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Giant stars undergo dramatic weight loss program

Astronomers have found a slimmer type of red giant star for the first time. These stars have undergone dramatic weight loss, possibly due to a greedy companion. The discovery is an important step forward to understanding the life of stars in the Milky Way.

Apr 14th, 2022

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MAGIC telescopes observe nova explosion shining brightly in gamma rays at extremely high energy

The MAGIC telescopes have observed the nova RS Ophiuchi shining brightly in gamma rays at extremely high energy. The Gamma rays emanate from protons that are accelerated to very high energies in the shock front following the explosion. This suggests that novae are also a source of the ubiquitous cosmic radiation in the universe which consists mainly of protons rich in energy, which race through space at almost the speed of light.

Apr 14th, 2022

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Hubble confirms largest comet nucleus ever seen

The nucleus is about 50 times larger than found at the heart of most known comets. Its mass is estimated to be a staggering 500 trillion tons, a hundred thousand times greater than the mass of a typical comet found much closer to the Sun.

Apr 12th, 2022

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Astronomers capture surprising changes in Neptune's temperatures

An international team of astronomers have used ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, to track Neptune's atmospheric temperatures over a 17-year period. They found a surprising drop in Neptune's global temperatures followed by a dramatic warming at its south pole.

Apr 11th, 2022

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Astronomers discover a new type of freak stars covered in helium burning ashes

While normal stars have surfaces composed of hydrogen and helium, the newly discovered stars have their surfaces covered with carbon and oxygen, the ashes of He-burning - a very exotic composition for a star. The situation becomes more puzzling because the new stars have temperatures and radii that indicate they are still burning helium in their cores.

Apr 8th, 2022

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10 new gravitational waves found in LIGO-Virgo's O3a data

Astrophysicists re-examined LIGO-Virgo's O3a data and found 10 additional black hole mergers, all outside the detection threshold of the original analysis. The new mergers hint at exotic astrophysical scenarios that, for now, are only possible to study using gravitational wave astronomy.

Apr 8th, 2022

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Hubble probes extreme weather on ultra-hot Jupiters

In two new papers, teams of Hubble astronomers are reporting on bizarre weather conditions on these sizzling worlds. It's raining vaporized rock on one planet, and another one has its upper atmosphere getting hotter rather than cooler because it is being 'sunburned' by intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation from its star.

Apr 6th, 2022

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Hubble finds a planet forming in an unconventional way

The Hubble Space Telescope has directly photographed evidence of a Jupiter-like protoplanet forming through what researchers describe as an 'intense and violent process'. This discovery supports a long-debated theory for how planets like Jupiter form, called 'disk instability'.

Apr 4th, 2022

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