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March 2015
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Image of the Day: Spectacular Solar Eclipse Observed Over Arctic

 

 

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The international Solar Wind Sherpas team, led by Dr. Shadia Habbal of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy, braved Arctic weather to successfully observe the total solar eclipse of March 20 from Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago east of northern Greenland. 

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The Doomed "Pillars of Creation" --A New In-Depth Look in 3D

 

 

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Using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have produced the first complete three-dimensional view of the famous Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16. The new observations demonstrate how the different dusty pillars of this iconic object are distributed in space and reveal many new details -- including a previously unseen jet from a young star. Intense radiation and stellar winds from the cluster's brilliant stars have sculpted the dusty Pillars of Creation over time and should fully evaporate them in about three million years.

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CERN: "Will This Summer's LHC Photon Collisions Reveal a New Theory of Space and Time?"

 

 

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No significant signs of new physics with the present data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider, but it takes only 1 significant deviation in the data to change everything. First collisions of protons at the world's largest science experiment are expected to start the first or second week of June, according to a senior research scientist with CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

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"Water May Have Been Abundant in First Billion Years After the Big Bang"

 

 

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"We looked at the chemistry within young molecular clouds containing a thousand times less oxygen than our Sun. To our surprise, we found we can get as much water vapor as we see in our own galaxy," says astrophysicist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

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A Cosmic Fossil is Reborn in a Remote Cluster of Over 350 Galaxies

 

 

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There are three types of radio sources found in galaxy clusters like Abell 1033, a cluster of over 350 galaxies located about 1.7 billion light-years away. Collisions between galaxies in clusters are common events, and each merger heats and shocks the nearby gas. The rapidly moving, ionized gas then radiates intensely at radio wavelengths. The first, called radio relics, are found in the outskirts of galaxies and have radiation signatures characteristic of shocked material over large scales. The second type, called radio haloes, are centrally located in the cluster and are probably the result of large turbulent motions set up during collisions.

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Strange Object Found -- "The Long-Sought 'Missing Link' That Creates a Neutron Star or Black Hole"

 

 

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The object, called Supernova 2012ap (SN 2012ap) is what astronomers term a core-collapse supernova. This type of blast occurs when the nuclear fusion reactions at the core of a very massive star no longer can provide the energy needed to hold up the core against the weight of the outer parts of the star. The core then collapses catastrophically into a superdense neutron star or a black hole. The rest of the star's material is blasted into space in a supernova explosion.

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NASA --"Is It On the Verge of Discovering 'Warp Bubbles' Enabling Dreams of Interstellar Travel?"

 

 

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“Routine travel among the stars is impossible without new discoveries regarding the fabric of space and time, or capability to manipulate it for our needs,” says Neil deGrasse Tyson, the "Cosmos famous" astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, said “By my read, the idea of a functioning warp drive remains far-fetched, but the real take-away is that people are thinking about it — reminding us all that the urge to explore continues to run deep in our species."

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Eleven Elliptical Galaxies Found Flying Free in Space Beyond Their Home Clusters

 

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Until 2006 scientists knew only 6 extremely compact elliptical galaxies like the Andromeda satellite Messier32 that host up-to several billion stars. They are so small, that they look like stripped cores of ordinary galaxies. All these stellar systems were found next to giant galaxies in centers of large clusters of galaxies. Numerical simulations demonstrated that these compact ellipticals could be the remnants of ancient larger galaxies, stripped out to the central core by tidal interactions with a massive galaxy after falling on it. In 2009 Igor Chilingarian discovered another 20 such rare galaxies.

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"Far-Reaching Implications" -An Ancient Solar System Almost as Old as the Milky Way (Weekend Feature)

 

 

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"There are far-reaching implications for this discovery," said Tiago Campante, from the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the research. "We now know that Earth-sized planets have formed throughout most of the Universe's 13.8 billion year history, which could provide scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. By the time the Earth formed, the planets in this system were already older than our planet is today."

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NASA: "There Might Be Civilizations Existing in Cold Dark Space Beyond Galaxies" (Weekend Feature)

 

 

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“There might be people living out there, out in the middle of cold dark space, that don't have a Milky Way,” says Harvey Moseley, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Astronomers have spotted a faint cosmic glow, unseen until now, that may come from stars that float adrift between galaxies. The discovery suggests that as many as half of all stars in the universe lurk outside galactic boundaries.

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