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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Measuring Mars: The MAVEN magnetometer (w/video)

When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission begins its journey to the Red Planet in 2013, it will carry a sensitive magnetic-field instrument built and tested by a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Posted: Mar 26th, 2013

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Astronomers discover new kind of supernova

Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties. But a team of astronomers including Carnegie's Wendy Freedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson is reporting the discovery of a new type of supernova called Type Iax.

Posted: Mar 26th, 2013

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LRO's LAMP ultraviolet spectrograph observes mercury and hydrogen in GRAIL impact plumes

NASA intentionally crashed the GRAIL twins onto the Moon on Dec. 17, 2012, following successful prime and extended science missions. Both spacecraft hit a mountain near the lunar north pole, which was shrouded in shadow at the time. Developed by Southwest Research Institute, LAMP uses a novel method to peer into the darkness of the Moon's permanently shadowed regions, making it ideal for observations of the Moon's night-side and its tenuous atmospheric constituents.

Posted: Mar 26th, 2013

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Removing orbital debris with less risk

A new article compares in-orbit debris removal options regarding their potential risk of creating new orbital debris or disabling working satellites during deorbit operation.

Posted: Mar 22nd, 2013

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'Sideline quasars' helped to stifle early galaxy formation

University of Colorado Boulder astronomers targeting one of the brightest quasars glowing in the universe some 11 billion years ago say "sideline quasars" likely teamed up with it to heat abundant helium gas billions of years ago, preventing small galaxy formation.

Posted: Mar 21st, 2013

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Spiral beauty graced by fading supernova

About 35 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Eridanus (The River), lies the spiral galaxy NGC 1637. Back in 1999 the serene appearance of this galaxy was shattered by the appearance of a very bright supernova. Astronomers studying the aftermath of this explosion with ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile have provided us with a stunning view of this relatively nearby galaxy.

Posted: Mar 20th, 2013

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Training sessions for the Philae comet lander

The original Philae comet lander has been travelling through space since 2 March 2004. It is currently in hibernation mode, awaiting its arrival at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But the Philae models on the ground are being put through their paces: they are being tested to breaking point and examined by the German Aerospace Center.

Posted: Mar 18th, 2013

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NASA sees leaping lunar dust

Electrically charged lunar dust near shadowed craters can get lofted above the surface and jump over the shadowed region, bouncing back and forth between sunlit areas on opposite sides, according to new calculations by NASA scientists.

Posted: Mar 18th, 2013

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