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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Understanding clouds as a necessary ingredient in the search for life: Case study of the exoplanet Kepler-7b

An international team, with participation from the University of Bern, has produced the first map of clouds on an exoplanet using the Kepler Space Telescope. Studying the atmospheres of exoplanets is the path towards ultimately identifying life elsewhere in the Universe. Understanding the role of clouds in exoplanet atmospheres is a necessary ingredient in the cosmic hunt for life.

Posted: Sep 26th, 2013

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'Jekyll and Hyde' star morphs from radio to X-ray pulsar and back again

Astronomers have uncovered the strange case of a neutron star with the peculiar ability to transform from a radio pulsar into an X-ray pulsar and back again. This star's capricious behavior appears to be fueled by a nearby companion star and may give new insights into the birth of millisecond pulsars.

Posted: Sep 25th, 2013

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Ultra-fast electrons explain third radiation ring around Earth (w/video)

In the already complicated science of what creates -- and causes constant change in -- two giant doughnuts of radiation surrounding Earth, researchers have added a new piece of information: Some of the electrons reach such enormous energies that they are driven by an entirely different set of physical processes.

Posted: Sep 24th, 2013

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Evidence for densest galaxy In the nearby universe

The densest galaxy in the nearby Universe may have been found. Packed with an extraordinary number of stars, this unusual galaxy is providing astronomers with clues to its intriguing past and how it fits into the galactic evolutionary chain.

Posted: Sep 24th, 2013

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The future of space exploration is robotic

Responding to a space exploration roadmap recently released by NASA and the International Space Exploration Coordination Group that calls for robotic and human missions to near-Earth asteroids, the Moon and Mars, Srilanth Saripalli argues that most of the arguments in favor of manned space exploration are based on near-sighted assumptions about emerging developments in robotics.

Posted: Sep 23rd, 2013

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Scientists explain the formation of unusual ring of radiation in space

Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts, scientists believed these belts consisted of two rings of highly charged particles. In February, scientists reported the discovery of a previously unknown third radiation ring - a narrow ring that briefly circled the Earth for a month. UCLA space scientists have successfully modeled and explained the unprecedented behavior of this third ring, and show that its energetic particles are driven by very different physics than the others.

Posted: Sep 22nd, 2013

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ESA's Cluster satellites in closest-ever 'dance in space'

Since 2000, the four identical satellites of the Cluster quartet have been probing Earth's magnetosphere in three dimensions. This week, two of them made their closest-ever approach, just 4 km, enabling valuable data to be acquired with unprecedented detail.

Posted: Sep 20th, 2013

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Curiosity Rover detects no methane on Mars

Data from NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by U.S. and international scientists indicated positive detections.

Posted: Sep 19th, 2013

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