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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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20 ExoWorlds are now available for naming proposals

The NameExoWorlds contest, organised by the IAU and Zooniverse, is now entering its next stage. The 20 most popular ExoWorlds have been made available for naming proposals from registered clubs and non-profit organisations.

Posted: Apr 30th, 2015

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New solar telescope unveils the complex dynamics of sunspots' dark cores

Groundbreaking images of the Sun captured by scientists at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) give a first-ever detailed view of the interior structure of umbrae - the dark patches in the center of sunspots - revealing dynamic magnetic fields responsible for the plumes of plasma that emerge as bright dots interrupting their darkness.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2015

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Multifractals suggest the existence of an unknown physical mechanism on the Sun

The famous sunspots on the surface of the Earth's star result from the dynamics of strong magnetic fields, and their numbers are an important indicator of the state of activity on the Sun. Researchers have been conducting multifractal analysis into the changes in the numbers of sunspots. The resulting graphs were surprisingly asymmetrical in shape, suggesting that sunspots may be involved in hitherto unknown physical processes.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2015

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Robotically discovering Earth's nearest neighbors

A team of astronomers using ground-based telescopes in Hawaii, California, and Arizona recently discovered a planetary system orbiting a nearby star that is only 54 light-years away. All three planets orbit their star at a distance closer than Mercury orbits the sun, completing their orbits in just 5, 15, and 24 days.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2015

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The fearsome foursome: Technologies enable ambitious MMS mission

It was unprecedented developing a mission that could fly four identically equipped spacecraft in a tight formation and take measurements 100 times faster than any previous space mission - an achievement enabled in part by four NASA-developed technologies that in some cases took nearly 10 years to mature.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2015

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Water could have been abundant in the first billion years

How soon after the Big Bang could water have existed? Not right away, because water molecules contain oxygen and oxygen had to be formed in the first stars. Then that oxygen had to disperse and unite with hydrogen in significant amounts. New theoretical work finds that despite these complications, water vapor could have been just as abundant in pockets of space a billion years after the Big Bang as it is today.

Posted: Apr 28th, 2015

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Is the universe a hologram?

Describing the universe requires fewer dimensions than we might think; new calculations show that this may not just be a mathematical trick, but a fundamental feature of space itself.

Posted: Apr 27th, 2015

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Astronomers find runaway galaxies

We know of about two dozen runaway stars, and have even found one runaway star cluster escaping its galaxy forever. Now, astronomers have spotted 11 runaway galaxies that have been flung out of their homes to wander the void of intergalactic space.

Posted: Apr 23rd, 2015

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