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Moon radiation findings may reduce health risks to astronauts

Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire and the Southwest Research Institute report that data gathered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show lighter materials like plastics provide effective shielding against the radiation hazards faced by astronauts during extended space travel. The finding could help reduce health risks to humans on future missions into deep space.

Jun 11th, 2013

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Cosmic quiver: Saturn's vibrations create spirals in rings

Astronomers know that gravity from Saturn's various moons tug at the planet's rings and make spirals in them. But the catalyst for certain spiral patterns has been difficult to pin down. Now, two Cornell astronomers have determined the source: Saturn itself.

Jun 11th, 2013

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Black hole naps amidst stellar chaos

Nearly a decade ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory caught signs of what appeared to be a black hole snacking on gas at the middle of the nearby Sculptor galaxy. Now, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), which sees higher-energy X-ray light, has taken a peek and found the black hole asleep.

Jun 11th, 2013

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The floodwaters of Mars

Dramatic flood events carved this impressive channel system on Mars covering 1.55 million square kilometres, shown here in a stunning new mosaic from ESA's Mars Express.

Jun 6th, 2013

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'Dust trap' around distant star may solve planet formation mystery

Based on a treasure trove of recent discoveries, astronomers now know that planets are remarkably plentiful in our galaxy and may be common throughout the Universe. Though planets appear to form readily, the actual process of planet formation remains a mystery and astronomers are searching for the missing pieces to this cosmic puzzle.

Jun 6th, 2013

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Lightest exoplanet imaged so far?

Nine years after ESO's Very Large Telescope captured the first image of an exoplanet, the planetary companion to the brown dwarf 2M1207, the same team has caught on camera what is probably the lightest of these objects so far.

Jun 3rd, 2013

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