astronomy

Astronomers discover the universe’s largest known structure

Astronomers discover the universe’s largest known structure

Astronomers have discovered a large quasar group, more commonly referred to as an LQG, that is reported to be the largest known structure in the universe. The discovery was reported in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal, and was led by the University of Central Lancashire. The LQG is so large, in fact, that it challenges the Cosmological Principle.

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SpaceX wants to send its employees into orbit in 2015

SpaceX wants to send its employees into orbit in 2015

SpaceX stated during a conference at the Kennedy Space Center that it plans to send a crew of its own employees into orbit in 2015. This follows the company's successfully completed unmanned mission to the ISS, earning the record of first commercial company to do so. The announcement was made by Garret Reisman, one of SpaceX's project managers and former NASA astronaut.

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Astronomers claim there are no less than 17 billion planets in the Milky Way

Astronomers claim there are no less than 17 billion planets in the Milky Way

In the midst of searching for another Earth-like planet using NASA's Kepler spacecraft, astronomers are at least finding Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars. According to research presented at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the Milky Way is claimed to have no less than 17 billion planets that are roughly the size of earth.

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Unique Martian rock found in the Sahara desert

Unique Martian rock found in the Sahara desert

A rock from the Red Planet was discovered in the Sahara desert, and has been under study for the last year. The results from the study show that it is different from other Martian rocks that have been discovered, in that it contains more water and is older than the majority of other discoveries. The finding has been named NWA 7034, is said to be 2.1 billion years old, and offers a glimpse into Mars' history.

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Quadrantid meteor shower to start around midnight

Quadrantid meteor shower to start around midnight

Just three days into the new year, and star gazers are in for a treat. On January 3 (starting at midnight tonight and lasting into the morning hours), the Quandrantid meteor shower will put on a show for the Western coast of the United states, as well as Asia. The Quads, as it is more commonly known, typically produce 60 to 200 meteors per hour, but will sadly fall during daylight hours for certain time zones.

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Earth microbes can survive on Mars, study finds

Earth microbes can survive on Mars, study finds

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of Florida show that the anaerobic organism Carnobacterium can survive on the Red Planet. This comes after years of belief that any Earth microbes that make their way to Mars via devices sent there, such as the Curiosity rover, won't survive the conditions. In light of this information, scientists have to be more careful than ever to avoid sending microbes to the Martian planet.

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Earth twin will be discovered in 2013, according to scientists

Earth twin will be discovered in 2013, according to scientists

Exoplanets have been popping up in the world of astronomy with relatively high frequency over the last half decade or so, with the latest one being the 51 Pegasi b that was revealed back in October. Thanks to advances in technology and other factors, it is likely the first "Earth twin" planet will be discovered next year, according to scientists.

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December 13 promises grand Geminid meteor shower

December 13 promises grand Geminid meteor shower

On December 13, star-gazers will be graced with the Geminid meteor shower, which promises dozens of shooting stars throughout the night and early morning. These particular meteor showers are known for their reliability and strong presence. This shower specifically will be extra awesome due to falling during an almost moonless week.

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NASA finds over 100 billion tons of ice on Mercury

NASA finds over 100 billion tons of ice on Mercury

NASA scientists have discovered that Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, is home to a whole lot of ice. This, of course, is the same planet that gets ridiculously hot around its equator, to the tune of about 800-degrees Fahrenheit. There has been speculation for quite some time that the craters located on the planet's poles might contain ice; now we have confirmation thanks to scientists working with the Messenger mission.

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Penumbral lunar eclipse scheduled for 6AM PST tomorrow

Penumbral lunar eclipse scheduled for 6AM PST tomorrow

Tomorrow at about 6AM Pacific time, if you're not unlucky enough to have an overcast sky, you'll be able to observe a penumbral lunar eclipse. This happens when the Earth moves between the moon and sun, and the moon ends up under Earth's penumbra. According to NASA, the eclipse will be at its greatest around 6:33am, and will be visible until around 7am.

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Fighting asteroids with paintballs: an MIT graduate student’s winning strategy

Fighting asteroids with paintballs: an MIT graduate student’s winning strategy

It’s like something out a strange science fiction movie: a giant asteroid careening towards earth is diverted using a massive blast of paintballs fired into space, saving mankind and forever giving paintball-lovers bragging rights over airsoft fans. As odd as it sounds, this very proposal earned Sung Wook Paek, Department of Aeronautics and Astronauts at MIT, the 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition. And yes, there’s a video.

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ESO assembles 9-gigapixel image of 84 million stars

ESO assembles 9-gigapixel image of 84 million stars

ESO has released a ginormous 9-gigapixel image of 84 million stars taken via the VISTA infrared survey telescope at its Paranal Observatory. Featuring the center of the Milky Way, this huge picture is the by-product of an international team of astronomers, and will be used to help study our galaxy. Just how big is 9-gigapixels? Printed "with the resolution of a typical book," it would be almost 30 feet long and 23 feet high.

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