Space

Jupiter’s twin is tiniest planet ever seen outside our Solar System

Jupiter’s twin is tiniest planet ever seen outside our Solar System

Using the Gemini Planet Imager, researchers have discovered a planet near the star 51 Eridani consistent in size and formation with our own Jupiter. This planet has been dubbed 51 Eridani b or "51 Eri b", and has a luminosity low enough to be consistent with the cold-start core accretion process that may have kickstarted Jupiter. At the same time, this planet's possible hot-start formation models indicate a planet with twice the mass of Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system at 318 times the size of our Earth - imagine a planet twice that size.

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Perseid meteor shower peaked with 100 meteors an hour

Perseid meteor shower peaked with 100 meteors an hour

Last night brought a grand celestial show for those who were in regions with agreeable weather. The Perseid meteor shower was complemented by a lack of intrusive moonlight, and as a result many got a solid look at the meteors as they blazed by. The shower started in earnest earlier this week and increased over a couple days to hit its peak last night. Very early this morning was arguably the best time to have watched the shower, but it you go out tonight you'll still be able to catch the stragglers.

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ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

A project called Cities at Night is using photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station to map nightly light pollution in cities across the world. The project started last summer, and requires the mapping of more than 130,000 high-resolution photographs using geo-centric details. This project is looking at the amount of light produced by cities across the entire globe, including the smaller sources of scattered light in addition to the bigger, more obvious points of light pollution.

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The Universe is dying – across all wavelengths

The Universe is dying – across all wavelengths

While it's been widely accepted that the Universe is slowly fading since the late 1990s, a study published today shows the great extent to which its death is occurring. "The Universe has basically sat down on the soft, pulled up a blanket, and is about to nod off for an eternal doze," suggested Simon Driver of ICRAR, lead author on the study. Measurements of energy output of each of 200,000 galaxies has been done at 21 wavelengths, from far infrared back down to ultraviolet. As broad a wavelength range as possible was studied by researchers who've now concluded that, yes, the Universe is indeed fading out.

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Study claims that the universe is slowly dying

Study claims that the universe is slowly dying

The conclusion to an astronomical study has been published that claims the universe is slowly dying. The results of the study claims to have established the decline of the universe with unprecedented precision. An international team of 100 scientists used data from the most powerful telescopes in the world, both on land and in space, for the study.

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Space lettuce: astronauts eat first-ever off-world veggies

Space lettuce: astronauts eat first-ever off-world veggies

The first fresh food grown in a microgravity environment - off of the planet Earth - have been consumed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station this week. Members of Expedition 44 shared video of their harvest and consumption of the lettuce they grew, part of an experiment called Veg-01. Before samples of the lettuce are sent back to the surface of our planet, astronauts took their first bites. This experiment was started by Expedition 39's flight engineer Steve Swanson back in May of 2014.

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ISS astronauts sample veggies grown in space

ISS astronauts sample veggies grown in space

Crewmembers on the ISS have harvested their very first vegetable crop that was grown completely in space. Members of expedition 44 harvested a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce on August 10. The harvest came from the Veggie plant growth laboratory on the ISS. Since water is hard to get and vital to life aboard the ISS, the lettuce will be cleaned using food sanitizing wipes.

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NASA pic spurs conspiracy theory about crabs on Mars

NASA pic spurs conspiracy theory about crabs on Mars

Let's play a game. It's called, "Can you spot the crab in this NASA picture from Mars?" If you look and look again and still can't find that pesky crab, don't be dismayed. The crab (probably) doesn't exist, and so you shouldn't be upset unless you actually do see a crab or two in the picture, in which case you have our condolences. That hasn't stopped the Internet from lighting up with speculation, accusations that NASA is keeping another secret, and the disappointing reality that, apparently, a crab is our first introduction to alien lifeforms.

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Black hole fountains shepherd new galaxies into life

Black hole fountains shepherd new galaxies into life

A black-hole fountain might sound like something from science fiction, but NASA believes it's actually part of a high-energy cycle by which galaxies coalesce. Combining high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope imagery with ground-based captures, scientists were able to observe knots of hot, blue stars that were forming along the jets from active black holes, with a thunderstorm of heated and cooling gases through giant elliptical galaxies.

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Ghost of a dying star captured by ESO

Ghost of a dying star captured by ESO

Today we're seeing that the Very Large Telescope has returned an image from space which eclipses all others of its kind. This is the image of a dying star. What you're seeing is the remnants of a star that's long since burned out. Gases are spreading outward in an orb, a sort of ghost of the brightly lit gas giant it once was. This is a nebula, known now as the Southern Owl Nebula, appearing here with a diameter of nearly four light-years.

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NASA’s EPIC new photos show our moon’s brilliance

NASA’s EPIC new photos show our moon’s brilliance

NASA has released a new sequence of images offering a rare, and incredible, look at the moon passing in front of the sunlit side of Earth. The images, which NASA ever so kindly shared as a GIF, the internet's favorite format, are impressive in that they clearly depict the relationship between our planet and the lunar surface, with the comparison revealing just how bring Earth really is. Also impressive is the fact that the photos were captured from about 1 millions miles away.

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