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Updated: 2 hours 49 min ago

Bright areas on Ceres suggest geologic activity

7 hours 1 min ago
If you could fly aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the surface of dwarf planet Ceres would generally look quite dark, but with notable exceptions. These exceptions are the hundreds of bright areas that stand out in images Dawn has returned. Now, scientists have a better sense of how these reflective areas formed and changed over time -- processes indicative of an active, evolving world.
Categories: Science

Hubble's celestial snow globe

9 hours 52 min ago
It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season in this Hubble Space Telescope image of a blizzard of stars, which resembles a swirling snowstorm in a snow globe. The stars are residents of the globular star cluster Messier 79 (also known as M79 or NGC 1904), located 41,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Lepus.
Categories: Science

Electrical and chemical coupling between Saturn and its rings

9 hours 53 min ago
A Langmuir probe, flown to Saturn on the Cassini spacecraft, has made exciting discoveries in the atmosphere of the planet. They discovered that there is a strong coupling, both chemically and electrically, between the atmosphere of Saturn and its rings.
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Life's building blocks observed in spacelike environment

11 hours 17 min ago
Where do the molecules required for life originate? It may be that small organic molecules first appeared on earth and were later combined into larger molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates. But a second possibility is that they originated in space, possibly within our solar system. A new study shows that a number of small organic molecules can form in a cold, spacelike environment full of radiation.
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Telescopes team up to study giant galaxy

15 hours 48 sec ago
Astronomers have used two Australian radio telescopes and several optical telescopes to study complex mechanisms that are fuelling jets of material blasting away from a black hole 55 million times more massive than the Sun.
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Unravelling the mysteries of extragalactic jets

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 9:04am
Researchers have mathematically examined plasma jets from supermassive black holes to determine why certain types of jets disintegrate into huge plumes.
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Cold suns, warm exoplanets and methane blankets

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 9:03am
Three million years ago, the sun shone weaker, but Earth stayed surprisingly warm. Carl Sagan thought a greenhouse effect must have been to thank. A model built on 359 chemical processes has finally arrived at scenarios with a reasonable chance of producing the needed methane on ancient Earth. The model has broad parameters in hope that it may someday be of use to interpret conditions on exoplanets.
Categories: Science

Why meteroids explode before they reach Earth

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 6:07am
When a meteor comes hurtling toward Earth, the high-pressure air in front of it seeps into its pores and cracks, pushing the body of the meteor apart and causing it to explode, report scientists.
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Galaxy orbits in the local supercluster

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:55am
Astronomers have produced the most detailed map ever of the orbits of galaxies in our extended local neighborhood, showing the past motions of almost 1,400 galaxies within 100 million light years of the Milky Way. The team reconstructed the galaxies' motions from 13 billion years in the past to the present day.
Categories: Science

Black holes' magnetism surprisingly wimpy

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 11:16am
Black holes are famous for their muscle: an intense gravitational pull known to gobble up entire stars and launch streams of matter into space at almost the speed of light. It turns out the reality may not live up to the hype.
Categories: Science

Galaxy growth in a massive halo in the first billion years of cosmic history

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 11:07am
Observations of two galaxies made with the National Science Foundation-funded Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope suggest that large galaxies formed faster than scientists had previously thought.
Categories: Science

Mars' atmosphere well protected from the solar wind

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 11:05am
Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet. New research shows this using measurements from the Swedish particle instrument ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft.
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NASA's SuperTIGER balloon flies again to study heavy cosmic particles

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 1:22pm
A science team in Antarctica is preparing to fly SuperTIGER, a balloon-borne instrument designed to collect heavy high-energy particles from beyond the solar system that constantly bombard Earth's atmosphere.
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Heavy metal: How first supernovae altered early star formation

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 11:23am
An international team of researchers ran multi-scale, multi-physics 2-D and 3-D simulations to illustrate how heavy metals expelled from exploding supernovae held the first stars in the universe regulate subsequent star formation and influence the appearance of galaxies in the process.
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Clay minerals on Mars may have formed in primordial steam bath

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:22am
New research suggests that the bulk of clay minerals on Mars could have been formed as the planet's crust cooled and solidified, not by later interactions with water on the surface as has long been assumed.
Categories: Science

Living on thin air -- microbe mystery solved

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:22am
Scientists have discovered that microbes in Antarctica have a previously unknown ability to scavenge hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air to stay alive in the extreme conditions. The find has implications for the search for life on other planets, suggesting extraterrestrial microbes could also rely on trace atmospheric gases for survival.
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ALMA finds massive primordial galaxies swimming in vast ocean of dark matter

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:20am
New observations push back the epoch of massive-galaxy formation even further by identifying two giant galaxies seen when the universe was only 780 million years old, or about 5 percent its current age.
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Scientists observe supermassive black hole in infant universe

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:19am
A team of astronomers has detected the most distant supermassive black hole ever observed. The black hole sits in the center of an ultrabright quasar and presents a puzzle as to how such a huge object could have grown so quickly.
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How does it look when Earth is bombarded with dark matter?

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 9:25am
A whole lot of zig-zagging: Perhaps that is what happens when the universe's mysterious dark matter particles hit the Earth. Researchers can now show through simulations how it might look.
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Discovery about rare nitrogen molecules offers clues to makeup of life-supporting planets

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 6:07am
A new study on atmospheric nitrogen provides a clue about what geochemical signatures of other planets might look like, especially if they are capable of supporting life as we know it.
Categories: Science