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NASA missions harvest a passel of 'pumpkin' stars

Astronomers using observations from NASA's Kepler and Swift missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun. The stars, which spin ...

dateOct 27, 2016 in Astronomy
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Kepler has caught hundreds of asteroids

Previously, the Kepler space telescope looked straight out from the solar system in a direction almost perpendicular to the ecliptic and the plane of the planets. This way, it could observe the same spot all year long, as ...

dateOct 24, 2016 in Astronomy
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Cloudy nights, sunny days on distant hot Jupiters

The weather forecast for faraway, blistering planets called "hot Jupiters" might go something like this: Cloudy nights and sunny days, with a high of 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,300 degrees Celsius, or 1,600 Kelvin).

dateOct 18, 2016 in Astronomy
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Kepler gets the 'big picture' of comet 67P

On Sept. 30, the European Space Agency concluded its Rosetta mission and the study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. During the final month of the mission, NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft had a unique opportunity ...

dateOct 07, 2016 in Space Exploration
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Kepler watched a Cepheid star boil

After four years of continuous monitoring, astronomers detected clear signs of convective cells in a giant pulsating star for the first time using the Kepler space telescope.

dateSep 28, 2016 in Astronomy
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Know thy star, know thy planet

When it comes to exoplanets, astronomers have realized that they only know the properties of the planets they discover as well as they know the properties of the stars being orbited. For a planet's size, precisely characterizing ...

dateSep 14, 2016 in Astronomy
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