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The Universe Isn't as Bright as It Should Be

March 5, 2015 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

A handful of new stars are born each year in the Milky Way, while many more blink on across the universe. But astronomers have observed that galaxies should be churning out millions more stars, based on the amount of interstellar gas available. Now, researchers have pieced together a theory describing how clusters of galaxies may regulate star formation.

Early Galaxy Was Dusty

March 2, 2015 3:00 pm | by Niels Bohr Institute | News | Comments

Dust plays an extremely important role in the universe— both in the formation of planets and new...

Another Helmet Leaks During Spacewalk

February 26, 2015 8:04 am | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

A spacewalking astronaut ended up with unwanted water in his helmet after breezing through a...

Physicists May Have Found Origin of Matter

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by UCLA | News | Comments

Most of the laws of nature treat particles and antiparticles equally, but stars and planets are...

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Russia Will Retain Part of ISS After Mission

February 25, 2015 8:01 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Russia's space agency expects the International Space Station to stay in orbit through 2024, and plans to create its own space outpost with its segment of the station after that.

Dying Exoplanet Key to Learning How Solar System Formed

February 20, 2015 7:00 am | by The Open Univ. | News | Comments

Exciting new research has opened up the chance to find out what distant planets are made of. A team of astronomers have made observations that can help reveal the chemical makeup of a small rocky world orbiting a distant star about 1,500 light years away from Earth, increasing our understanding of how planets, including ours, were formed.

Dark Matter May Be Linked to Extinctions, Geologic Upheavals

February 19, 2015 3:00 pm | by New York Univ. | News | Comments

Research by a professor concludes that Earth's infrequent but predictable path around and through our galaxy's disc may have a direct and significant effect on geological and biological phenomena occurring on Earth. Movement through dark matter may perturb the orbits of comets and lead to additional heating in the Earth's core, both of which could be connected with mass extinction events.

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Today in Lab History: Discovery of Pluto

February 18, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On Feb. 18, 1930, the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto. At the time he was actually searching for a trans-Neptunian planet, known as Planet X, predicted by Percival Lowell and William Pickering.

Image of the Week: Why Do Some Galaxies Burst?

February 17, 2015 7:00 am | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

Starburst galaxies transmute gas into new stars at a dizzying pace— up to 1,000 times faster than typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. To help understand why some galaxies "burst" while others do not, an international team of astronomers used the ALMA to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253, one of the nearest starburst galaxies to the Milky Way.

Two Years Later We Still Don't Know Russian Meteor's Origin

February 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Planetary Science Institute | News | Comments

Two years after a 20-meter rock slammed into the Earth after a meteoroid dramatically fragmented in the atmosphere over the Chelyabinsk region in Russia and injured hundreds of people, its parent asteroid remains elusive.

Is Seeking E.T. Risky?

February 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Astronomers are looking for alien life, and for decades, they have sat by their telescopes, waiting to hear from E.T. It didn't happen, and so now some of them want to beam messages out into the void and invite the closest few thousand worlds to chat or even visit.

Image of the Week: Stellar Marriage Will End Catastrophically

February 10, 2015 7:00 am | by ESO | News | Comments

A team of astronomers has discovered a close pair of white dwarf stars that have a total mass of about 1.8 times that of the Sun. This is the most massive such pair yet found and, when these two stars merge in the future, they will create a runaway thermonuclear explosion leading to a Type Ia supernova.

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Tech Key to Cheaper, Faster Small-satellite Launches

February 9, 2015 7:00 am | by DARPA | Videos | Comments

DARPA has been developing new concepts and architectures to get small satellites into orbit more economically on short notice. There have been several key accomplishments of the program to date, including successful completion of Phase 1 design and selection of the Boeing Company as prime contractor for Phase 2 of the program.

Today in Lab History: Golf on the Moon

February 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On Feb. 6, 1971, Alan Shepard, an American astronaut played golf on the moon. Alan Shepard, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, was the Commander of Apollo 14. The mission marked America’s third successful Moon landing and the first to use a color camera to send pictures back to Earth.

Hydrogen More Abundant on Moon's Pole-facing Slopes

February 6, 2015 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Space travel is difficult and expensive– it would cost thousands of dollars to launch a bottle of water to the moon. The recent discovery of hydrogen-bearing molecules, possibly including water, on the moon has explorers excited because these deposits could be mined if they are sufficiently abundant, sparing the considerable expense of bringing water from Earth.

