astronomy

Astronomers discover tailless comet almost as old as Earth

Astronomers discover tailless comet almost as old as Earth

Scientists have discovered a space rock that's like nothing seen before: a comet that has no tail. While being the first of its kind makes it a truly rare find in itself, the comet is also believed to have been formed around the same time as Earth. Asteroids and comets are believed to have been created during the violent formation of the Solar System, but this example has been described as being in pristine condition, and thus contains samples of the material present when the Earth formed billions of years ago.

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Supernovae left radioactive debris on Earth 3 million years ago

Supernovae left radioactive debris on Earth 3 million years ago

The explosive death of stars have always been of interest to scientists. The chemical reactions and emissions from this phenomena usually holds clues to the very formation of the universe itself. Considering that these stars are usually thousands, if not millions, of light years away, by the time we do "see" a supernova, it means it really happened ages ago. So when scientists discover traces of radioactive debris from supernovae still lingering on earth, they are understandably pleasantly surprised and excited.

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Russia plans to use modified missiles to shoot asteroids

Russia plans to use modified missiles to shoot asteroids

The danger of large asteroids colliding with Earth is always a concern for space agencies around the world, and there are a number of plans on how to prevent this from happening. Russia, however, seems to have plans that involve a more direct approach: blowing up any approaching meteorites using intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Apparently this is the country's strategy for revenge for the 2013 meteor that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring over 1,000 people.

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Newly formed star creates a dazzling light show

Newly formed star creates a dazzling light show

Stars are wondrous and marvelous things, at least from a very safe distance of a few hundred light years away. Their birth, maturity, and death have always captured the interest of astronomers and scientists. Sometimes, however, they also capture the attention regular mortals like you and me, especially when they create a stunning light show. A newly formed star with a rather unexciting name of HD 97300 is doing exactly that, illuminating its neighboring nebula and creating a light display to remember.

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Scientists discover star-swallowing black hole

Scientists discover star-swallowing black hole

A Johns Hopkins University-led group of international astrophysicists have just published a new report in the journal Science about the first ever witnessing of a star being swallowed by a black hole. The scientists monitored the event, describing a star that was about the size of our sun, getting pulled from its course by the massive black hole's gravitational pull, and then being swallowed whole.

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Nearby galaxy discovered to have most dark matter ever known

Nearby galaxy discovered to have most dark matter ever known

In studying Triangulum II, a dwarf galaxy nearby the Milky Way, researchers from CalTech have come to realize that it has the largest concentration of dark matter ever known. It wasn't obvious at first, seeing as how dark matter is invisible to both eyes and instruments, but the realization came when they went to measure its mass, finding that it was much, much denser than it should've been for having so few stars.

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NASA captures beautiful shockwave photos using the Sun and Moon

NASA captures beautiful shockwave photos using the Sun and Moon

NASA captured the amazing photos shown here using the schlieren technique. Never heard of it? It's a way of photographing air density gradients, like shockwaves in the air, by using something like the sun or a speckled desert as a background. This technique has been use in air-to-air situations, but now NASA is experimenting with capturing similar photos from the ground. Scientists achieved these images by using the sun or moon as backgrounds while an aircraft flew by at supersonic speeds.

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After 33 years a supermoon eclipse is coming, and NASA is giddy

After 33 years a supermoon eclipse is coming, and NASA is giddy

A supermoon will be taking place on September 27th, which means a full moon will be visible when it is at the point in its orbit where it is closest to the Earth. However, as NASA explains, this is the first time in over 30 years that a lunar eclipse will be taking place at the exact same time. So in the evening on September 27th in the US, people will be able to view a total lunar eclipse of the largest moon we can see for over an hour.

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3.2 Gigapixel digital camera is a go

3.2 Gigapixel digital camera is a go

If you aren't impressed with the 23 megapixel camera sensors on some of the highest end smartphones, then this one might just knock you off your feet. Of course, it isn't going to be used on a smartphone, or any small device for that matter. This 3.2 gigapixel camera will be the digital eye of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) on top of the Cerro Pachón mountain in Chile. And it has just received the Department of Energy's thumbs up to start its construction in order to give scientists deeper insight into the mysteries of the universe.

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Cosmic butterfly: Hubble pictures the Twin Jet Nebula

Cosmic butterfly: Hubble pictures the Twin Jet Nebula

Forget the butterflies in your stomach, this one is in space. OK, so maybe it's a bit of a deformed butterfly, but the image of what is popularly known as the Twin Jet Nebula captured by the ever so reliable Hubble Space Telescope is just as beautiful, exhibiting a grand display of colors. But almost like a real butterfly whose existence signals its impeding death, this delightful show is really the dying breath of an old star, as if giving the universe one last light show before it kicks the cosmic bucket.

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First aurora outside Solar System spotted on a brown dwarf

First aurora outside Solar System spotted on a brown dwarf

Auroras. Borealis in the north, Australis in the south. Who would have thought that finding that same beautiful phenomenon on a celestial body outside our solar system would lead to much excitement. But that is exactly what the brown dwarf LSR J1835 provided astronomers. Located in the Lyra constellation 18 light years away, the small star/big planet exhibited the equivalent of the Aurora, though red in color compared to our own Earth's green. The thing is, that occurrence has never been recorded outside our Solar System.

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Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Japanese researchers have discovered a new galaxy so far away, it is in the outskirts of the charted Universe. To precisely map this galaxy the scientists turned to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope and used the gravitational lensing of a foreground galaxy, which created a "natural telescope," bending and magnifying light from the hidden, background galaxy, SDP.81. As the natural telescope magnifies SDP.81, the image loses focus and becomes smeared. The team of scientists was able to create a mathematical model to account for lens distortion and bring obscured details to light. In a way, the model is like correcting galactic astigmatism.

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