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Space News Reports

NASA/Hubble: "Human Civilization Has Arrived Early in the Universe" (2015 Most Popular)
The NASA researchers say that future Earths are more likely to appear inside giant galaxy clusters and also in dwarf galaxies, which have yet to use up all their gas for building stars and accompanying planetary
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'Does This Tiny Ocean World Harbor Life?'--NASA's Last Flyby of Saturn's Geyser Moon, Enceladus
         "We bid a poignant goodbye to our close views of this amazing icy world," said Linda Spilker, the mission's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
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Image of the Day: "Previously Unknown Part of the Milky Way"
By mapping out the locations of a class of stars that vary in brightness called Cepheids, a disc of young stars buried behind thick dust clouds in the central bulge has been found. The dust clouds in interstellar
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U.S. Demonstrates Production of Fuel for Missions to the Solar System and Beyond
This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013), plus three
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Methane Emissions in Arctic Cold Season Higher Than Expected
The amount of methane gas escaping from the ground during the long cold period in the Arctic each year and entering Earth's atmosphere is likely much higher than estimated by current carbon cycle models, concludes a major new
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Cassini Completes Final Close Enceladus Flyby 29 December 2015, 23.10 Space
Cassini Completes Final Close Enceladus Flyby
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has begun transmitting data and images from the mission's final close flyby of Saturn's active moon Enceladus. Cassini passed Enceladus at a distance of 3,106 miles (4,999 kilometers) on Saturday,
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NASA Suspends 2016 Launch of InSight Mission to Mars
After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. The decision follows
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Radar Images of a Christmas-Eve Asteroid: An Early Gift for Astronomers
These images of an asteroid 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) long were taken on Dec. 17 (left) and Dec. 22 by scientists using NASA's giant Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California. This asteroid will safely fly past Earth
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NASA Reaches New Heights in 2015 29 December 2015, 23.09 Space
NASA Reaches New Heights in 2015
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International Instrument Delivered for NASA’s 2016 Asteroid Sample Return Mission
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Plunging into the Ionosphere: Satellite’s Last Days Improve Orbital Decay Predictions
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Hubble Helps Solve Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars 29 December 2015, 23.09 Space
Hubble Helps Solve Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars
Get larger image formats For the past 60 years, astronomers have been puzzled by an unusual type of star that looks hotter and bluer than it should for its age. It has been dubbed a "blue straggler" because it seems to lag
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NASA Space Telescopes See Magnified Image of the Faintest Galaxy from the Early Universe
Get larger image formats Hunting for faraway galaxies that existed long, long ago is like a fishing trip for astronomers. So far only the "big fish" have been found, bright galaxies that existed just a few hundred million
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Hubble Uncovers Fading Cinders of Some of Our Galaxy's Earliest Homesteaders
Get larger image formats About 13 billion years ago, long before our sun formed, the construction of our Milky Way galaxy was just beginning. Young, mostly sun-like stars in the core, or central bulge, provided the
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AURA Appoints New STScI Director 29 December 2015, 23.09 Space
AURA Appoints New STScI Director
Get larger image formats Dr. Kenneth R. Sembach has been appointed director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in
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Spirals in Dust Around Young Stars May Betray Presence of Massive Planets
Get larger image formats A team of astronomers is proposing that huge spiral patterns seen around some newborn stars, merely a few million years old (about one percent our sun's age), may be evidence for the presence of
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Most Earth-Like Worlds Have Yet to Be Born, According to Theoretical Study
Get larger image formats Astronomers are conducting extensive observations to estimate how many planets in our Milky Way galaxy might be potential abodes for life. These are collectively called "Earth-like" in other words,
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Hubble's Planetary Portrait Captures New Changes in Jupiter's Great Red Spot
Get larger image formats Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have produced new global maps of Jupiter the first in a series of annual portraits of the solar system's outer planets from the Outer Planet
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Hubble Sees the Force Awakening in a Newborn Star
Get larger image formats Just about anything is possible in our remarkable universe, and it often competes with the imaginings of science fiction writers and filmmakers. Hubble's latest contribution is a striking photo of
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Caught in the Act: Hubble Captures First-Ever Predicted Exploding Star
Get larger image formats Hubble has captured an image of the first-ever predicted supernova explosion. The reappearance of the supernova dubbed "Refsdal" was calculated by different mass models of a galaxy cluster whose
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NASA Space Telescopes Solve Missing Water Mystery in Comprehensive  Survey of Exoplanets
Get larger image formats A survey of Jupiter-sized exoplanets conducted with the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has solved a long-standing mystery why some of these worlds seem to have less water than expected.
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NASA's Hubble Finds Evidence of Galaxy Star Birth Regulated by Black-Hole Fountain
Get larger image formats Astronomers have long wondered how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth. By combining data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
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Telescopes Team Up to Find Distant Uranus-Sized Planet Through Microlensing
Get larger image formats The majority of planets discovered outside our solar system orbit close to their parent stars because these planets are the easiest to find. But to fully understand how distant planetary systems
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Oldest Stars of the Universe --Harbor Clues to Its Evolution
The artists image above shows the Methuselah of stars formed shortly after the big bang — which has existed in our Solar System’s neighborhood for at least 13.2 billion years. The star, dubbed HD 140283,
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Today's 'Galaxy' Insight --"Seeing the Future of the Universe"
      "Do you realize that if you fall into a black hole, you will see the entire future of the Universe unfold in front of you in a matter of moments and you will emerge into another
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Hubble --"Largest Moon in Our Solar System Harbors a Buried Ocean 100 Kilometers Deep" (Weekend Feature)
      This past March, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope revealed the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to
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NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Stays the Course to Pluto
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NASA’s Chandra Captures X-Ray Echoes Pinpointing Distant Neutron Star
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Veteran NASA Spacecraft Nears 60,000th Lap Around Mars, No Pit Stops
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Hubble Sees the 'Teenage Years' of Quasars 03 July 2015, 19.36 Space
Hubble Sees the 'Teenage Years' of Quasars
Get larger image formats Quasars are the light fantastic. They are the brightest beacons in the universe, blazing across space with the intrinsic brightness of one trillion suns. Yet the objects are not vast galaxies, but
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Hubble Telescope Detects 'Sunscreen' Layer on Distant Planet
Get larger image formats Researchers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have detected a stratosphere and temperature inversion in the atmosphere of a planet several times the mass of Jupiter, called WASP-33b. Earth's
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Lonely Galaxy 'Lost in Space' 03 July 2015, 19.36 Space
Lonely Galaxy 'Lost in Space'
Get larger image formats This magnificent spiral galaxy is at the edge of what astronomers call the Local Void. The Local Void is a huge volume of space that is at least 150 million light-years across that doesn't seen to
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Hubble Finds Two Chaotically Tumbling Pluto Moons
Get larger image formats Two of the most reliable changes in the sky are the daily rising of the sun in the east and setting of the sun in the west. But if you lived on a couple of Pluto's moons you wouldn't know when the
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Hubble Video Shows Shock Collision Inside Black Hole Jet
Get larger image formats One of the trademarks of the Star Wars film episodes is the dreaded Death Star battle station that fires a beam of directed energy powerful enough to blow up planets. The real universe has
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Hubble Sees a 'Behemoth' Bleeding Atmosphere Around a Warm Neptune-Sized Exoplanet
Get larger image formats Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dubbed "The Behemoth" bleeding off a planet orbiting a nearby star. The enormous, comet-like feature is
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Future News Reports

