Groundbreaking Discovery of Proxima Centauri b --"Habitable-Zone Planet Orbiting Our Closest Star Evolved Very Differently Than Earth"



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The world’s attention is now on Proxima Centauri b, a possibly Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star, 4.22 light-years away. The planet’s orbit is just right to allow liquid water on its surface, needed for life. But could it in fact be habitable? If life is possible there, the planet evolved very differently than Earth, say researchers at the University of Washington-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory, where astronomers, geophysicists, climatologists, evolutionary biologists and others team to study how distant planets might host life.

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Planet Nine --"Could Spell Doom for Our Solar System"

 

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The solar system could be thrown into disaster when the sun dies if the mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ exists, according to research from the University of Warwick. Physicist Dimitri Veras at the University of Warwick has discovered that the presence of Planet Nine could cause the elimination of at least one of the giant planets after the sun dies, hurling them out into interstellar space through a sort of ‘pinball’ effect.

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"Life's Cosmic Catalyst" --Meteorites Delivered the Backbone of DNA to Earth

 

 

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Where terrestrial life on Earth got its phosphorus has been a mystery. University of Arizona scientists have discovered that meteorites, particularly iron meteorites, may have been critical to the evolution of life on Earth. Their research shows that meteorites easily could have provided more phosphorus than naturally occurs on Earth — enough phosphorus to give rise to biomolecules which eventually assembled into living, replicating organisms.

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NASA Astronomers --"Baffled By Massive Age-Defying Star Deep in the Milky Way"

 

 

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For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young. Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a new study by a NASA-led team of researchers suggests that the object, labeled IRAS 19312+1950, might be something quite different - a protostar, a star still in the making.

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Astronomers Detect Powerful Mystery Signal from Constellation Hercules --"Claim a Strong Possibility of Extraterrestrial Intelligence"



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An international team of astronomers has just detected signals coming from almost 100 light years away, and they believe the signal is a strong candidate for extraterrestrial contact, according to a document circulated by Alexander Panov, a theorectical physicist at Lomonosov Moscow State University: "a strong signal in the direction of HD164595, a planet system in the constellation Hercules was detected on May 15, using the RATAN-600 radio telescope (below)  in the Russian Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia."

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Six Million Years Ago Milky Way's Central Black Hole Erupted --"When First Humanoids Walked the Earth"

 

 

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The center of the Milky Way galaxy is currently a quiet place where a supermassive black hole slumbers, only occasionally slurping small sips of hydrogen gas. But it wasn't always this way. A new study shows that 6 million years ago, when the first human ancestors known as hominins walked the Earth, our galaxy's core blazed forth furiously. The evidence for this active phase came from a search for the galaxy's missing mass.

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Hubble Discovery --A Strange Alien: "Blue Planet That Rains Glass Sideways in 4,500 MPH Winds" (VIDEO)

 

 

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While blue in color, like Earth, “hot Jupiter” HD 189733 is much stranger than Earth. On this turbulent alien world, the daytime temperature is nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and it possibly rains glass—sideways—in howling, 4,500 mph winds.

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The 'Monster' of Our Solar System --"In the Milky Way Alone, a Billion Jupiter-Like Worlds Could Be Orbiting Stars"

 

 

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Astronomers say that in our galaxy alone, a billion or more such Jupiter-like worlds could be orbiting stars other than our sun. And we can use them to gain a better understanding of our solar system and our galactic environment, including the prospects for finding life. The Milky Way is home to a bewildering variety of Jupiter-like worlds: hot ones, cold ones, giant versions of our own giant, pint-sized pretenders only half as big around.

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StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson --"Cosmic Queries" From Alien Plant Life to Jupiter's Ocean Moon (LISTEN)

 

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In this episode of Cosmic Queries, Neil will discuss topics ranging from alien plant life, to colonizing Mars, to whether velocity could be considered a dimension. You’ll find out if the constellations would look different when seen from Saturn, whether there’s a north pole to our universe, and why astronomers got the Milky Way’s north pole wrong in the first place.

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"Into the Unknown" --NASA's Juno Spacecraft Makes Final Approach Towards Jupiter (VIDEO)

 

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‘This is our first opportunity to really take a close-up look at the king of our solar system,’ says Scott Bolton, an investigator for the Juno probe, as the spacecraft orbited closer to the giant planet than any man-made object before it, in a record-breaking approach on Saturday by soaring around 2,600 miles above the planet at a speed of 130,000 mph. Juno is expected to capture astonishing images and important scientific data about Jupiter's composition, gravity, magnetic field, and the source of its 384 mph winds, say mission controllers at NASA.

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