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Unravelling the mysteries of the Venusian atmosphere (w/video)

Underscoring the vast differences between Earth and its neighbor Venus, new research shows a glimpse of giant holes in the electrically charged layer of the Venusian atmosphere, called the ionosphere. The observations point to a more complicated magnetic environment than previously thought - which in turn helps us better understand this neighboring, rocky planet.

Posted: Sep 12th, 2014

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Astronomers unveil secrets of giant elliptical galaxies

New findings of how giant elliptical galaxies move have been discovered by an international team of astronomers using the newly installed Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the European Southern Observatory?s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) facility.

Posted: Sep 12th, 2014

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NASA research gives guideline for future alien life search

Astronomers searching the atmospheres of alien worlds for gases that might be produced by life can't rely on the detection of just one type, such as oxygen, ozone, or methane, because in some cases these gases can be produced non-biologically, according to extensive simulations by researchers in the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory.

Posted: Sep 12th, 2014

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Lurking bright blue star caught

Astronomers have found evidence of a hot binary companion star to a yellow supergiant star, which had become a bright supernova. Its existence had been predicted by the team. This finding provides the last link in a chain of observations that have so far supported the team's theoretical picture for this supernova.

Posted: Sep 11th, 2014

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A map of Rosetta's comet

The surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can be divided into several morphologically different regions.

Posted: Sep 10th, 2014

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Scientists take key step toward solving a major astrophysical mystery

Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and black out power grids. But how reconnection, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma snap apart and violently reconnect, transforms magnetic energy into explosive particle energy remains a major unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics.

Posted: Sep 10th, 2014

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First evidence for water ice clouds found outside solar system

A team of scientists has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune - but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now.

Posted: Sep 9th, 2014

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