Obama's War Against US Energy Independence:  Give Away Oil Rich Alaskan Islands to Russia!
  By Joe Miller The Obama administration, despite the nation’s economic woes, effectively killed the job-producing Keystone Pipeline last month. The Arab Spring is turning the oil production of Libya and other Arab
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OSBIT Power's MaXccess system completes successful offshore trials 08 April 2012, 02.33 Administrator Energy
OSBIT Power's MaXccess system completes successful offshore trials
OSBIT Power's MaXccess system completes successful offshore trials Visit http://www.osbitpower.com for further information OSBIT Power (OP), Siemens Wind Power and Statoil have successfully completed offshore
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North America's EV charging infrastructure to get a boost 12 January 2012, 02.01 Administrator Energy
North America's EV charging infrastructure to get a boost
        North America’s EV charging infrastructure may soon see significant improvements, thanks to a recent agreement between Eaton Corporation and Coulomb Technologies. Under the deal, Eaton’s Level II and
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Could The Gravitomagnetic Field Be The Ultimate Energy Source? 28 May 2011, 01.34 Administrator Energy
Could The Gravitomagnetic Field Be The Ultimate Energy Source?
      Have scientists already unknowingly discovered the source for all atomic energy reactions, and could the discovery of the gravitomagnetic field be the ultimate energy source?  What if our understandings on how
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Physicists urge caution over apparent speed of light violation 25 September 2011, 16.27 Administrator Energy
Physicists urge caution over apparent speed of light violation
Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet Physicist Antonio Ereditato poses before presenting the result of an experiment, which found a subatomic particle, the neutrino, seemed to move faster than the speed of
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STEORN ORBO  FREE ENERGY:  What's Next a Self Charging Unit for your Electric Car?
Steorn's Free Energy Orbo -- From Permanent Magnets to Solid State Systems   My associate, Hank Mills composed this for PESN, Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:17 Steorn is a small company based in Dublin, Ireland. For
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Cold Fusion, Releases Energy from Hydrogen's Gravitomagnetic Field 16 January 2011, 09.17 Administrator Energy
Cold Fusion, Releases Energy  from Hydrogen's Gravitomagnetic Field
Cold Fusion "In Bologna we did it" By Ilaria VENTURI, La Republica News, Bolona, Italy For the first time in Italy, in front of experts, the process was carried out using nickel and hydrogen. It 's the way to achieve
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Abu Dhabi Media Zone to generate renewable energy through its façade
Eco Factor: Sustainable development to generate renewable solar energy. Bernard Tschumi Architects have re-imagined their master plan for the new Abu Dhabi Media Zone, by incorporating several environmentally-friendly
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Sun-Like G-Dwarf Stars --"Best Bet for Locating Habitable Planets" PDF Print E-mail
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For planets to be habitable, they must orbit stars within the 'habitable zone' where it is not too hot or too cold. In addition, recent studies on habitability of planets suggest that the water-land ratio must be similar to the Earth. That is, the water mass fraction should not be far from that of the Earth's (~0.01wt%): planets with too much water (> 1 wt%)"ocean planets"lead to an unstable climate and lack of nutrient supply; and water-poor planets like Venus "dune planets"become too arid for inhabiting.

