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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Astronomers spy on galaxies in the raw

A CSIRO radio telescope has detected the raw material for making the first stars in galaxies that formed when the Universe was just three billion years old - less than a quarter of its current age. This opens the way to studying how these early galaxies make their first stars.

Posted: Jun 24th, 2013

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Solar splashdown

On June 7, 2011, our sun erupted, blasting tons of hot plasma into space. Some of that plasma splashed back down onto the sun's surface, sparking bright flashes of ultraviolet light. This dramatic event may provide new insights into how young stars grow by sucking up nearby gas.

Posted: Jun 20th, 2013

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Hubble spots galaxies in close encounter

When two galaxies stray too close to each other they begin to interact, causing spectacular changes in both objects. In some cases the two can merge - but in others, they are ripped apart.

Posted: Jun 20th, 2013

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Dusty surprise around giant black hole

New observations of a nearby active galaxy called NGC 3783, harnessing the power of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile, have given a team of astronomers a surprise. Although the hot dust - at some 700 to 1000 degrees Celsius - is indeed in a torus as expected, they found huge amounts of cooler dust above and below this main torus.

Posted: Jun 20th, 2013

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Metamorphosis of moon's water ice explained

Using data gathered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, scientists believe they have solved a mystery from one of the solar system's coldest regions - a permanently shadowed crater on the moon.

Posted: Jun 19th, 2013

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NASA's newest solar mission spacecraft ready for launch

The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft is on track for a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on June 26. IRIS will fill a crucial gap in the ability of scientists to advance Sun-Earth connection studies by tracing the flow of energy and plasma through a dynamic interface region - the chromosphere and transition region - between the solar surface and the solar corona.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2013

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Three centaurs follow Uranus through the solar system

Astrophysicists from the Complutense University of Madrid have confirmed that Crantor, a large asteroid with a diameter of 70 km has an orbit similar to that of Uranus and takes the same amount of time to orbit the Sun. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that this and a further two objects of the group of the Centaurs are co-orbital with Uranus.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2013

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Hubble uncovers evidence for extrasolar planet under construction

The keen vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected a mysterious gap in a vast protoplanetary disk of gas and dust swirling around the nearby star TW Hydrae, located 176 light-years away in the constellation Hydra. The gap's presence is best explained as due to the effects of a growing, unseen planet that is gravitationally sweeping up material and carving out a lane in the disk, like a snow plow.

Posted: Jun 13th, 2013

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Stacking up a clearer picture of the Universe (w/video)

Researchers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have proven a new technique that will provide a clearer picture of the Universe's history and be used with the next generation of radio telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Posted: Jun 13th, 2013

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