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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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NASA launches new carbon-sensing mission to monitor Earth's breathing

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 soon will begin a minimum two-year mission to locate Earth's sources of and storage places for atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas responsible for warming our world and a critical component of the planet?s carbon cycle.

Posted: Jul 2nd, 2014

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A stellar womb shaped and destroyed by its ungrateful offspring

The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.

Posted: Jul 2nd, 2014

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Revisiting the early Universe

In the first fleeting milliseconds after the Big Bang, the Universe consisted of a superdense soup of quarks and gluons that were hundreds of thousands of times hotter than the Sun. Over the next 14 billion years, the Universe stretched and cooled, leaving traces of the original brew trapped inside the protons and neutrons of atoms. Scientists are smashing atoms together at high speeds to liberate and observe these remnants of the early Universe and gain a better understanding of our cosmic beginnings.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2014

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China aims for rover on Mars by 2020

China plans to land a rover vehicle on Mars in 2020 and bring back soil samples from the planet a decade later, a top scientist with the country's lunar probe mission said yesterday.

Posted: Jun 26th, 2014

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Titan's building blocks might be older than Saturn

A new study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud. The finding rules out the possibility that Titan's building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.

Posted: Jun 26th, 2014

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Trio of supermassive black holes shake space-time

Astronomers have discovered three closely orbiting supermassive black holes in a galaxy more than 4 billion light years away. This is the tightest trio of black holes known to date. The discovery suggests that such closely packed supermassive black holes are far more common than previously thought.

Posted: Jun 25th, 2014

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Curiosity travels through ancient glaciers on Mars

3,500 million years ago the Martian crater Gale, through which the NASA rover Curiosity is currently traversing, was covered with glaciers, mainly over its central mound. Very cold liquid water also flowed through its rivers and lakes on the lower-lying areas, forming landscapes similar to those which can be found in Iceland or Alaska. This is reflected in an analysis of the images taken by the spacecraft orbiting the red planet.

Posted: Jun 25th, 2014

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