Archive | Space


First images from ALMA radio telescope

The world’s most complex ground-based astronomy observatory, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile, has captured its first image – a pair of colliding galaxies. The detailed view of the merging Antennae Galaxies confirms that the ALMA array – which is still only one-third complete – will eventually allow astronomers to explore some […]

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First exoplanet with twin suns discovered

The discovery of exoplanet Kepler-16b is the first confirmed, unambiguous example of a circumbinary planet – a planet orbiting not one, but two stars (artist’s impression appears right). Despite having two suns, astronomers say the planet is quite cold – with a surface temperature of around minus 150& #176; Fahrenheit. It is similar to Saturn […]

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Largest water mass in universe discovered

A reservoir of water that is 100,000 times the mass of the sun has been detected by an international team of astronomers in a vapor cloud surrounding a quasar 12 billion light years distant. As well as the huge quantity of water, the quasar – named APM 08279 5255 – also emits formidable amounts of […]

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Space travel safer with shiraz

Intriguing new research in the FASEB Journalsuggests that the “healthy” ingredient in red wine, resveratrol, may prevent the negative effects of weightlessness that astronauts suffer. The report describes weightlessness simulations with rats in which the resveratrol-fed rodents failed to develop insulin resistance or a loss of bone mineral density, typical health problems encountered by astronauts […]

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New class of supernova discovered

They’re bright, blue-and a bit strange, say Caltech astronomers who are puzzling over the lack of hydrogen in the spectrums of a number of distant stellar explosions. Caltech’s Robert Quimby, detailing the discovery inNature, said that six supernovae of this new type had so far been identified. Back in 2007, Quimby discovered what was then […]

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Strong evidence for liquid water in comet

The idea that comets are “dirty snowballs” frozen in time looks set for revision now that scientists have found evidence of liquid water in samples of the Wild-2 comet returned to Earth by NASA’s Stardust mission. “Current thinking suggests that it is impossible to form liquid water inside of a comet,” said the University of […]

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Cassini tracks equatorial methane rainstorms on Titan

Showers on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, have brought methane rains to its equatorial deserts, as revealed in images captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The observations, reported inScience, are the first of rain falling on Titan’s surface at low latitudes. The enormous arrow-shaped storm was captured by Cassini’s cameras as it soaked an area the size […]

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Hubble snaps most distant galaxy yet

Astronomers have pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to it limits by finding what they believe to be the most distant object ever seen in the universe – a mini-galaxy at a distance of 13.2 billion light years that formed only 480 million years after the Big Bang. Writing about their observations in Nature, the team […]

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More evidence for asteroids creating life on Earth

All life on Earth uses “left-handed” amino acids to build proteins and NASA has now found that a greater number of asteroids were capable of creating these left-handed amino acids than previously thought. In March 2009, researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center reported the discovery ofan excess of the left-handed form of the amino […]

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