astronomy

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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NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

Every mark on a planet's surface details its history. Mars is long suspected of being home to signs of life, so its history is of particular interest to researchers. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found glass deposits sitting at the nadir of some impact craters on Mars. Previous scientific inquiries into impact glass on earth have been led by Peter Schultz from Brown University. While working on an expedition in Argentina he discovered ancient plant matter and organic material embedded in glass that was formed by an impact from millions of years ago. He proposed that the similar impacts could preserve signs of life on other planets. If they could isolate glass deposits on Mars, there is a chance they could detect and analyze the biosignatures.

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Scientists mistook microwave interference for alien messages

Scientists mistook microwave interference for alien messages

Mistakes do happen even in science, which is the whole basis for the experimentation process. But there are some mistakes are just too embarrassing to make. Take for example this group of scientists who stumbled on what they thought could possibly be messages from intelligent lifeforms in outer space. Fact, however, couldn't be farther from the truth, or nearer to the scientists, in this case. Apparently, the source of the shorts bursts of energy was nothing more than their very own laboratory microwave.

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New black hole theory: Matter doesn’t disappear after entering

New black hole theory: Matter doesn’t disappear after entering

Black holes hold unfathomable mysteries, the most mysterious among them is the question of what happens to matter once it is sucked into the black hole. Scientists no longer think that it is lost and irretrievable forever. The latest theory provides a mathematical solution to the "loss paradox" that has plagued black hole physicists. This theory maintains that matter which enters a black hole still exists, in some form, actually disproving Stephen Hawking's theory of material destruction by black holes.

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The hunt for dark matter: NASA’s Hubble, Chandra uncover new clues

The hunt for dark matter: NASA’s Hubble, Chandra uncover new clues

Astronomers have uncovered new clues about the nature of mysterious dark matter using NASA's Hubble telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The newest discovery is that dark matter doesn't decelerate when it collides against other dark matter. Previous theories held dark matter to be more interactive. If this new information is correct, it could eliminate some previous theories about the behavior of dark matter. For example: because dark matter doesn't slow down when it collides with itself, theories relying on strong friction are out the window.

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See the Supermoon this Friday and Saturday night

See the Supermoon this Friday and Saturday night

The moon will be fullest on early Saturday morning - July 12 - creating what’s generally referred to as a "Supermoon" for one of three times this year. This Supermoon appears when our Earth is sitting closest to the moon in its rotation around our planet. This event will occur on the 10th of August and the 9th of September of 2014 as well.

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Gliese 832c possibly habitable but has extreme seasons

Gliese 832c possibly habitable but has extreme seasons

Don't get your hopes up yet for galactic colonization, but a new planet has just been added to the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. Gliese 832 c of the Gliese 832 star system is theorized to have temperatures close to Earth's, making it possibly habitable except for one glaring flaw: it has large seasonal shifts.

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White dwarf star could be Earth-sized diamond

White dwarf star could be Earth-sized diamond

If people here on earth already fight over diamonds, imagine what they would do over one the size of the planet itself. That might actually be what David Kaplan and astronomers from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have discovered, a dead star so cold that it might have crystalized over to become a literal gem in the sky.

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B612 says Earth avoids massive asteroids with “blind luck”

B612 says Earth avoids massive asteroids with “blind luck”

With Earth Day round the bend, you’d expect to hear some positive news regarding our planet and the celestial bodies that surround it; instead we have some not-so-good-news. According to former NASA astronauts, we're depending on "blind luck" when it comes to the asteroids avoiding our planet. Apparently we get hit three to ten times more by large-scale asteroids than what is being officially declared by the authorities, this information being brought forward by this trio of space-fairing fellows this week.

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