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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Hubble unveils a colorful view of the universe

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have captured the most comprehensive picture ever assembled of the evolving universe - and one of the most colorful. The study is called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field project.

Posted: Jun 3rd, 2014

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Milky Way may bear 100 million life-giving planets

There are some 100 million other places in the Milky Way galaxy that could support complex life, report a group of university astronomers. They have developed a new computation method to examine data from planets orbiting other stars in the universe.

Posted: Jun 3rd, 2014

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Harsh space weather may doom potential life on red-dwarf planets

Life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought. Recently, astronomers looking for potentially habitable worlds have targeted red dwarf stars because they are the most common type of star, comprising 80 percent of the stars in the universe. But a new study shows that harsh space weather might strip the atmosphere of any rocky planet orbiting in a red dwarf's habitable zone.

Posted: Jun 2nd, 2014

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'Neapolitan' exoplanets come in three flavors

The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We have small, rocky terrestrials like Earth and Mars, and large gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter.

Posted: Jun 2nd, 2014

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Because you can't eat just one: Star will swallow two planets

Two worlds orbiting a distant star are about to become a snack of cosmic proportions. Astronomers announced today that the planets Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively.

Posted: Jun 2nd, 2014

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Astronomers find a new type of planet: The 'mega-Earth'

Astronomers announced today that they have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered 'super-Earths,' making it a 'mega-Earth.'

Posted: Jun 2nd, 2014

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Lasers create table-top supernova

Laser beams 60,000 billion times more powerful than a laser pointer have been used to recreate scaled supernova explosions in the laboratory as a way of investigating one of the most energetic events in the universe.

Posted: Jun 1st, 2014

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Water in moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history

A recent review of hundreds of chemical analyses of Moon rocks indicates that the amount of water in the Moon's interior varies regionally - revealing clues about how water originated and was redistributed in the Moon. These discoveries provide a new tool to unravel the processes involved in the formation of the Moon, how the lunar crust cooled, and its impact history.

Posted: May 28th, 2014

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A habitable environment on Martian volcano?

A study by geologists suggests that the Martian volcano Arsia Mons may have been home to one of the most recent habitable environments yet found on the Red Planet. The research shows that volcanic eruptions beneath a glacial ice sheet would have created substantial amounts of liquid water on Mars's surface around 210 million years ago. Where there was water, there is the possibility of past life.

Posted: May 27th, 2014

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Bare electrodynamic tethers: thin as a rail, strong as a rock

Satellite de-orbiting and re-entry is essential to halt the continuous increase in orbital space debris. The BETS project, which ends this month, is making waves with a new tether solution that is faster and more resistant to damage than any other existing technology.

Posted: May 27th, 2014

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