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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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The odd couple - two very different gas clouds in the galaxy next door

ESO's Very Large Telescope has captured an intriguing star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud - one of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies. This sharp image reveals two distinctive glowing clouds of gas: Red-hued NGC 2014, and its blue neighbour NGC 2020. While they are very different, they were both sculpted by powerful stellar winds from extremely hot newborn stars that also radiate into the gas, causing it to glow brightly.

Posted: Aug 7th, 2013

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Explosion illuminates invisible galaxy in the dark ages

More than 12 billion years ago a star exploded, glowing so brightly that it outshone its entire galaxy by a million times. This brilliant flash traveled across space for 12.7 billion years to a planet that hadn't even existed at the time of the explosion -- our Earth. By analyzing this light, astronomers learned about a galaxy that was otherwise too small, faint and far away for even the Hubble Space Telescope to see.

Posted: Aug 6th, 2013

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Astronomers image lowest-mass exoplanet around a sun-like star

Using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, an international team of astronomers has imaged a giant planet around the bright star GJ 504. Several times the mass of Jupiter and similar in size, the new world, dubbed GJ 504b, is the lowest-mass planet ever detected around a star like the sun using direct imaging techniques.

Posted: Aug 5th, 2013

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Hubble finds 'smoking gun' after gamma-ray burst

Probing the location of a recent short-duration gamma-ray burst in near-infrared light, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope found the fading fireball produced in the aftermath of the blast. The afterglow reveals for the first time a new kind of stellar blast called a kilonova.

Posted: Aug 3rd, 2013

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A cometary graveyard

Astronomers have discovered a graveyard of comets. The researchers describe how some of these objects, inactive for millions of years, have returned to life leading them to name the group the 'Lazarus comets'.

Posted: Aug 2nd, 2013

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Why galaxies seemingly grow in old age

On average, galaxies that no longer form stars are larger today than they were several billion years ago. However, this has nothing to do with individual galaxies merging with others, as was long thought to be the case, concludes ETH-Zurich professor Marcella Carollo after evaluating data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Posted: Aug 2nd, 2013

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Saturn moon's mystery plume influenced by tides

Using Cassini data, Cornell astronomers have determined that the amount of water vapor and ice erupting from Enceladus depends on tidal forces from Saturn - the same phenomenon that creates tides on Earth.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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Laser communication set for Moon misison

An advanced laser system offering vastly faster data speeds is now ready for linking with spacecraft beyond our planet following a series of crucial ground tests. Later this year, ESA's observatory in Spain will use the laser to communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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