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Weekend Feature: NASA Finds Volcanoes on Dark Side of the Moon

Volcano-moon According to a recent discovery by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists now have photos showing silicate volcanoes on the far side of the moon. Silicate volcanoes are a type that do not ooze magma; deeming them “dead” by scientists. Hhe silicate volcanoes on the far side of the moon are estimated to be around 800 years old, extending the volcanic activity of the moon by 200 million years.The moons far side was not visible from the Earth due to tidal forces between it and the moon, until 1959 when the Soviet Union’s Luna 3 Spacecraft took pictures of the region.

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News Flash: NASA Climate Data Challenges Global Warming Alarms

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NASA satellite data show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, according to a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing.

Data from NASA’s Terra satellite shows that when the climate warms, Earth’s atmosphere is apparently more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”

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Are Invisible, Primordial Black Holes Harboring Dark Mass of the Universe?

6a00d8341bf7f753ef0120a96ab931970b-320wi Despite a decade spent searching for dark matter with experiments costing tens of millions of dollars from experiments at the bottom of iron mines in Minnesota to the Ice Cube project in Antarctica, nobody has laid eyes on the stuff.  It's hard to escape the conclusion that some other explanation for the missing mass is needed.

Cosmologist Paul Frampton at the University of North Carolina and colleagues propose that the missing 23% of mass of the universe is made up of black holes that are too small to see directly but too big to have evaporated away due to Hawking radiation.

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Milky Way Apocalypse! Did a Small Black Hole Crash Into the Core Supermassive Black Hole a Few Million Years Ago?


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New research shows that the Milky Way's supermassive black hole fueled a massive fiery pageant of activity including the sustained emission of some of the highest energy radiation in the universe when a smaller black hole from another galaxy smashed into it a few million years ago --a blink of the eye in cosmic timescales.

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Found! Voracious Black Hole 2 Billion Times Size of the Sun

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Using the Chandra data, the flow of hot gas toward the supermassive black hole at the center of a large galaxy known as NGC 3115, which is located about 32 million light-years from Earth. A large amount of previous data has shown material falling toward and onto black holes, but none with this clear a signature of hot gas.

This is the first time that clear evidence for such a flow has been observed in any black hole. The new Chandra data also supports the previous optical observations that suggest that NGC 3115’s black hole has a mass of about two billion times that of the Sun. This would make NGC 3115 the host of the nearest billion-solar-mass black hole to Earth.

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Image of the Day: The Unbearable Beauty of the Milky Way's Hidden Star-Birth Regions

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Astronomers Bania and Loren Anderson of the Astrophysical Laboratory of Marseille in France have discovered about 450 hidden stellar nurseries in the Milky Way where rare colossal stars many times bigger than the sun are being born. The discovery doubles the number of known sites in the northern reaches of the galaxy where massive stars are born, said Tom Bania of Boston University, who estimats that there could be another 4,000 or so fainter massive-star birth regions awaiting discovery throughout the galaxy.

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EcoAlert: Has the World Seriously Underestimated Climate-Change Effects?

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01310fd0a454970c-320wi Cornell University professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, Charles Greene, one of the authors of "A Very Inconvenient Truth," published in the peer-reviewed journal Oceanography, has stressed that: "Even if all man-made greenhouse gas emissions were stopped tomorrow and carbon-dioxide levels stabilized at today's concentration, by the end of this century the global average temperature would increase by about 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 2.4 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, which is significantly above the level which scientists and policymakers agree is a threshold for dangerous climate change."

"Of course, greenhouse gas emissions will not stop tomorrow, so the actual temperature increase will likely be significantly larger, resulting in potentially catastrophic impacts to society unless other steps are taken to reduce the Earth's temperature.

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Ignoring One Trillion Galaxies in the Observable Universe: Astrophysicists Use Mathematical Logic to Doubt the Probability of Extraterrestrial Life

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Carl Sagan said that "extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence." In a stunning display of mathematical logic vs common sense, David Spiegel of Princeton University and Edwin Turner from the University of Tokyo have published a paper on arXiv that turns the Drake equation upside using Bayesian reasoning to show that just because we evolved on Earth, doesn’t mean that the same occurrence would necessarily happen elsewhere; "using evidence of our own existence doesn’t show anything" they argue, "other than that we are here."

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News Flash: NASA Sets Launch Coverage Events for Juno Mission to Jupiter

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The Voyager 2 image above shows Jupiter from the equator to the southern polar latitudes including the Great Red Spot, a storm that has been spinning like a cyclone for hundreds of years.

NASA's Juno spacecraft is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Aug. 5. The launch window extends from 11:34 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. EDT (8:34 to 9:33 a.m. PDT), and the launch period extends through Aug. 26.

Juno will conduct an in-depth study of Jupiter. Using a spinning, solar-powered spacecraft, Juno will make maps of the gravity, magnetic fields, and atmospheric composition of Jupiter from a unique polar orbit. Juno will carry precise high-sensitivity radiometers, magnetometers, and gravity science systems .

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First Commercial Spacecraft to dock with ISS this Year --Is the Next Google Being Launched?

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NASA and SpaceX agreed that the SpaceX Dragon capsule will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 30 November then rendezvous and dock with the ISS on 7 December, nearly one year after its first test flight.

The original mission plan was to rendezvous and dock on separate attempts, but following the successful test flight SpaceX petitioned NASA to combine the two missions.

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