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Classical nova explosions are major lithium factories in the Universe

Lithium is a key element in the strudy of the chemical evolution of the universe because it likely was and is produced in several ways: through Big Bang nucleosynthesis, in collisions between energetic cosmic rays and the interstellar medium, inside stellar interiors, and as a result of novae and supernova explosions.

Posted: Feb 19th, 2015

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Dark matter guides growth of supermassive black holes

A new study of football-shaped collections of stars called elliptical galaxies provides new insights into the connection between a galaxy and its black hole. It finds that the invisible hand of dark matter somehow influences black hole growth.

Posted: Feb 18th, 2015

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A close call of 0.8 light years

Astronomers identify the closest known flyby of a star to our solar system: A dim star that passed through the Oort Cloud 70,000 years ago.

Posted: Feb 17th, 2015

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The mystery of cosmic oceans and dunes

Simulations by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University indicate that Earth-like planets are more likely to be found orbiting Sun-like stars rather than lower-mass stars that are currently targeted, in terms of water contents of planets.

Posted: Feb 17th, 2015

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Why do starburst galaxies 'burst'?

Starburst galaxies transmute gas into new stars at a dizzying pace - up to 1,000 times faster than typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. To help understand why some galaxies 'burst' while others do not, an international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253, one of the nearest starburst galaxies to the Milky Way.

Posted: Feb 16th, 2015

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Application of laser microprobe technology to Apollo samples refines lunar impact history

It's been more than 40 years since astronauts returned the last Apollo samples from the moon, and since then those samples have undergone some of the most extensive and comprehensive analysis of any geological collection. Researchers have now refined the timeline of meteorite impacts on the moon through a pioneering application of laser microprobe technology to Apollo 17 samples.

Posted: Feb 12th, 2015

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