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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Hubble finds 'smoking gun' after gamma-ray burst

Probing the location of a recent short-duration gamma-ray burst in near-infrared light, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope found the fading fireball produced in the aftermath of the blast. The afterglow reveals for the first time a new kind of stellar blast called a kilonova.

Posted: Aug 3rd, 2013

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A cometary graveyard

Astronomers have discovered a graveyard of comets. The researchers describe how some of these objects, inactive for millions of years, have returned to life leading them to name the group the 'Lazarus comets'.

Posted: Aug 2nd, 2013

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Why galaxies seemingly grow in old age

On average, galaxies that no longer form stars are larger today than they were several billion years ago. However, this has nothing to do with individual galaxies merging with others, as was long thought to be the case, concludes ETH-Zurich professor Marcella Carollo after evaluating data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Posted: Aug 2nd, 2013

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Saturn moon's mystery plume influenced by tides

Using Cassini data, Cornell astronomers have determined that the amount of water vapor and ice erupting from Enceladus depends on tidal forces from Saturn - the same phenomenon that creates tides on Earth.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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Laser communication set for Moon misison

An advanced laser system offering vastly faster data speeds is now ready for linking with spacecraft beyond our planet following a series of crucial ground tests. Later this year, ESA's observatory in Spain will use the laser to communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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To infinity and beyond: teleporting humans into space

In the science fiction show, Star Trek, teleportation is a regular and significant feature. But how much time and power is required to send the data needed to teleport a human being? University of Leicester physics students have calculated the answer to this very question.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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Discoveries from Planck may mean rethinking how the universe began

This spring, humanity was shown its most detailed map of the early universe ever created. Generated by observations from the Planck spacecraft, the map revealed fluctuations in temperature in the relic radiation left over from the Big Bang - what we call the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Recently, scientists on the Planck team announced finding certain large-scale features on the CMB sky that they cannot explain. One of them: a large cold spot, which corresponds to an anomalously large area of high density.

Posted: Jul 25th, 2013

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