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Stardust Mission Captures Origins of Our Solar System --"Clues to the Origin of Life Itself"

 

 

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"Fundamentally, the solar system and everything in it was ultimately derived from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust," says Andrew Westphal, physicist at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory and lead author on the paper published this week in Science titled "Evidence for interstellar origin of seven dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft". "We're looking at material that's very similar to what made our solar system."

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"Detecting Alien Planet Particles Smaller than a Human Hair" --New SETI Breakthrough

 

 

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It may sound like science fiction, but astronomers have worked out a scheme that will allow them to detect and measure particles ten times smaller than the width of a human hair, even at many light-years distance. They can do this by observing a blue tint in the light from far-off objects caused by the way in which small particles, no more than a micron in size (one-thousandth of a millimeter) scatter light.

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Supernova's Giant Thermonuclear Explosion Reveals Rare Isotope

 

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Astrophysicists obtained for the first time spectra of radiating cobalt registered at the supernova SN2014J, shown above, located 11 million light-years from Earth. Isotope 56Co has a half-life of just 77 days, and does not exist in normal conditions. However, during a giant thermonuclear explosion of a supernova, this short-lived radioactive isotope is produced in large quantities. The reason was the rarity of explosions at such a distance – 11 million light-years is a large value on the galactic scale (the diameter of a galaxy is about 100,000 light-years, the distance between stars is a few light-years), but on an intergalactic scale it is a relatively short distance. There are several hundreds of galaxies within a radius of ten million light-years; supernovae produce explosions like this (type Ia explosions) once every few centuries in a galaxy, including a type Ia supernova that exploded in the Milky Way in 1606.

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Vast Streams of Gravel Detected in Orion Molecular Cloud -- "A Long and Winding Road in Space Essential for Planet Formation"

 

 

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Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles -- planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust grains typically found around protostars. If confirmed, these dense ribbons of rocky material may well represent a new, mid-size class of interstellar particles that could help jump-start planet formation.

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First Ever Observation of an Emerging Ancient Elliptical Galaxy --"Twice as Many Stars as Milky Way in a Region Only 6,000 Light Years Across"

 

 

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A fully developed elliptical galaxy is a gas-deficient gathering of ancient stars theorized to develop from the inside out, with a compact core marking its beginnings. Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction. The building site is a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate.

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Quasars --"Are They the Origin of Light in Our Universe?"

 

 

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Quasars are the brightest objects in the Universe; their intense light is generated by gas as it falls towards a black hole. These mysterious objects emitting radio waves were first identified in 1963 by radio astronomers who called them quasi-stellar radio sources, or quasars. Galaxies can contain millions or billions of stars, but are still dim by comparison. Understanding whether the numerous small galaxies outshine the rare, bright quasars will provide insight into the way the universe built up today’s populations of stars and planets. It will also help scientists properly calibrate their measurements of dark energy, the agent thought to be accelerating the universe’s expansion and determining its far future.

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The Most Important Molecule in Space -- "Precursor to the Building Blocks of Life"

 

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Today's Most Popular..."Most of the universe consists of hydrogen in various forms," said Ludwik Adamowicz, a professor in the University of Arizona''s department of chemistry and biochemistry, but the H3+ ion is the most prevalent molecular ion in interstellar space. It's also one of the most important molecules in existence." Believed to be critical to the formation of stars in the early days of the universe, H3+ also is the precursor to many types of chemical reactions, said Adamowicz, including those leading to compounds such as water or carbon, which are essential for life.

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Is Our 3-D Universe an Illusion? --"Everything Could Actually be Encoded in Tiny packets in Two Dimensions"

 

 

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“We want to find out whether spacetime is a quantum system just like matter is,” said Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics and the developer of the holographic noise theory. “If we see something, it will completely change ideas about space we’ve used for thousands of years.”

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"When the Visible Universe was Less than One Microsecond Old" --Researchers Simulate Birth of the Cosmos

 

 

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When the universe was less than one microsecond old and more than one trillion degrees, it transformed from a plasma of quarks and gluons into bound states of quarks - also known as protons and neutrons, the fundamental building blocks of ordinary matter that make up most of the visible universe.

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Interstellar Space is a 'Quantum-Weirdness' Lab --"Organic Reactions Occurring that Shouldn't Exist"

 

 

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There may be a suite of organic chemical reactions occurring in interstellar space that astronomers hadn't considered. In 2012, astronomers discovered methoxy molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the Perseus molecular cloud, around 600 light years from Earth. But researchers were unable to reproduce this molecule in the lab by allowing reactants to condense on dust grains, leaving a mystery as to how it could have formed.

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