Whereas G dwarfs stars with the mass of our Sun keep almost constant luminosity during the 'pre-main sequence' of their evolution, the luminosity of M dwarfs decreases by more than an order of magnitude during this stage. This means that planets with the right amount of water at the right distance from M stars may become too arid from over-exposure during the higher-luminosity early pre-main sequence period, while ocean planets retain their large amount of water.

Ida and Tian simulated planet distributions around stars with 0.3, 0.5 and 1.0 times the mass of the Sun. They then applied a model for water loss and accounted for the change in luminosity. They found that Earth-mass planets with Earth-like water contents occur 10100 times less frequently around M dwarfs than around G dwarfs. They conclude, "We suggest that stars close to the size of the Sun should be the primary targets for detecting Earth-like planets."

The image below shows water mass fractions versus orbital distances of Earth-mass planets 90Myr after entering the pre-main sequence. ac, Results from simulations of stars with 0.3 (top), 0.5 (middle) and 1 (bottom) solar masses without considering the pre-main sequence stellar luminosity evolution and water loss. df, Results considering the stellar luminosity evolution and water loss. The habitable zones of the stars in the main sequence phase are marked by blue shaded areas. Stellar masses are marked in the panels.

Planets are understood to form alongside stars. As matter condenses under gravity to form the star, the surrounding circulating matter begins to flatten into a protoplanetary disk, a little like a spun clump of dough flattening to form a pizza base. Matter in this disk coalesces to form planets.

Several complex and competing processes are in play during planetary formation. The initial mass of the coalescing planet, the distribution of material feeding into the formation of stars and surrounding systems, density, star luminosity, orbit and potential collisions are all factors that affect planetary formation and the final characteristics of the planet formed.

Models incorporating the various factors have been developed, tested against observations and augmented, making it possible to simulate the planetary bodies likely to form and their characteristics. However until this study nobody had modelled how the change in luminosity of M stars might affect the surface water content of planets in the habitable zone.

