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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Hubble hows link between stars' ages and their orbits

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy's early days.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2013

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ESA test opens way to UK spaceplane engine investment

The UK government has announced plans to invest in the development of an air-breathing rocket engine - intended for a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane - following the ESA-managed feasibility testing of essential technology.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2013

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Earth's gold came from colliding dead stars

Gold is rare on Earth in part because it's also rare in the universe. Unlike elements like carbon or iron, it cannot be created within a star. Instead, it must be born in a more cataclysmic event.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2013

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New findings on makeup of universe may spawn research

New areas of extragalactic study may emerge from research by astrophysicists using data from the Chandra Space Telescope to conclude that baryons making up all visible matter - once thought to be missing from clusters - are present in the expected ratios in large, luminous clusters.

Posted: Jul 16th, 2013

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The heart of space weather observed in action (w/video)

Two NASA spacecraft have provided the most comprehensive movie ever of a mysterious process at the heart of all explosions on the sun: magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection happens when magnetic field lines come together, break apart and then exchange partners, snapping into new positions and releasing a jolt of magnetic energy. This process lies at the heart of giant explosions on the sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can fling radiation and particles across the solar system.

Posted: Jul 15th, 2013

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Hubble finds new Neptune moon

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new moon orbiting the distant blue-green planet Neptune. This brings the number of known satellites circling the giant planet to 14.

Posted: Jul 15th, 2013

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Study shows disks don't need planets to make patterns (w/video)

A new study by NASA scientists sounds a cautionary note in interpreting rings and spiral arms as signposts for new planets. Thanks to interactions between gas and dust, a debris disk may, under the right conditions, produce narrow rings on its own, no planets needed.

Posted: Jul 14th, 2013

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Hubble finds a true blue planet

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have deduced the actual visible-light color of a planet orbiting another star 63 light-years away.

Posted: Jul 11th, 2013

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Sun's loops are displaying an optical illusion

To understand how the corona is heated, some astronomers study coronal loops. These structures are shaped like an upside-down U and show where magnetic field lines are funneling solar gases or plasma. Our best photos of the sun suggest that these loops are a constant width, like strands of rope. However, new work shows that this is an optical illusion; the loops are actually tapered, wider at the top and narrower at the ends. This finding has important implications for coronal heating.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2013

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Space-time is not the same for everyone

Before the Big Bang, space-time as we know it did not exist. So how was it born? The process of creating normal space-time from an earlier state dominated by quantum gravity has been studied for years by theorists at the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw. Recent analyses suggest a surprising conclusion: not all elementary particles are subject to the same space-time.

Posted: Jul 9th, 2013

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