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Hubble traces the migration of white dwarfs

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, collected a census of young white dwarf stars beginning their migration from the crowded centre of an ancient star cluster to its less populated outskirts. The new results challenge our ideas about how and when a star loses its mass near the end of its life.

Posted: May 14th, 2015

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Cause of galactic death: Strangulation

As murder mysteries go, it's a big one: how do galaxies die and what kills them? A new study has found that the primary cause of galactic death is strangulation, which occurs after galaxies are cut off from the raw materials needed to make new stars.

Posted: May 14th, 2015

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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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