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Neutron stars on the brink of collapse

Neutron stars are the densest objects in the Universe; however, their exact characteristics remain unknown. Using simulations based on recent observations, a team of scientists has managed to narrow down the size of these stars.

Posted: Dec 4th, 2017

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Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war

Nature whispers its stories in a faint molecular language, and scientists can finally tell one of those stories this week, thanks to a one-of-a-kind instrument that allowed them to hear what the atmosphere is saying with rare nitrogen molecules.

Posted: Nov 18th, 2017

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Interstellar space probes: Where's the brakes?

With a miniaturised space probe capable of being accelerated to a quarter of the speed of light, we could reach Alpha Centauri, our nearest star, in 20 to 50 years. However, without a mechanism to slow it down, the space probe could only collect data from the star and its planets as it zoomed past.

Posted: Nov 17th, 2017

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Nearby pulsars shed light on the antimatter puzzle

There are too many high-energy positrons in the cosmic rays reaching the Earth. These positrons could be being produced by pulsars in our vicinity. The most recent measurements have practically excluded this possibility, strengthening the competing and much more exotic hypothesis concerning the origin of the excess positrons.

Posted: Nov 17th, 2017

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Contracting white dwarf observed for the first time

Astrophysicists have found the first observational evidence for a contracting white dwarf. Constant high spin-up rate of a star of this type, located in an enigmatic binary system, can be easily explained if the white dwarf is contracting.

Posted: Nov 14th, 2017

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Winds blowing off a dying star

Stars like our Sun eject large amounts of gas and dust into space, containing various elements and compounds. Asymptotic giant branch -- AGB -- phase stars, near their end of life, are particularly significant sources of such substances in our galaxy.

Posted: Nov 10th, 2017

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