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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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NASA issues 2013 call for visionary advanced technology concepts

NASA's Space Technology Program is looking for visionary advanced concepts. This year's annual call for NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts Program (NIAC) is seeking proposals for revolutionary concepts with the potential to transform future aerospace missions. Proposed concepts should enable new missions or significantly improve current approaches to achieve aerospace objectives.

Posted: Jan 15th, 2013

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Neon lights up exploding stars

An international team of nuclear astrophysicists has shed new light on the explosive stellar events known as novae. The team of scientists measured the nuclear structure of the radioactive neon produced through this process in unprecedented detail.

Posted: Jan 15th, 2013

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Astronomers find massive supply of gas around modern galaxies

Galaxies have a voracious appetite for fuel - in this case, fresh gas - but astronomers have had difficulty finding the pristine gas that should be falling onto galaxies. Now, scientists have provided direct empirical evidence for these gas flows using new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Posted: Jan 14th, 2013

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Dynamic, dark energy in an accelerating universe

If dark energy did not exist, the gravitational pull exerted by matter would slow down the expansion of the universe, but observations have concluded that the opposite is the case.Dark energy is what makes the universe expand in an accelerating way.

Posted: Jan 14th, 2013

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Star Wars: What would hyperspace travel really look like?

The sight of the Millennium Falcon making the "jump to lightspeed" is one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars trilogy. But University of Leicester students have calculated that - in reality - Han, Luke and Leia would not see the light from stars stretching past the ship as we are shown in the movies.

Posted: Jan 14th, 2013

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Nearby dwarf galaxy and possible protogalaxy discovered

Peering deep into the dim edges of a distorted pinwheel galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear), astronomers at Case Western Reserve University and their colleagues have discovered a faint dwarf galaxy and another possible young dwarf caught before it had a chance to form any stars.

Posted: Jan 11th, 2013

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NASA's GALEX reveals the largest-known spiral galaxy

The spectacular barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 has ranked among the biggest stellar systems for decades. Now a team of astronomers from the United States, Chile and Brazil has crowned it the largest-known spiral, based on archival data from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) mission.

Posted: Jan 11th, 2013

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A jumble of exotic stars

A new infrared image from ESO's VISTA telescope shows the globular cluster 47 Tucanae in striking detail. This cluster contains millions of stars, and there are many nestled at its core that are exotic and display unusual properties.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2013

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Life possible on extrasolar moons

In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the solar system. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2013

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Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room

Research by University of Arizona astronomy professor Rodger Thompson finds that a popular alternative to Albert Einstein's theory for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe does not fit newly obtained data on a fundamental constant, the proton to electron mass ratio.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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Next-generation adaptive optics brings remarkable details to light in stellar nursery

A new image released today reveals how Gemini Observatory's most advanced adaptive optics (AO) system will help astronomers study the universe with an unprecedented level of clarity and detail by removing distortions due to the Earth's atmosphere. The photo, featuring an area on the outskirts of the famous Orion Nebula, illustrates the instrument's significant advancements over previous-generation AO systems.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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