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Comets forge organic molecules in their dusty atmospheres (w/video)

An international team of scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made incredible 3D images of the ghostly atmospheres surrounding comets ISON and Lemmon. These new observations provided important insights into how and where comets forge new chemicals, including intriguing organic compounds.

Posted: Aug 11th, 2014

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Violent solar system history uncovered by Australian meteorite

Planetary scientists have shed some light on the bombardment history of our solar system by studying a unique volcanic meteorite recovered in Western Australia. Captured on camera seven years ago falling on the WA side of the Nullarbor Plain, the Bunburra Rockhole Meterorite has unique characteristics that suggest it came from a large asteroid that has never before been identified.

Posted: Aug 8th, 2014

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Successful rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

The Rosetta spacecraft has travelled over 6.4 billion kilometres, swung by planets, examined two asteroids during flybys, and spent more than two and a half years in hibernation during its 10-year journey. On 6 August 2014 at 11:30 CEST, with the Philae lander on board, it arrived at its target comet and entered into orbit.

Posted: Aug 8th, 2014

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Triangulum galaxy snapped by VST

The VLT Survey Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured a beautifully detailed image of the galaxy Messier 33. This nearby spiral, the second closest large galaxy to our own galaxy, is packed with bright star clusters, and clouds of gas and dust. The new picture is amongst the most detailed wide-field views of this object ever taken and shows the many glowing gas clouds in the spiral arms with particular clarity.

Posted: Aug 6th, 2014

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Best evidence yet for coronal heating theory detected by NASA sounding rocket

Scientists have recently gathered some of the strongest evidence to date to explain what makes the sun's outer atmosphere so much hotter than its surface. The new observations of the small-scale extremely hot temperatures are consistent with only one current theory: something called nanoflares - a constant peppering of impulsive bursts of heating, none of which can be individually detected - provide the mysterious extra heat.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2014

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