Telescope Peers Through Galaxy to Find Hidden Objects

February 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by ESO | News | Comments

A new image taken with ESO’s VISTA survey telescope reveals the famous Trifid Nebula in a new and ghostly light. By observing in infrared light, astronomers can see right through the dust-filled central parts of the Milky Way and spot many previously hidden objects.

Virgin Back on Track for Space Tourism

February 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Susan Bryan | News | Comments

The only thing interrupting New Mexico's most remote stretches of desert is a runway where Virgin Galactic plans to launch the world's first commercial space-line. Virgin Galactic had proclaimed 2015 was going to be the year. That was until the company's rocket-powered spacecraft broke apart during a test flight last fall, killing one pilot. Now, Virgin Galactic says things are on track and testing will take off again this year.

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Legendry Female Scientists You've Never Heard Of

February 4, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

One saved the U.S. space program, another invented a better treatment for leprosy and a third spawned an industry in the American Midwest. Mary Sherman Morgan, Alice Ball and Rachel Lloyd all had amazing accomplishments in chemistry, but their work was nearly lost to history.

Mice Show How Spaceflight Ages Immune System

February 2, 2015 3:00 pm | by Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology | News | Comments

As the world waits to see if Mars One can establish a human colony on Mars, scientists are working to determine the long-term consequences of living in low or no-gravity conditions, such as those that might exist on the trip to another planet. New research found that mice in low gravity conditions experience changes in B lymphocyte production in their bone marrow similar to those observed in elderly mice living in Earth conditions.

System Could Aid Sea Safety

February 2, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Leicester | News | Comments

Scientists have been trialing a concept for using satellite imagery to significantly improve the chances of locating ships and planes, such as the missing Malaysian flight MH370, lost at sea. A preliminary study identified 54 satellites with 85 sensors, currently only taking images of land, which could be used to take images of the Earth’s oceans and inland waters.

Scientists Retract High Profile Cosmic Claim

February 2, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Malcolm Ritter | News | Comments

Scientists who made headlines last March by announcing that they'd found long-sought evidence about the early universe are now abandoning that claim. New data show that their cosmic observations no longer back up that conclusion, they say.

Satellite to Help Manage Water Woes

February 2, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A NASA satellite lifted off this weekend with the hope it will transmit data that will help the world do a better job of preparing for floods and droughts. The satellite is on a three-year mission to track the amount of water locked in soil, which may help residents in low-lying regions brace for floods or farmers get ready for drought conditions.

Proposed Particle May Help Find Dark Matter

January 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

Researchers have proposed a new fundamental particle that could explain why no one has managed to detect Dark Matter, the elusive missing 85 percent of the Universe’s mass. Despite compelling indirect evidence and considerable experimental effort, no one has managed to detect Dark Matter directly.

NASA Honors 17 Astronauts Who Died in the Line of Duty

January 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Jay Reeves | News | Comments

NASA is remembering 17 astronauts who were killed in the line of duty and dozens more who have died since the agency's beginning. Dozens of people attended a remembrance ceremony today at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

Newly Found Solar System is Twice Our Age

January 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

A newly discovered solar system— with five small rocky planets— makes ours look like a baby. Astronomers announced today that this solar system is 11.2 billion years old. By comparison, our solar system is 4.5 billion years old.

Boeing, SpaceX Cheaper than Russia for NASA

January 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

NASA expects to save millions of dollars sending astronauts to the International Space Station, once its commercial crew program starts flying in a couple of years. SpaceX and Boeing say they are on track to carry out their first manned test flights to the space station in 2017.

Image of the Week: The Cratered Moon

January 27, 2015 7:00 am | by ESA | News | Comments

The speckled object depicted here is Callisto, Jupiter’s second largest moon. Similar in appearance to a golf ball, Callisto is covered almost uniformly with pockmarks and craters across its surface, evidence of relentless collisions. In fact, Callisto is the most heavily cratered object in the Solar System.

Research Recreates Planet Formation, Super-earths in Lab

January 23, 2015 7:00 am | by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | News | Comments

New laser-driven compression experiments reproduce the conditions deep inside exotic super-Earths and giant planet cores, and the conditions during the violent birth of Earth-like planets, documenting the material properties that determined planets' formation and evolution processes.

Rosetta Yields Closest-ever Look at Comet

January 22, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

On Nov. 12, 2014, the Rosetta mission made history when its Philae lander touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. While this exciting technical achievement gained lots of headlines, it was only the beginning for researchers back on Earth who are receiving and analyzing comet data. The latest chapter in the story provides the closest and most detailed look at a comet that scientists have ever seen.

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