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Aging star's weight loss secret revealed

A team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope 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 ...

date3 hours ago in Astronomy
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NEOWISE identifies greenhouse gases in comets

After its launch in 2009, NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft observed 163 comets during the WISE/NEOWISE prime mission. This sample from the space telescope represents the largest infrared survey of comets to date. Data from the survey ...

dateNov 24, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Earth might have hairy dark matter

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought. A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of ...

dateNov 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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Hubble views a young elliptical galaxy

At the center of this amazing Hubble image is the elliptical galaxy NGC 3610. Surrounding the galaxy are a wealth of other galaxies of all shapes. There are spiral galaxies, galaxies with a bar in their central regions, distorted ...

dateNov 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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NASA images: A day on Pluto, a day on Charon

Pluto's day is 6.4 Earth days long. The images were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera as the distance between New Horizons and Pluto decreased from 5 ...

dateNov 20, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Cool, dim dwarf star is magnetic powerhouse

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that a dim, cool dwarf star is generating a surprisingly powerful magnetic field, one that rivals the most intense magnetic regions ...

dateNov 19, 2015 in Astronomy
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Dark matter dominates in nearby dwarf galaxy

Dark matter is called "dark" for a good reason. Although they outnumber particles of regular matter by more than a factor of 10, particles of dark matter are elusive. Their existence is inferred by their gravitational influence ...

dateNov 18, 2015 in Astronomy
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A hot Jupiter around a sun-like star

There are almost 1800 confirmed exoplanets known today, and over 4000 exoplanet candidates. Astronomers have obtained estimates for the masses and radii (and hence the average densities) of over four hundred of these confirmed ...

dateNov 18, 2015 in Astronomy
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VISTA pinpoints earliest giant galaxies

Just counting the number of galaxies in a patch of sky provides a way to test astronomers' theories of galaxy formation and evolution. However, such a simple task becomes increasingly hard as astronomers attempt to count ...

dateNov 18, 2015 in Astronomy
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Peering into building blocks of galaxies

(—When a giant cloud of molecular gas condenses, star clusters are born. It may sound simple but the formation of star clusters is a very complex process, not yet completely understood by scientists. By peering ...

Astronomers discover oldest stars ever seen

An international team of astronomers, led researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Australian National University, have identified some of the oldest stars in our galaxy, which could contain vital clues about ...

Doomed quasar is heading for a powerful explosion

(—PKS 1302-102 is one of the few known quasars with a pair of black holes within its accretion disc. It is also a curious case for astronomers as it will produce a powerful explosion when these two black holes ...

Image: A supermassive black hole in action

Scientists often use the combined power of multiple telescopes to reveal the secrets of the Universe – and this image is a prime example of when this technique is strikingly effective.

Curiosity Mars rover heads toward active dunes

On its way to higher layers of the mountain where it is investigating how Mars' environment changed billions of years ago, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover will take advantage of a chance to study some modern Martian activity ...

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