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Updated: 4 hours 49 min ago

Comet fragments best explanation of mysterious dimming star

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:41
Astronomers have responded to the buzz about a mysterious dimming star by studying data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. They conclude the dimming was probably caused by a family of comets passing in front of the star.

Aging star's weight loss secret revealed

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:35
A team of astronomers has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding the star enable it to lose an enormous amount of mass as it begins to die. This process, understood now for the first time, is necessary to prepare such gigantic stars to meet explosive demises as supernovae.

Mars once had a moderately dense atmosphere

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 17:02
Scientists suggest that 3.8 billion years ago, Mars might have had only a moderately dense atmosphere. The scientists have identified a photochemical process that could have helped such an early atmosphere evolve into the current thin one without creating the problem of 'missing' carbon and in a way that is consistent with existing carbon isotopic measurements.

Mars to lose its largest moon, Phobos, but gain a ring

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:35
Mars' largest moon -- one of only two in our solar system moving inward towards its planet -- will eventually be torn apart by tidal forces and distributed in a ring around the planet, a study of the cohesiveness of Phobos has concluded. This would take about 10-20 million years, and the ring will persist for up to 100 million years before the dust falls into Mars' atmosphere and burns up as 'moon' showers.

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:25
Astronomers have identified a dying star and intergalactic gas entering the Milky Way.

New detector perfect for asteroid mining, planetary research

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 18:29
Scientists have proposed a new type of gamma-ray spectroscope that has ideal properties for planetary exploration and asteroid mining.

Cool, dim dwarf star is magnetic powerhouse

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:27
Astronomers have discovered that a dim, cool dwarf star is generating a surprisingly powerful magnetic field.

Dark matter dominates in nearby dwarf galaxy

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 15:54
A researcher has measured what could be the highest concentration of dark matter in any known galaxy.

Gravity, who needs it?

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 15:54
What happens to your body in space? NASA's Human Research Program has been unfolding answers for over a decade. Space is a dangerous, unfriendly place. The risks for a Mars mission are many, but NASA has been working to solve these problems with some of the most brilliant minds in the field. Rest assured, when we take the next giant leap to Mars, we will be ready.

Researchers capture first photo of planet in making

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 15:53
Capturing sharp images of distant objects is difficult, largely due to atmospheric turbulence, the mixing of hot and cold air. But researchers captured the first photo of a planet in the making, a planet residing in a gap in LkCa15's disk. Of the roughly 2,000 known exoplanets, only about 10 have been imaged -- and long after they had formed, not when they were in the making. Results were published in Nature.

Radiation blasts leave most Earth-like planet uninhabitable

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 07:10
The most Earth-like planet could have been made uninhabitable by vast quantities of radiation.The atmosphere of the planet, Kepler-438b, is thought to have been stripped away as a result of radiation emitted from a superflaring red dwarf star, Kepler-438. Regularly occurring every few hundred days, the superflares are approximately 10 times more powerful than those ever recorded on the sun and equivalent to the same energy as 100 billion megatons of TNT.

Earliest giant galaxies: The birth of monsters

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 07:07
ESO's VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have, for the first time, found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared.

More proof of Einstein's general theory of relativity

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 14:50
A high-performance computing researcher has predicted a physical effect that would help physicists and astronomers provide fresh evidence of the correctness of Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Microsatellite developed for Air Force

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 14:36
An aerospace engineering professor is developing a microsatellite imager that could be used to check satellites, do small repairs or refuel spacecraft — and keep astronauts from making risky exploratory missions when something goes wrong.

Discovery measures 'heartbeats' of distant galaxy's stars

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 14:17
In many ways stars are like living beings. They're born; they live; they die. And they even have a heartbeat. Using a novel technique, astronomers have detected thousands of stellar 'pulses' in the galaxy Messier 87 (M87). Their measurements offer a new way of determining a galaxy's age.

First gamma-ray pulsar detected in another galaxy

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 10:57
Researchers have discovered the first gamma-ray pulsar in a galaxy other than our own. The object sets a new record for the most luminous gamma-ray pulsar known.

5400mph winds discovered hurtling around planet outside solar system

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 05:13
Winds of over 2km per second have been discovered flowing around planet outside of the Earth's solar system, new research has found.

'Pale orange dot': Early Earth's haze may give clue to habitability elsewhere in space

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 05:11
An atmospheric haze around a faraway planet -- like the one which probably shrouded and cooled the young Earth -- could show that the world is potentially habitable, or even be a sign of life itself.

NASA's Cassini finds monstrous ice cloud in south polar region of On Saturn's moon Titan

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 12:35
New observations made near the south pole of Titan by NASA's Cassini spacecraft add to the evidence that winter comes in like a lion on this moon of Saturn.

Machine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formation

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 16:54
A new machine-learning simulation system promises cosmologists an expanded suite of galaxy models -- a necessary first step to developing more accurate and relevant insights into the formation of the universe.

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