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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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ALMA weighs supermassive black hole at center of distant spiral galaxy

In a new proof-of-concept observation, astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have measured the mass of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1097. The researchers determined that this galaxy harbors a black hole 140 million times more massive than our Sun.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2015

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Twisted magnetic field in galaxy IC 342

Magnetic fields exist everywhere in the Universe, but what role do they play in the evolution of cosmic objects? In their detailed data of the nearby galaxy IC 342, astronomers have discovered a magnetic field aligned along the optical spiral arms. These observations could help to discover answers to the question of how galaxies evolve and develop further.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2015

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Hubble views a bizarre cosmic quartet

This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a gathering of four cosmic companions. This quartet forms part of a group of galaxies known as the Hickson Compact Group 16, or HCG 16 - a galaxy group bursting with dramatic star formation, tidal tails, galactic mergers and black holes.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2015

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Seeing where stars collide

Scientists have imaged a cluster of stars, heavily obscured by material in our galaxy, where stars are so densely packed that it is likely a rare environment where stars can collide.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2015

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Best observational evidence of first generation stars in the universe

Astronomers have used ESO's Very Large Telescope to peer back into the ancient Universe, to a period known as reionisation, approximately 800 million years after the Big Bang. Instead of conducting a narrow and deep study of a small area of the sky, they broadened their scope to produce the widest survey of very distant galaxies ever attempted.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2015

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Why the Sun's atmosphere is hotter than its surface

How can the temperature of the Sun's atmosphere be as high as 1 million degrees Celsius when its surface temperature is only around 6000 degrees? By simulating the evolution of part of the Sun's interior and exterior, researchers have identified the mechanisms that provide sufficient energy to heat the solar atmosphere.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2015

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Scientists find methane in Mars meteorites

The researchers examined samples from six meteorites of volcanic rock that originated on Mars. The meteorites contain gases in the same proportion and with the same isotopic composition as the Martian atmosphere. All six samples also contained methane, which was measured by crushing the rocks and running the emerging gas through a mass spectrometer.

Posted: Jun 16th, 2015

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NOEMA takes a look into a distant stellar delivery room

Astronomers have succeeded in recording the first image with the most sensitive millimetre radio telescope in the northern hemisphere: The installation known as NOEMA provided a spectacular image of a previously unknown region of massive star formation in the Medusa Merger - a brightly shining pair of colliding of galaxies.

Posted: Jun 16th, 2015

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Unveiling the ancient climate of Mars

The high seas of Mars may never have existed. According to a new study that looks at two opposite climate scenarios of early Mars, a cold and icy planet billions of years ago better explains water drainage and erosion features seen on the planet today.

Posted: Jun 15th, 2015

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Astronomers create array of Earth-like planet models

To sort out the biological intricacies of Earth-like planets, astronomers have developed computer models that examine how ultraviolet radiation from other planets? nearby suns may affect those worlds, according to new research.

Posted: Jun 15th, 2015

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Automated ion analyzer for space missions

The German Aerospace Center is scheduled to launch its Eu:CROPIS research satellite into orbit in early 2017. Its purpose is to test a biological life-support system for future human space missions. The satellite's payload includes an ion analyzer. This compact device will automatically monitor all of the system's internal processes.

Posted: Jun 15th, 2015

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The search for Philae - like a needle in a haystack

The search for the three-legged lander is complex because even when fully illuminated by the Sun, Philae will be just a few pixels across in images acquired by the Rosetta orbiter's Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS).

Posted: Jun 11th, 2015

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