by Cranfield Aerospace Limited of the United Kingdom, is flying again in partnership with NASA. The new X-48C model, which was formerly the X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft, was modified to evaluate the low-speed stability and control of a low-noise version of a notional, future Hybrid Wing Body aircraft design.

Posted: Aug 7th, 2012

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Astronomers crack mystery of the 'monster' stars

In 2010 scientists discovered four 'monster' sized stars, with the heaviest more than 300 times as massive as our Sun. Scientists have now found an explanation: the ultramassive stars were created from the merger of lighter stars in tight binary systems.

Posted: Aug 7th, 2012

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NASA lands Curiosity rover beside Martian mountain

NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

Posted: Aug 6th, 2012

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Are we alone? NASA's Mars rover aims to find out

Are we alone? Or was there life on another planet? NASA's $2.5 billion dream machine, the Mars Science Laboratory, aims to take the first steps toward finding out when it nears Mars' surface on Monday. NASA said it will find out if its Mars Science Laboratory and rover, Curiosity - designed to hunt for soil-based signatures of life and send back data to prepare for a future human mission - landed safely at 1:31 am Eastern time on Monday.

Posted: Aug 5th, 2012

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NASA investigates proton radiation effects on cells

A team of researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., has found radiation from protons could further enhance a process that occurs during tumor progression. This information may help lead to better methods to protect astronauts from the harmful effects of radiation in space, as well as help cancer researchers on Earth better understand the effects of radiation treatment on the human body.

Posted: Aug 4th, 2012

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