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Protosuns teeming with prebiotic molecules

Complex organic molecules such as formamide, from which sugars, amino acids and even nucleic acids essential for life can be made, already appear in the regions where stars similar to our Sun are born. Astrophysicists have detected this biomolecule in five protostellar clouds and propose that it forms on tiny dust grains.

Apr 16th, 2015

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Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies

After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE satellite has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization's technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths.

Apr 14th, 2015

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Mars might have liquid water

Researchers have long known that there is water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate has been found in the soil, which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty salt water - a brine.

Apr 13th, 2015

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Accelerating universe? Not so fast

A team of astronomers found that the type of supernovae commonly used to measure distances in the universe fall into distinct populations not recognized before; the findings have implications for our understanding of how fast the universe has been.

Apr 12th, 2015

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An exoplanet with an infernal atmosphere

As part of the PlanetS National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), astronomers have come to measure the temperature of the atmosphere of an exoplanet with unequalled precision, by crossing two approaches.

Apr 10th, 2015

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Hubble finds ghosts of quasars past

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged a set of enigmatic quasar ghosts - ethereal green objects which mark the graves of these objects that flickered to life and then faded. The eight unusual looped structures orbit their host galaxies and glow in a bright and eerie goblin-green hue. They offer new insights into the turbulent pasts of these galaxies.

Apr 2nd, 2015

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Black holes don't erase information, scientists say

Some physicists have argued that black holes are the ultimate vault, sucking in information and then evaporating without leaving behind any clue as to what they once contained. A new study shows this perspective may be wrong. The research finds that information is not lost once it has entered a black hole, and presents explicit calculations showing how information is, in fact, preserved.

Apr 2nd, 2015

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