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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Search for extraterrestrial life more difficult than thought

A new study suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought. The study finds the method used to detect biosignatures on such planets, known as exoplanets, can produce a false positive result.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2014

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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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