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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Cosmic dust belts without dust

Six newly discovered debris disks not only are extremely cold, they also are lacking the characteristic dust which is always released when the rocks collide.

Posted: Jul 8th, 2013

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Feeding galaxy caught in distant searchlight by international research team

An international group of astronomers has spotted a distant galaxy hungrily snacking on nearby gas. The gas is seen to fall inward toward the galaxy, creating a flow that both fuels star formation and drives the galaxy's rotation. This is the best direct observational evidence so far supporting the theory that galaxies pull in and devour nearby material in order to grow and form stars.

Posted: Jul 5th, 2013

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At the foot of the Red Planet's giant volcano

Hundreds of individual lava flows are seen frozen in time on the flanks of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the Solar System. Images taken by ESA's Mars Express focus on the southeast segment of the giant volcano, which towers some 22 km above the surrounding plains.

Posted: Jul 4th, 2013

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New knowledge about early galaxies

The early galaxies of the universe were very different from today's galaxies. Using new detailed studies carried out with the ESO Very Large Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers, including members from the Niels Bohr Institute, have studied an early galaxy in unprecedented detail and determined a number of important properties such as size, mass, content of elements and have determined how quickly the galaxy forms new stars.

Posted: Jul 3rd, 2013

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Revolutionary instrument delivers a sharper universe to astronomers

A unique new instrument at Gemini South in Chile takes the removal of atmospheric distortions (using adaptive optics technology) to a new level. Today's release of seven ultrasharp, large-field images from the instrument's first science observations demonstrate its remarkable discovery potential.

Posted: Jul 2nd, 2013

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Cluster spacecraft detects elusive space wind

A new study provides the first conclusive proof of the existence of a space wind first proposed theoretically over 20 years ago. By analysing data from the European Space Agency's Cluster spacecraft, researcher Iannis Dandouras detected this plasmaspheric wind, so-called because it contributes to the loss of material from the plasmasphere, a donut-shaped region extending above the Earth's atmosphere.

Posted: Jul 2nd, 2013

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Astronomer uncovers the hidden identity of an exoplanet

Hovering about 70 light-years from Earth is a star astronomers call HD 97658, which is almost bright enough to see with the naked eye. But the real 'star' is the planet HD 97658b, not much more than twice the Earth's diameter and a little less than eight times its mass.

Posted: Jul 1st, 2013

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Cloud behavior expands habitable zone of alien planets

A new study that calculates the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting red dwarfs, the most common type of stars in the universe. This finding means that in the Milky Way galaxy alone, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone.

Posted: Jul 1st, 2013

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At the solar system's edge, more surprises from Voyager

Data from NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft continues to provide new insight on the outskirts of our solar system, a frontier thought to be the last that Voyager will cross before becoming the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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