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NASA to Launch Search for Parallel Universes

6a00d8341bf7f753ef012877113807970c-500wi When NASA launches "AMS-02" on Feb 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM Eastern. Sam Ting Principal Investigator for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 experiment hopes that it will provide data that proves the existence of parallel universes that are composed of anti-matter -discoveries could prove verify theories and answer basic questions regarding how the universe formed.

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Halloween Weekend Image: The Ghost Snake of the Milky Way

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A cosmic snake appears to slither across the plane of our Milky Way galaxy in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The snake-like object  located about 11,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius is actually the core of a thick, sooty cloud large enough to swallow dozens of solar systems and may be harboring beastly stars in the process of forming. 

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Mysterious Space Balls Detected in a Galaxy Beyond the Milky Way (Today's Most Popular)


6a00d8341bf7f753ef013485a0149c970c-500wi For the first time, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected little spheres of carbon, called buckyballs, in a galaxy beyond our Milky Way galaxy. The space balls were detected in a dying star, called a planetary nebula, within the nearby galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud. What's more, huge quantities were found -- the equivalent in mass to 15 of our moons.

One of the most dynamic and intricately detailed star-forming regions in space, located 210,000 light-years away is the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way shown below. At the center of the region is a brilliant star cluster called NGC 346. Energetic outflows and radiation from hot young stars are eroding the dense outer portions of the star-forming region exposing new stellar nurseries.

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Search for Earth's Twin: New NASA Research Finds Close-in, Small Planets Common in Milky Way


Milkyway "Detecting Earth in reflected light is like searching for a firefly six feet from a searchlight that is 2,400 miles distant," wrote a panel of astronomers, when describing the challenges facing the search for other planets in the universe. 

But new NASA reserach shows that nearly one in four stars similar to the sun may host planets as small as Earth, according to an extensive  new study funded by NASA and the University of California.

Astronomers used the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii for five years to search 166 sun-like stars near our solar system for planets of various sizes, ranging from three to 1,000 times the mass of Earth. All of the planets in the study orbit close to their stars. The results show more small planets than large ones, indicating small planets are more prevalent in our Milky Way galaxy.

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Starquakes Viewed by Spacecraft Yield Clues to Stellar Evolution


Still-1-final NASA spacecraft designed to seek out alien worlds has also revealed new details about the structure and evolution of stars, and should help astronomers better understand the future of our own sun.

Researchers using NASA's Kepler Spacecraft measured so-called "starquakes," observing oscillations in the brightness of thousands of stars in much the same way geologists study earthquakes to probe our planet's interior. The method, called asteroseismology, is helping astronomers characterize stars as never before, researchers said during a news conference at Aarhus University in Denmark.

"We are just about to enter a new area in stellar astrophysics," Thomas Kallinger, of the University of British Columbia and the University of Vienna, said in a statement. "Kepler provides us with data of such good quality that they will change our view of how stars work in detail."

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Global Climate Change: Does It Occur Abruptly or Gradually?


3210361976_539377524b Many of us are blissfully unaware that almost the whole of human history -from the hunters and gatherers to the rise of towns and cities, the development of science and medicine -the whole of our great human pageant- has taken place within an atypical period of fair weather.

For most of our 4.5-billion year history, the typical pattern was for the earth to be hot, sans ice anywhere. The current ice epoch started about 40 million years ago, with at least 17 serious glacial episodes in the last 2.5 million years, which coincides with the rise of homo sapiens, the rise of the Himalayas and the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, disrupting the flows of warming currents between the Atlantic and Pacific.

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Image of the Day: Violent Space Storms of the Lagoon Nebula

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The Lagoon Nebula (NGC 6523) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius, classified as an emission nebula with a number of Bok globules - dark, collapsing clouds of protostellar material and one-half light-year long interstellar "twisters" -- eerie funnels and tornado-like structures-- in the heart of the object  caused by a hot O-type star that pours out ultraviolet light, heating and ionizing gases on the nebula's surface.  

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The Daily Debate: "Evolution is the metamorphosis and replication of living creatures which long ago lived on other planets."

6a00d8341bf7f753ef013480ebb081970c "The progression from simple cell to sentient intelligent being is due to the activation of viral, archae, and bacteria genes acquired from extra-terrestrial life and inserted into the Earthly eukaryote genome. What has been described as a random evolution is in fact the metamorphosis and replication of living creatures which long ago lived on other planets."

Rudolf Schild, astrophysicist at Harvard University/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

What do you think?


Crunching the Universe: China Takes World Lead With Fastest Supercomputer

Chinaflag China revealed the Tianhe-1A, a new supercomputer revealed that has set a new performance record of 2.507 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second), as measured by the LINPACK benchmark, making it the fastest system in China and in the world today, according to an NVIDIA statement. The the Tianhe-1A trumps China's older supercomputer, the curiously named, Milky Way 1.

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