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Dark-Energy Camera Reveals New Einstein Ring --"Predicted By Relativity Theory"

 

 

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The "Canarias Einstein ring" shown below is one of the most symmetrical discovered until now and is almost circular, showing that the two galaxies are almost perfectly aligned, with a separation on the sky of only 0.2 arcseconds. The source galaxy is 10,000 million light years away from us. Due to the expansion of the Universe, this distance was smaller when its light started on its journey to us, and has taken 8,500 million years to reach us. We observe it as it was then: a blue galaxy which is beginning to evolve, populated by young stars which are forming at a high rate. The lens galaxy is nearer to us, 6,000 million light years away, and is more evolved. Its stars have almost stopped forming, and its population is old.

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"Alien Worlds of Endless Oceans" --Kepler Reveals Planets Unlike Anything in Our Solar System (Tuesday's Most Popular)

 

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“These planets are unlike anything in our solar system. They have endless oceans,” said lead author Lisa Kaltenegger of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the CfA. “There may be life there, but could it be technology-based like ours? Life on these worlds would be under water with no easy access to metals, to electricity, or fire for metallurgy. Nonetheless, these worlds will still be beautiful, blue planets circling an orange star — and maybe life’s inventiveness to get to a technology stage will surprise us.”

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The Antarctica Paradox --"One of the Last Places to Experience Human-Driven Climate Change"

 

 

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The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places to experience human-driven climate change. New research from the University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds that ocean currents explain why the seawater has stayed at roughly the same temperature while most of the rest of the planet has warmed.

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"Planet 9 Was Stolen By Our Sun" --The Only Exoplanet We Could Reach Via Space Probe

 

 

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"This is the only exoplanet that we, realistically, would be able to reach using a space probe," says Alexander Mustill, astronomer at Lund University. "It is almost ironic that while astronomers often find exoplanets hundreds of light years away in other solar systems, there's probably one hiding in our own backyard."

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Monsters of the Early Cosmos --"Origin of Supermassive Black Holes Discovered" (Monday's Most Popular)

 

 

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“Our discovery, if confirmed, would explain how these monster black holes were born,” said Fabio Pacucci, lead author of the study, of Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. "This new result helps to explain why we see supermassive black holes less than one billion years after the Big Bang."

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NASA/Goddard: "All Galaxies are Embedded Within a Vast Sphere of Black Holes" (Week's Most Popular)



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"These studies are providing increasingly sensitive results, slowly shrinking the box of parameters where dark matter particles can hide," said Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard. "The failure to find them has led to renewed interest in studying how well primordial black holes -- black holes formed in the universe's first fraction of a second -- could work as dark matter."

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NASA --"Dark Matter is Made of Black Holes Formed During First Second of Our Universe's Existence" (Week's Most Popular)

 

 

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"These studies are providing increasingly sensitive results, slowly shrinking the box of parameters where dark matter particles can hide," said Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "The failure to find them has led to renewed interest in studying how well primordial black holes -- black holes formed in the universe's first fraction of a second -- could work as dark matter."

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The Answer to Fermi's Paradox? --"Near Universal Early Extinction of Life in the Cosmos" (Friday's Most Popular)



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"The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens," said Aditya Chopra at Australia National University. "Early life is fragile, so we believe it rarely evolves quickly enough to survive. Most early planetary environments are unstable. To produce a habitable planet, life forms need to regulate greenhouse gases such as water and carbon dioxide to keep surface temperatures stable. The mystery of why we haven't yet found signs of aliens may have less to do with the likelihood of the origin of life or intelligence and have more to do with the rarity of the rapid emergence of biological regulation of feedback cycles on planetary surfaces."

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New Kepler Planet Discovery Could Sustain Life --"Warm Atmosphere and Surface Liquid Water"

 

 

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“We found there are multiple atmospheric compositions that allow it to be warm enough to have surface liquid water,” said Aomawa Shields, the study’s lead author and a National Science Foundation astronomy and astrophysics postdoctoral fellow in UCLA’s department of physics and astronomy. “This makes it a strong candidate for a habitable planet.” On Earth, carbon dioxide makes up 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. Because Kepler-62f is much farther away from its star than Earth is from the sun, it would need to have dramatically more carbon dioxide to be warm enough to maintain liquid water on its surface, and to keep from freezing.

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"Life on Dwarf Planet Ceres?" Mysterious Daily Changes in Bright Spots Baffle Scientists

 

 

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Bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres continue to stump  researchers, led by Paolo Molaro of the Trieste Astronomical Observatory in Italy, who conducted the observations using the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Molaro's team made an unexpected discovery: Although Ceres appears as little more than a point of light from the Earth, very careful study of its light shows not only the changes expected as Ceres rotates, but also that the spots brighten during the day and also show other variations. These observations suggest that the material of the spots is volatile and evaporates in the warm glow of sunlight.

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