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Missing Light of the Visible Universe --"Is It Coming from Some Exotic New Source?" (Weekend Feature)

 

 

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"The most exciting possibility is that the missing photons are coming from some exotic new source, not galaxies or quasars at all," said Neal Katz  of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. For example, the mysterious dark matter, which holds galaxies together but has never been seen directly, could itself decay and ultimately be responsible for this extra light. You know it's a crisis when you start seriously talking about decaying dark matter!" 

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Saturn's Titan ---"Life Not As We Know It"

 

 

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A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled by a team of Cornell University researchers. Taking a simultaneously imaginative and rigidly scientific view, chemical engineers and astronomers offer a template for life that could thrive in a harsh, cold world - specifically Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. A planetary body awash with seas not of water, but of liquid methane, Titan could harbor methane-based, oxygen-free cells.

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The Mars "Methane Equals Life" Debate Rolls On...

 

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The Curiosity robot confirms methane in Mars' atmosphere which may hint that life may have existed. An article published in Science confirms the existence of methane fluctuations in the atmosphere of Mars, as a result of the detailed analysis of data sent during 605 SOLs or Martian days. The tunable laser spectrometer in the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument of the Curiosity robot has unequivocally detected an episodic increase in the concentration of methane in Mars' atmosphere after an exhaustive analysis of data obtained during 605 soles or Martian days.

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The Missing Massive Galaxies of the Early Universe --“They Were Hiding in Plain Sight”

 

 

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One of the biggest mysteries in galaxy evolution is the fate of the compact massive galaxies that roamed the early Universe. “When our Universe was young, there were lots of compact, elliptical-shaped galaxies containing trillions of stars,” says Alister Graham of Swinburne University of Technology. “Due to the time it takes for light to travel across the vastness of space, we see these distant galaxies as they were in our young Universe. However in the present-day Universe very few such spheroidal stellar systems have been observed.”

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Merging Black Holes --"Will Reveal the Existence of Gravity Waves"

 

 

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While Einstein's theories predict the existence of gravitational waves, they have not been directly detected. But the ability to "see" gravitational waves would open up a new window to view and study the universe. New research by an astrophysicist at The University of Texas at Dallas provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe -- the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole.

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"Beyond Hubble" --A New 3-D View of the Earliest Galaxies in the Universe

 

 

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The MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. They also go beyond Hubble and reveal previously invisible objects.

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Ancient Black Hole Discovered --12 Billion Times Mass of the Sun!

 

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Astronomers have found a huge black hole which was powering the brightest object in the early universe. The black hole's mass is 12 billion solar masses, and the surrounding quasar pumped out 10^15 times the sun's energy. An international team of astronomers have found a huge and ancient black hole which was powering the brightest object early in the universe.

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"Dark Energy May Be Slowing the Growth of the Cosmos" (Today's Most Popular)

 

 

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Since the late 1990s astronomers have been convinced that something is causing the expansion of our Universe to accelerate. The simplest explanation was that empty space – the vacuum – had an energy density that was a cosmological constant. However there is growing evidence that this simple model cannot explain the full range of astronomical data researchers now have access to; in particular the growth of cosmic structure, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, seems to be slower than expected.

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There May Be a Huge Number of Unobserved Dwarf Spiral Galaxies --"Could Have Profound Consequences" (Today's Most Popular)

 

 

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“Finding objects like Kks3 is painstaking work, even with observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope," said  Dimitry Makarov, of the Special Astrophysical Observatory. "But with persistence, we’re slowly building up a map of our local neighborhood, which turns out to be less empty than we thought. It may be that are a huge number of dwarf spheroidal galaxies out there, something that would have profound consequences for our ideas about the evolution of the cosmos.

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"Red and Dead" Galaxies --A Surprising New Discovery

 

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High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy’s star-forming fuel -- resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet little or no hydrogen gas available to create new ones. But astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that black holes don’t have to be nearly so powerful to shut down star formation.

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