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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Astrophysicists to construct the first accurate image of a black hole

Was Einstein right? The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 14 Million Euros to a team of European astrophysicists to construct the first accurate image of a black hole. The team will test the predictions of current theories of gravity, including Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2013

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SMA reveals giant star cluster in the making

W49A might be one of the best-kept secrets in our galaxy. This star-forming region shines 100 times brighter than the Orion nebula, but is so obscured by dust that very little visible or infrared light escapes. The Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array has peered through the dusty fog to provide the first clear view of this stellar nursery.

Posted: Dec 16th, 2013

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Close-up on impact craters

Scientists are currently trying to gain a better understanding of how craters are formed. Their work involves smashing miniature meteorites into rock under laboratory conditions - and then analyzing the craters using ultrasound tomography.

Posted: Dec 16th, 2013

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The manifold path to millisecond pulsars

Two astronomers from Bonn have proposed a new path for the formation of a newly discovered class of millisecond pulsars with similar orbital periods and eccentricities. In the scenario of Paulo Freire and Thomas Tauris, a massive white dwarf star accretes matter and angular momentum from a normal companion star and grows beyond the critical Chandrasekhar mass limit. The new hypothesis makes several testable predictions about this recently discovered sub-class of millisecond pulsars.

Posted: Dec 16th, 2013

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First rock dating experiment performed on Mars

Although researchers have determined the ages of rocks from other planetary bodies, the actual experiments - like analyzing meteorites and moon rocks - have always been done on Earth. Now, for the first time, researchers at Caltech have successfully determined the age of a Martian rock - with experiments performed on Mars. This work could not only help in understanding the geologic history of Mars but also aid in the search for evidence of ancient life there.

Posted: Dec 13th, 2013

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Fast radio bursts might come from nearby stars

First discovered in 2007, 'fast radio bursts' continue to defy explanation. These cosmic chirps last for only a thousandth of a second. The characteristics of the radio pulses suggested that they came from galaxies billions of light-years away. However, new work points to a much closer origin - flaring stars within our own galaxy.

Posted: Dec 12th, 2013

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Collapse of the universe is closer than ever before

Maybe it happens tomorrow. Maybe in a billion years. Physicists have long predicted that the universe may one day collapse, and that everything in it will be compressed to a small hard ball. New calculations from physicists at the University of Southern Denmark now confirm this prediction - and they also conclude that the risk of a collapse is even greater than previously thought.

Posted: Dec 12th, 2013

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A touch of the Universe

The Astronomic Observatory of the University of Valencia has undertaken this year the project 'A touch of the Universe', a non-profit mission that aims to create thirty kits with tactile astronomical activities for children with visual difficulties.

Posted: Dec 12th, 2013

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In the stellar delivery room

Molecular clouds in the whirlpool galaxy appear to be embedded in fog, whose pressure is crucial in determining the birth of suns.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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