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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Van Allen Probes shed light on decades-old mystery

New research using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes mission helps resolve decades of scientific uncertainty over the origin of ultra-relativistic electrons in Earth's near space environment, and is likely to influence our understanding of planetary magnetospheres throughout the universe.

Posted: Dec 20th, 2013

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Starless cloud cores reveal why some stars are bigger than others

Massive stars present an intriguing mystery: how do they grow so large when the vast majority of stars in the Milky Way are considerably smaller? To find the answer, astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope to survey the cores of some of the darkest, coldest, and densest clouds in our Galaxy to search for the telltale signs of star formation.

Posted: Dec 20th, 2013

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Find a star at Christmas

Scientists developed the 'Loss of the Night app' to quantify the illumination of the night sky caused by artificial light. The app, originally available in only German and English, has now been expanded to support 11 languages in order to get data from as many regions as possible.

Posted: Dec 20th, 2013

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Hubble watches super star create holiday light show

This festive NASA Hubble Space Telescope image resembles a holiday wreath made of sparkling lights. The bright southern hemisphere star RS Puppis, at the center of the image, is swaddled in a gossamer cocoon of reflective dust illuminated by the glittering star. The super star is ten times more massive than our Sun and 200 times larger.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2013

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Astrophysicists to construct the first accurate image of a black hole

Was Einstein right? The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 14 Million Euros to a team of European astrophysicists to construct the first accurate image of a black hole. The team will test the predictions of current theories of gravity, including Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2013

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SMA reveals giant star cluster in the making

W49A might be one of the best-kept secrets in our galaxy. This star-forming region shines 100 times brighter than the Orion nebula, but is so obscured by dust that very little visible or infrared light escapes. The Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array has peered through the dusty fog to provide the first clear view of this stellar nursery.

Posted: Dec 16th, 2013

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