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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Orion's hidden fiery ribbon

A dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky.

Posted: May 15th, 2013

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New method of finding planets scores its first discovery

Detecting alien worlds presents a significant challenge since they are small, faint, and close to their stars. The two most prolific techniques for finding exoplanets are radial velocity (looking for wobbling stars) and transits (looking for dimming stars). A team at Tel Aviv University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has just discovered an exoplanet using a new method that relies on Einstein's special theory of relativity.

Posted: May 13th, 2013

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After Chelyabinsk: European experts assess asteroid options

This week, Deimos Space, an industrial partner working for ESA on SSA, has invited top researchers from universities, research institutes, national space agencies and industry in Europe and the USA to discuss the state of the art in near-Earth objects impact effects and threat mitigation.

Posted: May 13th, 2013

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Water on moon, Earth have a common source

Water inside the Moon's mantle came from primitive meteorites, new research finds, the same source thought to have supplied most of the water on Earth. The findings raise new questions about the process that formed the Moon.

Posted: May 9th, 2013

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Astronomers discover surprising clutch of hydrogen clouds lurking among our galactic neighbors

In a dark, starless patch of intergalactic space, astronomers have discovered a never-before-seen cluster of hydrogen clouds strewn between two nearby galaxies, Andromeda (M31) and Triangulum (M33). The researchers speculate that these rarefied blobs of gas condensed out of a vast and as-yet undetected reservoir of hot, ionized gas, which could have accompanied an otherwise invisible band of dark matter.

Posted: May 8th, 2013

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First biological evidence of a supernova

In fossil remnants of iron-loving bacteria, researchers of the Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), found a radioactive iron isotope that they trace back to a supernova in our cosmic neighborhood. This is the first proven biological signature of a starburst on our earth. The age determination of the deep-drill core from the Pacific Ocean showed that the supernova must have occurred about 2.2 million years ago, roughly around the time when the modern human developed.

Posted: May 8th, 2013

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ALMA Compact Array completed and named after Japanese astronomer

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has reached another milestone with the delivery of the last antenna forming the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) to the ALMA high site. The ACA is a subset of 16 closely separated antennas that will greatly improve ALMA's ability to study celestial objects with a large angular size, such as molecular clouds and nearby galaxies.

Posted: May 7th, 2013

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New analysis suggests wind, not water, formed mound on Mars

Researchers suggest that Mars' roughly 3.5-mile high Mount Sharp most likely emerged as strong winds carried dust and sand into Gale Crater where the mound sits. If correct, the research could dilute expectations that the mound is the remnant of a massive lake, which would have important implications for understanding Mars' past habitability.

Posted: May 6th, 2013

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NASA's Fermi, Swift see 'shockingly bright' burst

A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced the highest-energy light ever detected from such an event.

Posted: May 5th, 2013

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