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First biological evidence of a supernova

In fossil remnants of iron-loving bacteria, researchers of the Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), found a radioactive iron isotope that they trace back to a supernova in our cosmic neighborhood. This is the first proven biological signature of a starburst on our earth. The age determination of the deep-drill core from the Pacific Ocean showed that the supernova must have occurred about 2.2 million years ago, roughly around the time when the modern human developed.

May 8th, 2013

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ALMA Compact Array completed and named after Japanese astronomer

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has reached another milestone with the delivery of the last antenna forming the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) to the ALMA high site. The ACA is a subset of 16 closely separated antennas that will greatly improve ALMA's ability to study celestial objects with a large angular size, such as molecular clouds and nearby galaxies.

May 7th, 2013

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New analysis suggests wind, not water, formed mound on Mars

Researchers suggest that Mars' roughly 3.5-mile high Mount Sharp most likely emerged as strong winds carried dust and sand into Gale Crater where the mound sits. If correct, the research could dilute expectations that the mound is the remnant of a massive lake, which would have important implications for understanding Mars' past habitability.

May 6th, 2013

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NASA's Fermi, Swift see 'shockingly bright' burst

A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced the highest-energy light ever detected from such an event.

May 5th, 2013

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Telling time on Saturn

A University of Iowa undergraduate student has discovered that a process occurring in Saturn's magnetosphere is linked to the planet's seasons and changes with them, a finding that helps clarify the length of a Saturn day and could alter our understanding of the Earth's magnetosphere.

May 3rd, 2013

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Studying meteorites may reveal Mars' secrets of life

In an effort to determine if conditions were ever right on Mars to sustain life, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University professor, has examined a meteorite that formed on the red planet more than a billion years ago.

May 2nd, 2013

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An anarchic region of star formation

The Danish 1.54-meter telescope located at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a striking image of NGC 6559, an object that showcases the anarchy that reigns when stars form inside an interstellar cloud.

May 2nd, 2013

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The day NASA's Fermi dodged a 1.5-ton bullet (w/ video)

While Fermi is in fine shape today, continuing its mission to map the highest-energy light in the universe, the story of how it sidestepped a potential disaster offers a glimpse at an underappreciated aspect of managing a space mission: orbital traffic control.

May 1st, 2013

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Colossal hot cloud envelopes colliding galaxies

Scientists have used Chandra to make a detailed study of an enormous cloud of hot gas enveloping two large, colliding galaxies. This unusually large reservoir of gas contains as much mass as 10 billion Suns, spans about 300,000 light years, and radiates at a temperature of more than 7 million degrees.

Apr 30th, 2013

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