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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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NASA's GALEX reveals the largest-known spiral galaxy

The spectacular barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 has ranked among the biggest stellar systems for decades. Now a team of astronomers from the United States, Chile and Brazil has crowned it the largest-known spiral, based on archival data from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) mission.

Posted: Jan 11th, 2013

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A jumble of exotic stars

A new infrared image from ESO's VISTA telescope shows the globular cluster 47 Tucanae in striking detail. This cluster contains millions of stars, and there are many nestled at its core that are exotic and display unusual properties.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2013

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Life possible on extrasolar moons

In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the solar system. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2013

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Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room

Research by University of Arizona astronomy professor Rodger Thompson finds that a popular alternative to Albert Einstein's theory for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe does not fit newly obtained data on a fundamental constant, the proton to electron mass ratio.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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Next-generation adaptive optics brings remarkable details to light in stellar nursery

A new image released today reveals how Gemini Observatory's most advanced adaptive optics (AO) system will help astronomers study the universe with an unprecedented level of clarity and detail by removing distortions due to the Earth's atmosphere. The photo, featuring an area on the outskirts of the famous Orion Nebula, illustrates the instrument's significant advancements over previous-generation AO systems.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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Hubble reveals rogue planetary orbit for Fomalhaut b

Newly released Hubble Space Telescope images of a vast debris disk encircling the nearby star Fomalhaut, and of a mysterious planet circling it, may provide forensic evidence of a titanic planetary disruption in the system.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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Testing Einstein's E=mc2 in outer space

UA physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world's most iconic equation, Albert Einstein's E=mc2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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Researchers try new approach for simulating supernovas

Two University of Texas at Arlington researchers want to bridge the gap between what is known about exploding stars and the remnants left behind thousands of years later. So they're trying something new - using SNSPH, a complex computer code developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2013

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Simulated Mars mission reveals body's sodium rhythms

Researchers report that - in contrast to the prevailing dogma - sodium levels fluctuate rhythmically with 7-day and monthly cycles. The findings, which demonstrate that sodium is stored in the body, have implications for blood pressure control, hypertension and salt-associated cardiovascular risk.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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