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Formation of the moon brought water to Earth

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. Planetologists ...

Stellar waltz with dramatic ending

Astronomers at the University of Bonn and their colleagues from Moscow have identified an unusual celestial object. It is most likely the product of the fusion of two stars that died a long time ago. After billions of years ...

Brown dwarfs are formed in the same way as sun-like stars

Astronomers have discovered a so-called proto-disc around the proto-brown dwarf Mayrit. With this discovery, they were able to confirm for the first time that this celestial body was formed in the same way as sun-like stars.

Juno finds changes in Jupiter's magnetic field

NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter made the first definitive detection beyond our world of an internal magnetic field that changes over time, a phenomenon called secular variation. Juno determined the gas giant's secular variation ...

Is dark matter made of axions? Black holes may reveal the answer

What is dark matter made of? It's one of the most perplexing questions of modern astronomy. We know that dark matter is out there, since we can see its obvious gravitational influence on everything from galaxies to the evolution ...

A massive collision in the Milky Way's past

Our Milky Way galaxy has probably collided or otherwise interacted with other galaxies during its lifetime; such interactions are common cosmic occurrences. Astronomers can deduce the history of mass accretion onto the Milky ...

Planet-hunter CubeSat images Los Angeles

A small satellite designed to hunt for new planets beyond the solar system recently looked down at Earth to capture an image of California's "City of Stars."

CosmoGAN: Training a neural network to study dark matter

As cosmologists and astrophysicists delve deeper into the darkest recesses of the universe, their need for increasingly powerful observational and computational tools has expanded exponentially. From facilities such as the ...

Galaxy blazes with new stars born from close encounter

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a new look at the spectacular irregular galaxy NGC 4485, which has been warped and wound by its larger galactic neighbour. The gravity of the second galaxy has disrupted the ordered ...

Elliptical galaxies shed new light on dark matter

In the 1930s, it was first noticed that the dynamics of astrophysical objects (galaxies, galaxy clusters and the universe itself) required an invisible and unknown form of mass, known now as dark matter. Strong mass discrepancies ...

First-ever constructed image of a terrestrial gamma-ray flash

Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes occur above some thunderstorms and propagate out into space. These high-energy discharges of photons were only discovered less than 25 years ago when a NASA spacecraft designed to observe cosmic ...

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