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Doubts about basic assumption for the universe

No matter where we look, the same rules apply everywhere in space: countless calculations of astrophysics are based on this basic principle. A recent study, however, has thrown this principle into question. Should the measured values be confirmed, this would toss many assumptions about the properties of the universe overboard.

Apr 8th, 2020

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Bacteria in rock deep under sea inspire new search for life on Mars

Newly discovered single-celled creatures living deep beneath the seafloor have given researchers clues about how they might find life on Mars. These bacteria were discovered living in tiny cracks inside volcanic rocks after researchers persisted over a decade of trial and error to find a new way to examine the rocks.

Apr 3rd, 2020

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Astronaut urine to build moon bases

The modules that the major space agencies plan to erect on the Moon could incorporate an element contributed by the human colonizers themselves: the urea in their pee. Researchers have found that it could be used as a plasticizer in the concrete of the structures.

Mar 27th, 2020

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Paired with super telescopes, model Earths guide hunt for life

Astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet's evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth's own geologic epochs. The models will be spectral templates for astronomers to use in the approaching new era of powerful telescopes, and in the hunt for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems.

Mar 27th, 2020

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Star formation project maps nearby interstellar clouds

Astronomers have captured new, detailed maps of three nearby interstellar gas clouds containing regions of ongoing high-mass star formation. The results of this survey, called the Star Formation Project, will help improve our understanding of the star formation process.

Mar 23rd, 2020

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The strange orbits of 'Tatooine' planetary disks (w/video)

Astronomers have found striking orbital geometries in protoplanetary disks around binary stars. While disks orbiting the most compact binary star systems share very nearly the same plane, disks encircling wide binaries have orbital planes that are severely tilted. These systems can teach us about planet formation in complex environments.

Mar 19th, 2020

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Astrophysicists wear 3D glasses to watch quasars

Researchers have shown a way to determine the origins and nature of quasar light by its polarization. The new approach is analogous to the way cinema glasses produce a 3D image by feeding each eye with the light of a particular polarization: either horizontal or vertical.

Mar 13th, 2020

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