"The Climate-Change Event Horizon" --MIT Scientist Predicts the Tipping Point for Earth's 6th Mass Extinction (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)

 

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In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans. These globally fatal perturbations in carbon each unfolded over thousands to millions of years, and are coincident with the widespread extermination of marine species around the world.

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"Extraterrestrial Engineering!" --NASA Completes Tests of JWST to Ensure Functioning in Deep Space

 

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"With an integrated team from all corners of the country, we were able to create deep space in our chamber and confirm that Webb can perform flawlessly as it observes the coldest corners of the universe," said Jonathan Homan, project manager for the James Webb Space Telescope's cryogenic testing at Johnson. "I expect [Webb] to be successful, as it journeys to Lagrange point 2 [after launch] and explores the origins of solar systems, galaxies, and has the chance to change our understanding of our universe."

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Halos and Dwarf Galaxies Orbiting the Whale Galaxy --"Appear to Exist Around All Large Galaxies"

 

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It's always fascinating to look at a spectacular galaxy like The Whale and try to imagine what unknown mysteries exist there and what lifeforms, if any, it harbors. Using the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, researchers have identified 11 dwarf galaxies and two star-containing halos in the outer region of The Whale, large spiral galaxy 25 million light-years away from Earth.

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Caltech Scientists Solve a Mystery --"The Strange Case of the Mono Lake Scuba-Diving Fly" (WATCH Video)

 

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More than a century ago, American writer Mark Twain observed a curious phenomenon at ancient Mono Lake, just to the east of Yosemite National Park: enormous numbers of small flies would crawl underwater to forage and lay eggs, but each time they resurfaced, they would appear completely dry.

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Solar X-Ray Bursts Impacting Earth --"Haven’t Been Detected in the Past”

 

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“This is an exciting result, showing Earth’s atmosphere is more closely linked to solar X-ray variability than previously thought,” Hayes said. “Now we plan to further explore this dynamic relationship between the Sun and Earth’s atmosphere.”

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"Dust to Dust" --'Life May Have Originated From Biological Particles Born By Streaming Space Dust'

 
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"The proposition that space dust collisions could propel organisms over enormous distances between planets raises some exciting prospects of how life and the atmospheres of planets originated," said professor Arjun Berera, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy. "The streaming of fast space dust is found throughout planetary systems and could be a common factor in proliferating life."

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Astronomers Hunt for Oldest Stars in Our Solar Neighborhood --"May Harbor Planets with Ancient Civilizations"

 
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"Finding old stars could also lead to the discovery of new planets. Maybe we can find some ancient civilizations around these old stars," said Dr. Wei-Chun Jao, lead author of a new study and research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State. "Maybe these stars have some planets around them that we don't know about."

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Alien Object from a Distant Star System Invades Our Solar System --"Like Nothing We've Ever Seen"

 

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"What a fascinating discovery this is!" said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "It's a strange visitor from a faraway star system, shaped like nothing we've ever seen in our own solar system neighborhood."

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NASA Satellites Observing Earth's Plant Life from Space --"Probing Role Plants Play in Global Carbon & Water Cycles" (WATCH Video)

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Extreme Antarctic winds shape trees in the image above into beautiful forms on Slope Point, New Zealand. From rainforests to croplands, boreal forests to mangroves, NASA will take a new look at terrestrial vegetation across our living planet over the next two years with several unique instruments in space, including one from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The missions will help scientists investigate the role of plants in Earth's global carbon and water cycles.

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ESO Observes a Giant Structure Forming Around an Ancient Quasar

 
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A huge cloud of gas with a diameter of about a million light-years has formed around the distant quasar SDSS J102009.99+104002.7, taken by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. This quasar and its surrounding cloud are at a redshift larger than 3, meaning that they are seen as they were only about 2 billion years after the Big Bang.

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