astronomy

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

The NASA Van Allen twin probes launched last year have revealed that the Earth is a giant particle accelerator. Recently it was reported that particles in the magnetosphere sometimes accelerate across distances of a few hundred meters. But the newer discovery shows the acceleration can occur across hundreds of thousands of kilometers. The data will be helpful to to scientists helping satellite operators and the International Space Station to predict and prepare for the destructive tendencies of the seemingly random fluctuations that can occur in the magnetosphere.

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Comet ISON begins to brighten on its trip towards the sun

Comet ISON begins to brighten on its trip towards the sun

Comet ISON has the potential be one of the brightest comets to fly past the Earth in many years. However, so far the brightness of the comet has been rather disappointing to astronomers and amateur skywatchers. The lack of brightness from the comet had led some to believe that it might not be as spectacular as previously hoped.

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GOCE gravity-measuring satellite gives in to gravity

GOCE gravity-measuring satellite gives in to gravity

The GOCE satellite we reported to be falling to Earth has finally succumbed to gravity entirely, breaking up into dozens of remnants weighing 20-25% of its original one ton, reports the BBC. It didn't strike any populated areas as it showered down this Sunday afternoon. Interestingly, the extremely low-orbiting observation satellite was designed in 2009 to run out of orbit-maintaining fuel right about now and fall, just, you know, anywhere. No big deal.

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Kepler Space Telescope data suggests up to 40 billion Goldilocks planets

Kepler Space Telescope data suggests up to 40 billion Goldilocks planets

A new analysis of Kepler Space Telescope data by Berkeley astronomers suggests that as many as 40 billion planets with climates similar to Earth's may be calculated to exist in the Milky Way galaxy. Of those, 11 billion orbit stars similar to our sun. The rest of the hypothetical planets orbit red dwarf stars, which are the same size as our sun but cooler. New news nicely complements the more in-depth recent mineral analysis of the single planet Kepler Planet 78b.

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Solar flares hit Earth, SWPC predicts more grid fluctuations Monday

Solar flares hit Earth, SWPC predicts more grid fluctuations Monday

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center predicts more solar storms Monday, disrupting the power grid and satellite communications. The predictions come during the peak of the current solar cycle, an eleven-year period of sun spot activity, solar storms, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The effects on Earth are expected to be relatively mild.

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Planck deep space telescope receives its final command

Planck deep space telescope receives its final command

The Planck telescope is a deep space scientific instrument that has been in use for four a half years. During the telescope's mission, it was able to determine that the universe is about 80 million years older than scientists previously thought. The telescope also made some other interesting discoveries such as spotting an 80,000,000°C gas bridge between star clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401.

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Galaxy z8_GND_5296 is the most distant ever discovered

Galaxy z8_GND_5296 is the most distant ever discovered

An international team of astronomers has detected what they say is the furthest galaxy away from our Milky Way galaxy ever discovered. Astronomers say that the newly discovered galaxy is 30 billion light years away from the Earth. The distant galaxy was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope and then confirmed using the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

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