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The distances of the stars

In 1838, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel won the race to measure the first distance to a star other than our Sun via the trigonometric parallax - setting the first scale of the Universe.

Nov 19th, 2020

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In the mysterious Blue Ring Nebula, scientists see the fate of binary stars

Scientists have discovered a rare object called the Blue Ring Nebula, a ring of hydrogen gas with a star at its center. The properties of this system suggest it is the remnant of two stars meeting their ultimate demise: an inward orbital dance that resulted in the two stars merging. The result offers a new window into the fate of many tightly orbiting binary star systems.

Nov 18th, 2020

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Cosmic flashes come in all different sizes

Fast radio bursts, unpredictable millisecond-long radio signals seen at huge distances across the universe, are generated by extreme stars called magnetars - and are astonishingly diverse in brightness.

Nov 16th, 2020

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Hubble sees unexplained brightness from colossal explosion

Long ago and far across the universe, an enormous burst of gamma rays unleashed more energy in a half-second than the Sun will produce over its entire 10-billion-year lifetime. Astronomers were baffled that the near-infrared emission was 10 times brighter than predicted.

Nov 12th, 2020

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Microbe mining in space

The first mining experiments conducted in space could pave the way for new technologies to help humans explore and establish settlements on distant worlds, a study suggests.

Nov 10th, 2020

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Source of mysterious radio waves from space pinpointed

Three independent studies have found the source of a particular fast radio burst (FRB) - unexplained radio waves that reach us from space and last just a fraction of a second - helping to solve the mystery of what causes the strange phenomenon.

Nov 4th, 2020

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Galaxies have gotten hotter as they've gotten older

The universe is some 13 billion years old and is often imagined as just a vast expanse of dark, almost empty space getting colder with time. Yet new research shows that all of its clusters of galaxies are simultaneously getting hotter as they get older.

Nov 3rd, 2020

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The farthest black hole from a rare family of galaxies

An international team of astronomers has identified the farthest example of a rare class of gamma-ray emitting galaxies. The so-called BL Lacertae object was discovered at cosmic dawn, within the first two billion years of the age of the universe.

Nov 2nd, 2020

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