As well as simulations there are a number of projects and facilities to provide data on real planets and their characteristics. Bulk density measurements and multiband spectral data allow planets with Earth-like water contents to be distinguished from ocean or dune planets by future observations.

Of the stars observed within 30 light years of the Sun, 60% are less than 0.3 the mass of the Sun, 35% are between 0.3 and 1 solar masses and 20% are between 0.6 and 1 solar mass. Missions and facilities that will be used in the search for Earth like planets around nearby stars over the next ten years include TESS and Plato.

The simulations by Ida and Tian indicated that for 1000 stars of 0.3 solar masses there might be 69,000 orbiting planetary bodies, of which 5,000 had a similar mass to the Earth and 55 were in the habitable zone. Those in the habitable zone included 31 ocean planets. 23 dune planets and just 1 with Earth-like water content.

For 1000 stars with half the mass of the Sun the simulation produced 75,000 planetary bodies, of which more than 9000 had Earth-like masses, and 292 were in the habitable zone: 60 ocean planets; 220 dune planets and 12 with Earth-like water content.

Finally for 1000 simulated stars with a similar mass to the Sun, there were 38,000 planetary bodies, 8,000 with Earth-like masses and 407 in the inhabitable zone. Those in the habitable zone included 91 ocean planets and 45 dune planets, but 271 - the vast majority had Earth-like water content.

Although the detailed numbers in the statistics are not important, Ida and Tian highlight the contrast in the fraction of planets in the habitable zones having Earth-like water content between Sun-like stars and lower-mass stars is significant. At the same time, they caveat that further studies are needed to determine how efficiently water is retained in the mantle, as well as the evolution of its release to the surface.

The Daily Galaxy via Tokyo Institute of Technology

Image credit:  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory 

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The "Quantum" Sleeping Beauty --Why Einstein's Paper Took Half a Century to Make an Impact PDF Print E-mail

"This study provides empirical evidence that a paper can truly be 'ahead of its time,'" said Alessandro Flammini, an associate professor of informatics and corresponding author on the study. "A 'premature' topic may fail to attract attention even when it is introduced by authors who have already established a strong scientific reputation."

A prime example is a seminal paper by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen that laid out the "EPR Paradox," a major puzzle in quantum entanglement theory in which particles with past interaction remain linked in their behavior no matter their distance, including across a galaxy. The IU study found that the paper, published in 1935, didn't receive widespread citation until 1994.

The drowsiest sleeping beauty in the study came from the influential statistician Karl Pearson. His paper that was published in 1901 in the journal Philosophical Magazine did not "awaken" until 2002.

Among the top 15 sleeping beauties, four were published over 100 years ago.

"The potential application of some studies are simply unforeseen at the time," Flammini said. "The second-ranked sleeping beauty in our study, published in 1958, concerns the preparation of graphic oxide, which much later became a compound used to produce graphene, a material hundreds of time more resistant than steel and therefore of great interest to industry."

The disciplines with the highest rate of delayed recognition were physics, chemistry, multidisciplinary science, mathematics, and general and internal medicine, with several papers experiencing hibernation periods upwards of 70 years.

The top journals for the publication of sleeping beauties were PNAS, Nature and Science.

To conduct the study, Flammini and collaborators drew upon a massive dataset of tens of millions of publications across multiple disciplines over more than a century. The trove of data came from the archives of the American Physical Society, a major publication outlet in physics, and the Web of Science, which includes papers in both the sciences and social sciences.

The scientists drew upon over 380,000 publications from the American Physical Society and 22.4 million from Web of Science.

To calculate a paper's "beauty coefficient," the IU scientists compared a paper's citation history against a line of reference based upon publication year, the maximum number of citations received in a year (within a multi-year observation period) and the year when maximum citation was achieved. They also calculated the "awakening time," the year in which an abrupt change occurred compared to past citations.

Using a massive dataset and open parameters, Flammini found delayed recognition is not as rare a phenomenon as suggested in previous work on the topic, including a 2004 study from the Dutch statistician Anthony F.J. van Raan, who coined the term "sleeping beauties."

