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November 30, 2014

DNA's Ability to Survive Extreme Conditions of Space --"Has Implications in Search for Extraterrestrial Life"

 

 

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DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere — and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from the University of Zurich obtained these astonishing results during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission. Various scientists believe that DNA could certainly reach us from outer space as Earth is not insulated: in extraterrestrial material made of dust and meteorites, for instance, around 100 tons of which hits our planet every day.

Continue reading "DNA's Ability to Survive Extreme Conditions of Space --"Has Implications in Search for Extraterrestrial Life"" »


Supermassive Black Hole in "Eye of Sauron" Galaxy --Reveals A New Way to Gauge the Age of the Universe

 

 

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One of the major problems in astronomy is measuring very large distances in the universe. The current most common methods measure relative distances, but now research from the Niels Bohr Institute demonstrates that precise distances can be measured using supermassive black holes.  The new accurate distance measurements could become the most precise way to measure the 'Hubble's constant', that is, the rate at which the universe is expanding and which ultimately determines the age of the universe.

Continue reading "Supermassive Black Hole in "Eye of Sauron" Galaxy --Reveals A New Way to Gauge the Age of the Universe" »


November 29, 2014

The Hunt for Colossal "Quark" Stars --Do They Exist? (Holiday Weekend Feature)

 

 

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"We haven't found strange stars yet," explains Prashanth Jaikumar from the Argonne National Laboratory. "But that doesn't mean they don't exist. Maybe we have found them. Maybe some of these neutron stars are really strange stars. According to our theory, it would be very difficult to tell a strange star from a neutron star."

Continue reading "The Hunt for Colossal "Quark" Stars --Do They Exist? (Holiday Weekend Feature)" »


November 28, 2014

"Life is a Space Voyage" --Kurt Vonnegut (A 'Galaxy' Insight)

 

 

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"I love you sons of bitches. You're all I read any more. You're the only ones who'll talk all about the really terrific changes going on, the only ones crazy enough to know that life is a space voyage, and not a short one, either, but one that'll last for billions of years. You're the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us, what big, simple ideas do to what tremendous misunderstanding, mistakes, accidents, catastrophes do to us. You're the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distance without limit, over mysteries that will never die, over the fact that we are right now determining whether the space voyage for the next billion years or so is going to be Heaven or Hell."

Spoken by Eliot Rosewater to a group of science fiction writers in Vonnegut's underrated masterpiece, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.

Continue reading ""Life is a Space Voyage" --Kurt Vonnegut (A 'Galaxy' Insight)" »


NASA Team Probes Earth's Plasmasphere --A Cloud-Like Barrier to Ultra-Fast Electrons

 

 

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The Van Allen belts are a collection of charged particles, gathered in place by Earth’s magnetic field. They can wax and wane in response to incoming energy from the sun, sometimes swelling up enough to expose satellites in low-Earth orbit to damaging radiation. The discovery of the drain that acts as a barrier within the belts was made using NASA's Van Allen Probes, launched in August 2012 to study the region. 

Continue reading "NASA Team Probes Earth's Plasmasphere --A Cloud-Like Barrier to Ultra-Fast Electrons" »


"The Image of the Century"--Astronomers Poised to Capture an Image of Milky Way's "Unseeable" Supermassive Black Hole

 

 

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Without an image of a black hole , no one has been able to confirm that black holes even exist, says Sheperd Doeleman, assistant director of the Haystack Observatory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Once an object fall through the event horizon of a black hole, they’re lost forever. “It’s an exit door from our universe," said Doeleman. "You walk through that door, you’re not coming back.” Supermassive black holes are the most extreme objects predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity — where, according to Doeleman, “gravity completely goes haywire and crushes an enormous mass into an incredibly close space.”

Continue reading ""The Image of the Century"--Astronomers Poised to Capture an Image of Milky Way's "Unseeable" Supermassive Black Hole" »


November 27, 2014

"Gravity's Earth!" -- Image Our Planet from Space With Gravity Field in Effect (Thanksgiving Holiday Feature)

 

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The "Potsdam Gravity potato", as this stunning image of terrestrial gravity has become known, can for the first time display gravity variations that change with time. The seasonal fluctuations of the water balance of continents or melting or growing ice masses, i.e. climate-related variables, are included in the modeling of the gravity field.

Continue reading ""Gravity's Earth!" -- Image Our Planet from Space With Gravity Field in Effect (Thanksgiving Holiday Feature)" »


Asteroid Impact 3.3 Billion Years Ago "Dwarfed the Dinosaur-Extinction Event" (Thanksgiving Holiday Feature)

 

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A massive asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island and about three to five times larger than the impact thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs slamed into Earth 3.3 Billion Years Ago.“We knew it was big, but we didn’t know how big,” said Donald Lowe, a geologist at Stanford University.

Continue reading "Asteroid Impact 3.3 Billion Years Ago "Dwarfed the Dinosaur-Extinction Event" (Thanksgiving Holiday Feature)" »


November 26, 2014

NASA Testing Space-Telescope Mirrors for Hubble's Heir (VIDEO)

 

 

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“In the quest for extraterrestrial biological signatures, the first stars we study should be white dwarfs,” said Avi Loeb, Director of Harvard University’s Institute for Theory and Computation . If all the conditions are right, we’ll be able to detect signs of life on planets orbiting white dwarf stars using the much-anticipated James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), set to be launched by NASA in 2018.

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November 25, 2014

Tiny Dwarf Galaxies Inside Dark Matter Halos Orbiting Milky Way (Today's Most Popular)

 

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“Finding a galaxy as tiny as Segue 2 is like discovering an elephant smaller than a mouse,” said Bullock. Astronomers have been searching for years for this type of dwarf galaxy, long predicted to be swarming around the Milky Way. Their inability to find any, he said, “has been a major puzzle, suggesting that perhaps our theoretical understanding of structure formation in the universe was flawed in a serious way.”

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