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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Early Universe less dusty than thought

Dust may be more rare than expected in galaxies of the early Universe, according to an international research team, led by Swinburne University of Technology astrophysicist Dr David Fisher.

Posted: Dec 10th, 2013

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Recipe for a Universe

Apply heat and stir; an expanding universe can emerge in a remarkably simple way, say scientists.

Posted: Dec 10th, 2013

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Hidden details revealed in nearby starburst galaxy

Using the new, high-frequency capabilities of the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, astronomers have captured never-before-seen details of the nearby starburst galaxy M82. These new data highlight streamers of material fleeing the disk of the galaxy as well as concentrations of dense molecular gas surrounding pockets of intense star formation.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

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IRIS provides unprecedented images of Sun

The region located between the surface of the sun and its atmosphere has been revealed as a more violent place than previously understood, according to images and data from NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

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Ancient crater may be clue to Moon's mantle

A massive impact on the Moon about 4 billion years ago left a 2,500-mile crater, among the largest known craters in the solar system. Smaller subsequent impacts left craters within that crater. Comparing the spectra of light reflected from the peaks of those craters may yield clues to the composition of the Moon's lower crust and mantle - and would have implications for models of how the Moon formed.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

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Astronomers discover planet that shouldn't be there

An international team of astronomers, led by a University of Arizona graduate student, has discovered the most distantly orbiting planet found to date around a single, sun-like star. Weighing in at 11 times Jupiter's mass and orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance, planet HD 106906 b is unlike anything in our own Solar System and defies current planet formation theories.

Posted: Dec 5th, 2013

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Glimpsing the infrastructure of a gamma-ray burst jet

A new study using observations from a novel instrument provides the best look to date at magnetic fields at the heart of gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic explosions in the universe. An international team of astronomers from Britain, Slovenia and Italy has glimpsed the infrastructure of a burst's high-speed jet.

Posted: Dec 4th, 2013

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A blast from its past dates the youngest neutron-star binary

X-rays streaming toward Earth from the region near a neutron star that is cannibalizing its companion star have revealed the pair to be the youngest "X-ray binary" yet known. The discovery, by a team that includes a Penn State astronomer, also solves a long-unsolved mystery about this record-breaking object, named Circinus X-1.

Posted: Dec 4th, 2013

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Explosive growth of young star

A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball - a star is born. New research from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, shows that a young, newly formed star in the Milky Way had such an explosive growth, that it was initially about 100 times brighter than it is now.

Posted: Dec 4th, 2013

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Ocean currents shape Europa's icy shell in ways critical for potential habitats

In a finding of relevance to the search for life in our solar system, researchers have shown the subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may have deep currents and circulation patterns with heat and energy transfers capable of sustaining biological life. The findings, summarized in this week's online edition of Nature Geosciences, are based on numerical models accounting for the formation of the chaos terrains, one of Europa's most prominent surface features.

Posted: Dec 3rd, 2013

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