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Unravelling the mystery of gamma-ray bursts

A team of scientists hope to trace the origins of gamma-ray bursts with the aid of giant space 'microphones.' Researchers are trying to work out the possible sounds scientists might expect to hear when the ultra-sensitive LIGO and Virgo detectors are switched on in 2015.

Nov 20th, 2014

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A jettisoned black hole?

Astronomers have discovered an object in space that might be a black hole catapulted out of a galaxy. Or, according to an alternative interpretation, it might be a giant star that is exploding over an exceptionally long period of several decades. In any case, one thing is certain: This mysterious object is something quite unique, a source of fascination for physicists the world over because of its potential to provide experimental confirmation of the much-discussed gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein.

Nov 19th, 2014

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Spooky alignment of quasars across billions of light-years

Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the universe. A research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years. Also found was that the rotation axes of these quasars tend to be aligned with the structures in the cosmic web in which they reside.

Nov 19th, 2014

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Physicists suggest new way to detect dark matter

For years physicists have been looking for the universe's elusive dark matter, but so far no one has seen any trace of it. Maybe we are looking in the wrong place? Now physicists from University of Southern Denmark propose a new technique to detect dark matter.

Nov 18th, 2014

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Research suggests warmth, flowing water on early Mars were episodic

There is ample evidence that water once flowed on the surface of ancient Mars. But that evidence is difficult to reconcile with the latest generation of climate models that suggest Mars should have been eternally icy. A new study suggest that warming and water flow on Mars were probably episodic and related to ancient volcanic eruptions.

Nov 17th, 2014

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Galaxy evolution: Caught in the act

One of the mysteries of the Universe is the question of how all the galaxies we see around us came to be. Astronomers have now uncovered new insights into the processes that have shaped galaxies, using the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope.

Nov 14th, 2014

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The answer is blowing in the intergalactic wind

Astronomers have provided the first direct evidence that an intergalactic 'wind' is stripping galaxies of star-forming gas as they fall into clusters of galaxies. The observations help explain why galaxies found in clusters are known to have relatively little gas and less star formation when compared to non-cluster or 'field' galaxies.

Nov 13th, 2014

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First observations of the surfaces of objects from the Oort Cloud

Astronomers are announcing today the discovery of two unusual objects in comet-like orbits that originate in the Oort cloud but with almost no activity, giving scientists a first look at their surfaces. These results are particularly intriguing because the surfaces are different from what astronomers expected.

Nov 11th, 2014

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