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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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The dark side of star clusters

Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of 'dark' globular star clusters around the giant galaxy Centaurus A. These mysterious objects look similar to normal clusters, but contain much more mass and may either harbor unexpected amounts of dark matter, or contain massive black holes - neither of which was expected nor is understood.

Posted: May 13th, 2015

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Europa's mystery dark material could be sea salt

NASA laboratory experiments suggest the dark material coating some geological features of Jupiter's moon Europa is likely sea salt from a subsurface ocean, discolored by exposure to radiation. The presence of sea salt on Europa's surface suggests the ocean is interacting with its rocky seafloor - an important consideration in determining whether the icy moon could support life.

Posted: May 12th, 2015

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Probing the secrets of the universe inside a metal box

Record-smashing new shield creates a large volume with a magnetic field even smaller than that found in the depths of outer space, making certain types of searches for physics beyond the Standard Model possible for the first time.

Posted: May 12th, 2015

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The weakest magnetic field in the solar system

Magnetic fields easily penetrate matter. Creating a space practically devoid of magnetic fields thus presents a great challenge. An international team of physicists has now developed a shielding that dampens low frequency magnetic fields more than a million-fold. Using this mechanism, they have created a space that boasts the weakest magnetic field of our solar system.

Posted: May 12th, 2015

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MESSENGER reveals Mercury's magnetic field secrets

New data from MESSENGER, the spacecraft that orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into the planet a week ago, reveals Mercury's magnetic field is almost four billion years old. The discovery helps scientists piece together the history of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun and one about which we knew very little before MESSENGER.

Posted: May 7th, 2015

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Hubble finds giant halo around the Andromeda galaxy

Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that the immense halo of gas enveloping the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest massive galactic neighbor, is about six times larger and 1,000 times more massive than previously measured. The dark, nearly invisible halo stretches about a million light-years from its host galaxy, halfway to our own Milky Way galaxy.

Posted: May 7th, 2015

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Improved detection of radio waves from space

Researchers have developed a very sensitive high frequency amplifier for radio telescopes used on Earth. The amplifier generates extremely little internal electromagnetic noise and will help measure our planet from space more precisely than ever before.

Posted: May 6th, 2015

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