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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Galactic serial killer

A new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two contrasting galaxies: NGC 1316, and its smaller neighbour NGC 1317. These two are quite close to each other in space, but they have very different histories. The small spiral NGC 1317 has led an uneventful life, but NGC 1316 has engulfed several other galaxies in its violent history and shows the battle scars.

Posted: Apr 2nd, 2014

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A better ruler in the search for extrasolar planets

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have rejuvenated a technique for finding planets near distant stars. New measurements of light from special lamps could help astronomers find planets hidden in data from more than a decade's worth of extrasolar planet searches, as well as improve telescopes' current capabilities.

Posted: Mar 27th, 2014

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First sightings of solar flare phenomena confirm 3D models of space weather (w/video)

Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar flares are created. New footage put together by an international team led by University of Cambridge researchers shows how entangled magnetic field lines looping from the Sun's surface slip around each other and lead to an eruption 35 times the size of the Earth and an explosive release of magnetic energy into space.

Posted: Mar 27th, 2014

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New planet-like body found sneaking through the inner Oort cloud

A new, planet-like body has been found on the outer edges of the solar system. This object is the second body of its class found since the identification of the dwarf planet Sedna in 2003. It joins an exclusive club composed of some of the strangest objects in the solar system.

Posted: Mar 26th, 2014

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Dark energy hides behind phantom fields

Quintessence and phantom fields, two hypotheses formulated using data from satellites, such as Planck and WMAP, are among the many theories that try to explain the nature of dark energy. Now researchers suggest that both possibilities are only a mirage in the observations and it is the quantum vacuum which could be behind this energy that moves our universe.

Posted: Mar 26th, 2014

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Philae lander - nearing the end of hibernation

A rocket launch in March 2004, multiple swing-bys past Earth and Mars, high-speed fly-bys of asteroids Steins and Lutetia - after all this, the Philae lander on board ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, which is en route to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is in good shape.

Posted: Mar 26th, 2014

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Team observe closest milemarker supernova in generation

Researcher have intently studied the closest type Ia supernova discovered in a generation. The proximity to Earth could yield better understanding of this particular type of supernova that astronomers use to gauge distances in the universe and learn about its expansion history.

Posted: Mar 25th, 2014

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Don't forget F-type stars in search for life

F-type stars, more massive and hotter than our sun, warrant more consideration as spots to look for habitable planets, according to a newly published study that also examined potential damage to DNA from UV radiation.

Posted: Mar 25th, 2014

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