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February 2016
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ESA's New View of the Milky Way's Center --"A Primordial Region of Violence and Mystery"

 

 

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This new image, from work led by Dr Gabriele Ponti and published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, shows the powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, revealing some of the most intense processes taking place at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

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White Dwarf Star Discovered With an Oxygen-Rich Atmosphere

 

 

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Researchers have discovered a white dwarf star with an atmosphere dominated by oxygen, a type of white dwarf that has been theorized to exist but not identified to date. The finding could challenge the textbook wisdom of single stellar evolution, and provide a critical link to some types of supernovae discovered over the past decade.

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NASA: Hubble's Infrared Vision "Reveals the Milky Way's Core Nuclear Star Cluster"

 

 

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Peering deep into the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy. So packed with stars, it is equivalent to having a million suns crammed between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. At the very hub of our galaxy, this star cluster surrounds the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole, which is about 4 million times the mass of our sun.

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Royal Astronomical Society --"Aliens May Be Using Lasers to Conceal Their Existence in the Milky Way"

 

 

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"We could cloak only the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity, such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just 160 kW per transit. To another civilization, this should make the Earth appear as if life never took hold on our world", say astronomers at Columbia University.

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NASA 'OnSight' Technology --Join Buzz Aldrin On a Holographic Tour of Mars!

 

 

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What might it look like if you were walking around on Mars? A group of researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, has been working on methods to take this question from the realm of imagination to the mind-bending domain of mixed reality.

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Planets of Ancient Red Dwarf Stars --"At SETI's ‘Magic Frequencies’ of Advanced Civilizations"

 

 

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The SETI Institute is putting old wine in a new bottle, repackaging a decade-old suggestion that planetary systems orbiting red dwarfs — dim, long-lived stars that are on average billions of years older than our sun — are worth investigating for signs of advanced extraterrestrial life. The star that’s closest to our sun, Proxima Centauri, is a red dwarf. A variety of observing efforts, including Cornell's Pale Red Dot initiative, are looking for habitable planets around Proxima Centauri (shown above).

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'First-Born' Galaxies After Big Bang --"Until Now Have Evaded Detection" (Today's Most Popular)

 

 

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"Thanks to this detection, the team has been able to study for the first time the properties of extremely faint objects formed not long after the big bang," said lead author Leopoldo Infante, an astronomer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. The remote object is part of a discovery this past December of 22 young galaxies at ancient times located nearly at the observable horizon of the universe. This research is a substantial increase in the number of known very distant galaxies.

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Antarctic Ice-Sheet Retreat --"Could Double Sea-Level Rise Estimates"



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A new study from climate scientists Robert DeConto at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and David Pollard at Pennsylvania State University suggests that the most recent estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for future sea-level rise over the next 100 years could be too low by almost a factor of two. Details appear in the current issue of Nature.

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ESA's 'Galactic Cold Cores' Project Reveals a Ribbon of Future Stars

 

 

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Star formation is taking place all around us. The Milky Way is laced with clouds of dust and gas that could become the nursery of the next generation of stars. Thanks to ESA’s Herschel space observatory, we can now look inside these clouds and see what is truly going on.

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