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Space Exploration News

The latest news about space exploration and technologies,
astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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When did galaxies settle down?

Astronomers have long sought to understand exactly how the universe evolved from its earliest history to the cosmos we see around us in the present day. In particular, the way that galaxies form and develop is still a matter for debate. Now a group of researchers have used the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of people that volunteer for the Galaxy Zoo project to shed some light on this problem.

Posted: Oct 30th, 2014

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Planet-forming lifeline discovered in a binary star system

Astronomers have detected a streamer of dust and gas flowing from a massive outer disk toward the inner reaches of a binary star system. This never-before-seen feature may be responsible for sustaining a second, smaller disk of planet-forming material that otherwise would have disappeared long ago.

Posted: Oct 29th, 2014

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Planck 2013 results

Astronomy and Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013. This series of papers presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset.

Posted: Oct 29th, 2014

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Laser experiments mimic cosmic explosions and planetary cores

Researchers are finding ways to understand some of the mysteries of space without leaving earth. Using high-intensity lasers focused on targets smaller than a pencil's eraser, they conducted experiments to create colliding jets of plasma knotted by plasma filaments and self-generated magnetic fields, reaching pressures a billion times higher than seen on earth.

Posted: Oct 28th, 2014

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Thermodiffusion in weightlessness

Thermodiffusion, also called the Soret effect, is a mechanism by which an imposed temperature difference establishes a concentration difference within a mixture. Two recent studies provide a better understanding of such effects. They build on recent experimental results from the Influence Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids research project performed on the International Space Station under microgravity to avoid motion in the liquids.

Posted: Oct 27th, 2014

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Understanding and predicting solar flares

Scientists have identified a key phenomenon in the triggering of solar flares. Using satellite data and models, the scientists were able to monitor the evolution of the solar magnetic field in a region with eruptive behavior.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2014

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Intelligent materials that work in space

ARQUIMEA will be testing technology it has developed in the International Space Station. The technology is based on intelligent materials that allow objects to be sent into orbit without the use of explosives.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2014

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The perfume of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

How does a comet smell? Since early August the Rosetta Orbiter Sensor for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) is sniffing the fumes of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko with its two mass spectrometers. The detected chemistry in the coma of the comet is surprisingly rich already at more than 400 million kilometres from the Sun.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2014

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New window on the early Universe

Scientists see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from galaxies at the edge of the Universe. Using two world-class supercomputers, the researchers were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach by simulating the formation of a massive galaxy at the dawn of cosmic time.

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2014

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Big black holes can block new stars

Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2014

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Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old spacecraft data.

Posted: Oct 20th, 2014

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Explosion first evidence of a hydrogen-deficient supernova progenitor

A new model provides the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova. The model predicts that a bright hot star, which is the binary companion to an exploding object, remains after the explosion.The findings have important implications for the evolution of massive stars.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2014

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Tiny 'nanoflares' might heat the Sun's corona

Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Researchers have now found that miniature solar flares called 'nanoflares' - and the speedy electrons they produce - might partly be the source of that heat, at least in some of the hottest parts of the Sun's corona.

Posted: Oct 16th, 2014

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Wobbling of a Saturn moon hints at what lies beneath

Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas, the closest of Saturn's regular moons, an astronomer has inferred that this small moon's icy surface cloaks either a rugby ball-shaped rocky core or a sloshing sub-surface ocean.

Posted: Oct 16th, 2014

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