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January 2017
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March 2017

Black Hole Jets Detected --"Emit More Energy in One Second Than Our Sun Will Produce in Its Entire Lifetime"

 

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"The discovery of these supermassive black holes, which launch jets that emit more energy in one second than our sun will produce in its entire lifetime, was the culmination of a yearlong research project," said astrophysicist Marco Ajello, who has spent much of his career studying the evolution of distant galaxies. "Our next step is to increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the formation, development and activities of these amazing objects, which are the most powerful accelerators in the universe. We can't even come close to replicating such massive outputs of energy in our laboratories. The complexities we're attempting to unravel seem almost as mysterious as the black holes themselves."

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Astronomers Discover New Stage in Origin of Planets --"Solves an Enduring Mystery"

 

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Astronomers have struggled to assemble a complete theory of the origin of planets that explains how the initial dust develops into planetary systems. A French-UK-Australian team now think they have the answer, with their simulations showing the formation of 'dust traps' where pebble-sized fragments collect and stick together, to grow into the building blocks of planets. 

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Infant Earth Was a Single, Solid Shell --"A 'Stagnant Lid' Formed Our Planet's Outer Shell Early in Its History"



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Today's Earth is a dynamic planet with an outer layer composed of giant plates that grind together, sliding past or dipping beneath one another, giving rise to earthquakes and volcanoes. Others separate at undersea mountain ridges, where molten rock spreads out from the centers of major ocean basins. But new research suggests that this was not always the case. Instead, shortly after Earth formed and began to cool, the planet's first outer layer was a single, solid but deformable shell. Later, this shell began to fold and crack more widely, giving rise to modern plate tectonics.

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James Webb Space Telescope To Search for Second Earth Among Weird Habitable Worlds in the TRAPPIST-1 Solar System

 

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In a couple of years, Hubble's successor, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will conduct follow-up observations of the dim ultracool TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star system 40 light-years away and find out if any of its seven Earth-sized planets have an atmosphere capable of supporting life.

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NASA 2018 --Will Send Its First Robotic Mission to Solve Enduring Mysteries of Our Sun

 

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In 2018, NASA plans to launch the robotic Solar Probe Plus mission in an elliptical orbit within 4 million miles (6 million km) of our host star. "This is going to be our first mission to fly to the sun," said Eric Christian, a NASA research scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center. "We can't get to the very surface of the sun," but the mission will get close enough to answer three important questions."

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Hawking's Aliens --"I Am More Convinced Than Ever That We are Not Alone" (WATCH/LISTEN)

 

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"As I grow older I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone. After a lifetime of wondering, I am helping to lead a new global effort to find out," Stephen Hawking said in a video. "The Breakthrough Listen project will scan the nearest million stars for signs of life, but I know just the place to start looking. One day we might receive a signal from a planet like Gliese 832c, but we should be wary of answering back," Hawking added.

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NASA Scientists: "Pluto Flybys Point To Ingredients for Life Below Its Surface" (VIDEO)

 

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Pluto has long been viewed as a distant, cold and mostly dead world, but the first spacecraft to pass by it last year revealed many surprises about this distant dwarf planet. The data from the New Horizons flyby finished downloading to Earth in October, and while it will take many years for scientists to complete their inventory and model the results, early studies offer intriguing hints of its complex chemistry, perhaps even some form of pre-biological processes below Pluto’s surface. Complex layers of organic haze; water ice mountains from some unknown geologic process; possible organics on the surface; and a liquid water ocean underneath — all of these features point to a world with much more vibrancy than scientists have long presumed.

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NASA's VIDEO TOUR of Its Epic Discovery of New Earth-Sized Habitable Exoplanets Orbiting Red-Dwarf Star TRAPPIST-1

 

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“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.”

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NASA LIVE HEADLINE: Announces Discovery of New TRAPPIST-1 Red-Dwarf Solar System With 7 Earth-Sized Planets --"Best Chance Yet of Alien Life"

 

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NASA has just announced discover new solar system with ‘best chance yet of alien life’ .Life may have evolved on at least three planets in a newly discovered solar system just 39 light years from Earth, NASA has announced.​ Astronomers have detected no less than seven Earth-sized worlds orbiting a cool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets lie in a temperate zone where surface temperatures range from zero to 100C. Of these, at least three are thought to be capable of having oceans, increasing the likelihood of life. No other known star system contains such a large number of Earth-sized and probably rocky planets.

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WATCH Today's NASA TV 'Exoplanet' Press Conference 1 PM EST --"Will They Reveal Discovery of Another Earth-Like Planet in Alpha Centauri?"

 

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There is an interesting paper with press conference participants Sara Seager and Michael Gillon among the authors in 2015 "Hubble Space Telescope search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb" that says results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres.

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