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October 2012
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Ancient Microbial Life Found Thriving in Permanent Darkness 60 Feet Beneath Antarctica Ice




A harbinger of life on Jupiter's Europa? Ancient microbes have been discovered in bitter-cold brine beneath 60 feet of Antarctic ice, in permanent darkness and subzero temperatures of Antarctica's Lake Vida, located in the northernmost of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of East Antarctica.

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Horsehead Nebula Found to Cloak a Vast Interstellar Chemistry Lab





The spectacular Horsehead Nebula in the Orion constellation is not only a favourite object of astronomy photographers all over the world, but apparently also a cosmic petroleum refinery.What sounds like science fiction is actually reality: using the 30m-telescope of the Institute for Radio Astronomy for astronomical observations in the millimetre range of wavelengths, astronomers have detected, for the first time, the interstellar molecule C3H+, in our galaxy, which belongs to the hydrocarbon family and is thus part of major energy resources of our planet, i.e. petroleum and natural gas.

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"Origin of Life" --Astrobiologists Find Mechanism that May Have Triggered It





The question of how life began on a molecular level has been a longstanding problem in science. However, recent mathematical research sheds light on a possible mechanism by which life may have gotten a foothold in the chemical soup that existed on the early Earth. Researchers have proposed several competing theories for how life on Earth could have gotten its start, even before the first genes or living cells came to be. Despite differences between various proposed scenarios, one theme they all have in common is a network of molecules that have the ability to work together to jumpstart and speed up their own replication — two necessary ingredients for life. However, many researchers find it hard to imagine how such a molecular network could have formed spontaneously — with no precursors —from the chemical environment of early Earth.

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The Missing Neutron Galaxies of the Early Universe




Three hundred billion ultradense cosmic cannonballs used to tear around the universe, punching through regular galaxies like a bullet through a cloud , going their own way and scientists don't know where they are now. Because of the speed of light staring into space is essentially looking back in time, and scientists have seen ultra-intense galaxies zipping around the first five billion years of existence. Similar in principle to the intense density of neutron stars ( a collapsed star with a core so dense that a single spoonful would weigh 200 billion pounds) these galaxies were a thousand times denser than regular star-scatterings, packing as much mass as the Milky Way into 0.1% of the volume and far before regular galaxies had time to form.

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The 'Daily Galaxy' Followers Soar Above 230,000!



Join the 235,000 Daily Galaxy fans around the world who follow us via their Twitter page. Our followers include many of the planet's leading astronomers and scientists, astronauts, space observatories, news organizations, universities and governmental space organizations such as NASA, JPL, ESO, SETI, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and Royal Astronomy Society members. Follow us daily at

Hubble Captures Gargantuan 'Cosmic Fossil'




The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a galaxy located approximately 320 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus, the River, which is, most likely, a cosmic fossil – the aftermath of an enormous multi-galactic pile-up, where the carnage of collision after collision has built up a brilliant giant elliptical galaxy far outshining typical galaxies.

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Milky Way's Halo Rife With Ancient Stars Torn from Other Galaxies



The Milky Way's ancient stars once belonged to other galaxies instead of being the earliest stars born inside the galaxy when it began to form about 10 billion years ago. Many of the Milky Way's ancient stars are remnants of other smaller galaxies ripped asunder by violent galactic collisions around five billion years ago, according to research that was part of the Aquarius Project, which uses the largest supercomputer simulations to study the formation of galaxies like the Milky Way.

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EcoAlert: Spain's Stunning Cathedral of Trash



Justo Gallego Martínez (also known as Don Justo) has built this beautiful cathedral of trash in Madrid over the past 50-odd years. Don Justo, a former monk, has been building the cathedral (modelled on St. Peter's in Italy) in the Spanish village of Mejorada del Campo (near Madrid) since 1961.The cathederal is 131-feet high, and needs to add a roof and a few windows to complete the edifice. Most of his building matter came from salvaged materials and recycled junk -the columns for example have been built with old oil drums. He uses both everyday objects and excess construction materials donated by construction companies and a nearby brick factory.

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Has 'Curiosity' Sniffed Signs of Life? NASA Prepares to Release a Big Mars Discovery




NASA's John Grotzinger, principal investigator for the rover mission, announced in an interview with NPR  the Mars' Curiosity rover has made a discovery that "is gonna be one for the history books. This data is ... looking really good," he said. Grotzinger told NPR it would be several weeks before NASA would release its discovery. What we doi know is that the discovery was made by SAM, the Sample Analysis at Mars suite of three instruments. The Curiosity chemistry set is equipped to look for compounds of carbon, such as methane, as well as hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. These would suggest at least the possibility that life could have once existed there.

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Weekend Image: "The Aquarius Stream" --Remnant of a Dwarf Galaxy Devoured by the Milky Way



The shredded remains of of one of the estimated seven trillion dwarf galaxies in the observable Universe has been located  buried within our Milky Way Galaxy. Some astronomers think that the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way, Omega Centauri, might have once been a dwarf galaxy that had its outer stars stripped away. The massive swarm of stars is known as the Aquarius Stream.

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