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Astronomy news

The hot blue stars of Messier 47

Messier 47 is located approximately 1600 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Puppis (the poop deck of the mythological ship Argo). It was first noticed some time before 1654 by Italian astronomer ...

Dec 17, 2014
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Why is space black?

Imagine you're in space. Just the floating part, not the peeing into a vacuum hose or eating that funky "ice cream" from foil bags part. If you looked at the Sun, it would be bright and your retinas would ...

Dec 16, 2014
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Image: The magnetic field along the galactic plane

While the pastel tones and fine texture of this image may bring to mind brush strokes on an artist's canvas, they are in fact a visualisation of data from ESA's Planck satellite. The image portrays the interaction ...

Dec 16, 2014
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Confirmation bias in studies of gamma ray bursts

Our understanding of gamma ray bursts (GRBs) – flashes of gamma rays from explosions in distant galaxies – since they were discovered more than 50 years ago may not be as solid as first thought.

Dec 16, 2014
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Magnetic fields on solar-type stars

The Sun rotates slowly, about once every 24 days at its equator although the hot gas at every latitude rotates at a slightly different rate. Rotation helps to drive the mechanisms that power stellar magnetic ...

Dec 12, 2014
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Two spiral galaxies in the process of merging

At this time of year, there are lots of gatherings often decorated with festive lights. When galaxies get together, there is the chance of a spectacular light show as is the case with NGC 2207 and IC 2163

Dec 12, 2014
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Molecular striptease explains Buckyballs in space

Scientists from Leiden University have shown in the laboratory how Buckyballs - molecular soccerballs - form in space. The experiments are special, as these are based on a new chemical concept - top-down, ...

Dec 09, 2014
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Effects of accretion disks around newborn stars

Stars are born in dense, cool clouds of molecular gas and dust. When the local density is high enough, the matter can gravitationally collapse to form a new star, a so-called young stellar object (YSO). In ...

Dec 08, 2014
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The dark fingers of the solar atmosphere

The Sun is bubbling, forming mysterious finger-like plasma structures in its gaseous envelope, the corona. A German-American team headed by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research has now succeeded ...

Dec 08, 2014
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What is the Smallest Star?

Space and astronomy is always flaunting its size issues. Biggest star, hugest nebula, prettiest most talented massive galaxy, most infinite universe, and which comet came out on top in the bikini category. ...

Dec 05, 2014
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Other news

Quest to unravel mysteries of our gene network

In the battle against Ebola, a double-layer solution

Green light for E-ELT construction

The E-ELT will be a 39-metre aperture optical and infrared telescope sited on Cerro Armazones in the Chilean Atacama Desert, 20 kilometres from ESO's Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal. It will be the ...

Can binary terrestrial planets exist?

The possible existence of Earth-like binary planets is being described today at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, AZ. Two bodies, each of mass similar ...

Strange galaxy perplexes astronomers

With the help of citizen scientists, a team of astronomers has found an important new example of a very rare type of galaxy that may yield valuable insight on how galaxies developed in the early Universe. ...

Big data and the science of the Christmas tree

Could trophoblasts be the immune cells of pregnancy?

Better software cuts computer energy use

EU court says obesity can be disability

EU court clears stem cell patenting

EDAG car with textile skin set for Geneva show

A home-brew observatory detects exoplanet

David Schneider, a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum, was interested in exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun, but figured this kind of exercise as a home-based project was going to need e ...

Herschel observes Andromeda's past and future stars

Recently, the infrared Herschel Space Observatory, has taken a series of beautiful high-resolution infrared images of Andromeda. It is the first time we can see M31, at these wavelengths, at such a high resolution. ...

Gold nanorods target cancer cells

German named next head of European Space Agency

India launches biggest ever rocket into space

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