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Space Exploration News

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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Cosmic accounting reveals missing light crisis

Something is amiss in the Universe. There appears to be an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the cosmic budget. The vast reaches of empty space between galaxies are bridged by tendrils of hydrogen and helium, which can be used as a precise 'light meter.' In a recent study a team of scientists finds that the light from known populations of galaxies and quasars is not nearly enough to explain observations of intergalactic hydrogen. The difference is a stunning 400 percent.

Posted: Jul 8th, 2014

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A hotspot for powerful cosmic rays

An observatory found a 'hotspot' beneath the Big Dipper emitting a disproportionate number of the highest-energy cosmic rays. The discovery moves physics another step toward identifying the mysterious sources of the most energetic particles in the universe.

Posted: Jul 8th, 2014

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Dropship offers safe landings for Mars rovers (w/video)

The dramatic conclusion to ESA's latest StarTiger project: a 'dropship' quadcopter steers itself to lower a rover gently onto a safe patch of the rocky martian surface. StarTiger's Dropter project was tasked with developing and demonstrating a European precision-landing capability for Mars and other targets.

Posted: Jul 7th, 2014

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Vesta's rocky history

The dark material found on the protoplanet Vesta contains the mineral serpentine - and must therefore be of exogenic origin.

Posted: Jul 4th, 2014

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Controversial clues of 2 'Goldilocks planets' that might support life are proven false

Mysteries about controversial signals from a star considered a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life now have been solved. The research proves, for the first time, that some of the signals actually are from events inside the star itself, not from the two so-called 'Goldilocks planets', which were suspected to be just-right for life and orbiting the star at a distance where liquid water potentially could exist. No planets there, just star burps.

Posted: Jul 3rd, 2014

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NASA launches new carbon-sensing mission to monitor Earth's breathing

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 soon will begin a minimum two-year mission to locate Earth's sources of and storage places for atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas responsible for warming our world and a critical component of the planet?s carbon cycle.

Posted: Jul 2nd, 2014

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A stellar womb shaped and destroyed by its ungrateful offspring

The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.

Posted: Jul 2nd, 2014

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