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Lives and deaths of sibling stars

In this new image from La Silla Observatory in Chile young stars huddle together against clouds of glowing gas and lanes of dust. The star cluster, NGC 3293, would have been just a cloud of gas and dust itself about ten million years ago, but as stars began to form it became the bright group of stars we see here. Clusters like this are laboratories that allow astronomers to learn about how stars evolve.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2014

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Fermi finds a 'Transformer' pulsar (w/video)

In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2014

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Hubble traces the halo of a galaxy more accurately than ever before

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have probed the extreme outskirts of the stunning elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. The galaxy's halo of stars has been found to extend much further from the galaxy's centre than expected and the stars within this halo seem to be surprisingly rich in heavy elements. This is the most remote portion of an elliptical galaxy ever to have been explored.

Posted: Jul 22nd, 2014

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Transiting exoplanet with longest known year

Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus exoplanets discovered to date are much closer to their stars and have much shorter orbital periods.

Posted: Jul 21st, 2014

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It's go time for LUX-Zeplin dark matter experiment

From the physics labs at Yale University to the bottom of a played-out gold mine in South Dakota, a new generation of dark matter experiments is ready to commence. The US Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Science Foundation recently gave the go-ahead to Large Underground Xenon-Zeplin, a key experiment in the hunt for dark matter, the invisible substance that may make up much of the universe.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2014

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Crowd-source snaps of falling space debris

Australian researchers who are designing robotic rovers capable of searching for fallen space debris are asking people to share images or videos that they may have captured during last Thursday evening 's skyfall.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2014

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ATV's fiery break-up to be seen from the inside

As ESA's remaining supply ferry to the International Space Station burns up in the atmosphere, its final moments as its hull disintegrates will be recorded from the inside by a unique infrared camera.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2014

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The twofold comet

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, destination of ESA's Rosetta mission, seems to consist of two parts.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2014

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