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Space Exploration News

The latest news about space exploration
astrophysics, the universe...

ALMA reveals ghostly shape of 'coldest place in the universe'

At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang Nebula is the coldest known object in the Universe - colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have taken a new look at this intriguing object to learn more about its frigid properties and to determine its true shape, which has an eerily ghost-like appearance.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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NASA's Great Observatories begin deepest ever probe of the universe

In an ambitious collaborative program, called The Frontier Fields, NASA's Great Observatories are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before. With a boost from natural 'zoom lenses' found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra space telescopes can typically see.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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Just two weeks in orbit causes changes in eyes

Just 13 days in space may be enough to cause profound changes in eye structure and gene expression, report researchers. Their study is the first to examine eye-related gene expression and cell behavior after spaceflight.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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A rare snapshot of a planetary construction site

Planets are formed in disks of gas and dust around nascent stars. Now, observations have produced a rare view of a planetary construction site in an intermediate state of evolution: Contrary to expectations, the disk around the star HD 21997 appears to contain both primordial gas left over from the formation of the star itself and dust that appears to have been produced in collisions between planetesimals.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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Asteroid space cannon ready for test

Japanese scientists readying to blast a crater in an asteroid to find out what it is made of said Wednesday they have successfully tested their new space cannon.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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Time is ripe for fire detection satellite

Wildfire detection today is much like it was 200 years ago, relying primarily on humans to spot smoke plumes or flames. UC Berkeley experts in fires, satellites and remote sensing now say that the technology is ripe for a fire-spotting satellite that could snap images of the US West every few seconds to detect fires before they spread with few false alarms. The cost would be a fraction of the country's annual fire-fighting budget.

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2013

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Planck satellite on course for safe retirement

In preparation for its final switch-off on 23 October, mission controllers today fired Planck's thrusters to empty its fuel tanks. The burn is one of the final steps to ensure that Planck ends its hugely successful mission in a permanently safe configuration.

Posted: Oct 21st, 2013

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Countdown to ESA's billion-star surveyor

ESA's billion-star surveyor Gaia will be launched from Europe's spaceport in Kourou on 20 November to begin a five-year mission to map the stars with unprecedented precision.

Posted: Oct 21st, 2013

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