The IU study also revealed that statistics, a discipline that had not been previously seen as rich in sleeping beauties, was among the top five fields to experience delayed citations, possibly due to the recent explosion in the availability of extremely large datasets. In addition to the study by Pearson, Flammini's top 15 list included a paper from Edin Bidell Wilson, dormant for 70 years, that introduced an important formula for analyzing small datasets or calculating extreme probability.

Other disciplines named for the first time among those experiencing delayed recognition were probability, surgery and the social sciences.

Broadly, Flammini said the greatest proportion of delayed recognition occurred in papers whose citations made the jump to a new discipline, with different scholars finding new resonances in their own fields.

But sleeping beauties are also fickle, and defy easy definition. The study found no clear demarcation value separating them from "normal" papers, or a method to predict the timing or nature of renewed interest in their topics.

"We found the delayed recognition occurs on a wide and continuous range, in sharp contrast with previous results claiming that long dormant studies are extraordinary cases," Flammini said. "But more work is needed to uncover the 'trigger mechanisms' for awakening these sleeping beauties."

The Daily Galaxy via Indiana University

Image credit: geekpause.com

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NASA Research Reveals Europa's Mystery Dark Material Could Be Sea Salt PDF Print E-mail

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NASA’s New Horizons Detects Surface Features, Possible Polar Cap on Pluto PDF Print E-mail

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NASA’s Europa Mission Begins with Selection of Science Instruments PDF Print E-mail

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Hubble Observes One-of-a-Kind Star Nicknamed 'Nasty' PDF Print E-mail
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Astronomers have spent decades trying to determine the oddball behavior of an aging star nicknamed "Nasty 1" residing in our Milky Way galaxy. Nasty 1 was identified as a Wolf-Rayet star, a rapidly evolving star that is much more massive than our sun. The star loses its hydrogen-filled outer layers quickly, exposing its super-hot and extremely bright helium-burning core.

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Hubble Catches a Stellar Exodus in Action PDF Print E-mail


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Globular star clusters are isolated star cities, home to hundreds of thousands of stars. And like the fast pace of cities, there's plenty of action in these stellar metropolises. The stars are in constant motion, orbiting around the cluster's center. Past observations have shown that the heavyweight stars live in the crowded downtown, or core, and lightweight stars reside in the less populated suburbs.

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Hubble Finds Giant Halo Around the Andromeda Galaxy PDF Print E-mail


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The Andromeda galaxy is our Milky Way's nearest neighbor in space. The majestic spiral of over 100 billion stars is comparable in size to our home galaxy. At a distance of 2.5 million light-years, it is so close to us the galaxy can be seen as a cigar-shaped smudge of light high in the autumn sky. But if you could see the huge bubble of hot, diffuse plasma surrounding it, it would appear 100 times the angular diameter of the full Moon! The gargantuan halo is estimated to contain half the mass of the stars in the Andromeda galaxy itself. It can be thought of as the "atmosphere" of a galaxy. Astronomers using Hubble identified the gas in Andromeda's halo by measuring how it filtered the light of distant bright background objects called quasars. It is akin to seeing the glow of a flashlight shining through a fog. This finding promises to tell astronomers more about the evolution and structure of one of the most common types of galaxies in the universe.

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Astronomers Set a New Galaxy Distance Record PDF Print E-mail


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The universe is incredibly big. But how do astronomers know that? Billion-mile-long tape measures can't be found at the hardware store. Instead, astronomers use the expansion of the universe itself to establish milepost markers. The light from remote objects is attenuated and weakened as space stretches like a rubber band. The consequences are that starlight will look redder relative to a nearby star of the same temperature. When starlight is spread into its component color via spectroscopy, features in the light will be shifted to the red end of the spectrum. This "redshift" can be used to reliably calibrate distances. The challenge is the farthest objects in the universe are typically too faint for spectroscopy to work. So instead, astronomers deduce a galaxy's distance by precisely measuring its colors in visible and infrared light. This technique has found candidates for the farthest object in the universe.

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SpaceX Aims for Mars with Reusable Rockets, Spaceships:     LOS ANGELES — As SpaceX's Dragon capsule descended toward Earth, it was clear this landing was going to be different than previous ones. Instead of falling toward the ocean...
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