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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Underwater astronaut on the Moon

ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy and ESA astronaut instructor Hervé Stevenin slipped into the roles of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin last week for an underwater simulation of the historic mission to the Moon.

Posted: Sep 12th, 2013

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Scientists strike scientific gold with meteorite

An important discovery has been made concerning the possible inventory of molecules available to the early Earth. Scientists found that the Sutter's Mill meteorite, which exploded in a blazing fireball over California last year, contains organic molecules not previously found in any meteorites. These findings suggest a far greater availability of extraterrestrial organic molecules than previously thought possible, an inventory that could indeed have been important in molecular evolution and life itself.

Posted: Sep 10th, 2013

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Upgrade to Mars rovers could aid discovery on more distant worlds

Mars rovers, such as Curiosity, currently can't make science decisions on their own. That has to change if future rover missions are to make discoveries further out in the solar system, scientists say. To help future rover missions spend less time waiting for instructions from Earth, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., developed an advanced two-lens camera, called TextureCam, that can think about the pictures it snaps and make science-based decisions.

Posted: Sep 9th, 2013

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Reflecting on Earth's albedo

The amount of sunlight being absorbed or reflected by Earth is one of the driving forces for weather and climate. Satellites are providing this information with unprecedented accuracy.

Posted: Sep 6th, 2013

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A radiating beauty on Mars

Exceptional structures deposited and shaped by water and winds adorn these interlocking craters and sculpt radiating patterns in the sands of Mars.

Posted: Sep 6th, 2013

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The quasar and its Fata Morgana

Astronomers discover how the image of a distant quasar splits into multiple images by the effects of a cloud of ionized gas in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Such events were predicted as early as in the 1970s, but the first evidence for one now has come from observations performed with the telescope array VLBA and analysed in the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

Posted: Sep 6th, 2013

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Powerful jets blowing material out of galaxy

Astronomers using a worldwide network of radio telescopes have found strong evidence that a powerful jet of material propelled to nearly light speed by a galaxy's central black hole is blowing massive amounts of gas out of the galaxy. This process, they said, is limiting the growth of the black hole and the rate of star formation in the galaxy, and thus is a key to understanding how galaxies develop.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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Coldest brown dwarfs blur lines between stars and planets

Astronomers are constantly on the hunt for ever-colder star-like bodies, and two years ago a new class of such objects was discovered. However, until now no one has known exactly how cool their surfaces really are -- some evidence suggested they could be room temperature. A new study shows that while these brown dwarfs, sometimes called failed stars, are warmer than previously thought with temperatures about 250-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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