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Tag Archives: Astrophysics

Imaging the Galaxy’s Centre in Unprecedented Detail Reveals More Mysterious Filaments

The inner 600 light years of our galaxy is a maelstrom of cosmic radiation, turbulent swirling gas clouds, intense star formation, supernovae, huge bubbles of radio energy, and of course a giant supermassive black hole. This bustling downtown of the Milky Way is a potential treasure trove of discovery but has been difficult to study as the galaxy’s central regions ...

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An Asteroid has Been Discovered With Three Moons!

Planets aren’t the only celestial objects with moons – asteroids can have them too. They are usually other, smaller asteroids in orbit around a larger central one.  Now, a team of Thai and French astronomers found an asteroid system with three satellites.  The new four-body system makes complex gravitational problems like the three-body problem look simple by comparison. The asteroid ...

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Lasers Could Send Missions to Mars in Only 45 Days

NASA and China plan to mount crewed missions to Mars in the next decade. While this represents a tremendous leap in terms of space exploration, it also presents significant logistical and technological challenges. For starters, missions can only launch for Mars every 26 months when our two planets are at the closest points in their orbit to each other (during ...

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We Might Know Why Mars Lost its Magnetic Field

Mars is a parched planet ruled by global dust storms. It’s also a frigid world, where night-time winter temperatures fall to -140 C (-220 F) at the poles. But it wasn’t always a dry, barren, freezing, inhospitable wasteland. It used to be a warm, wet, almost inviting place, where liquid water flowed across the surface, filling up lakes, carving channels, ...

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Asteroids are Dangerous, but They Might Also be the Key to Life on Earth

Trying to piece together the appearance of life on Earth is a little like looking through a kaleidoscope. There are competing theories for where Earth’s water came from, and there’s incomplete evidence for how the Moon formed and what role it played in life’s emergence. There are a thousand other questions, each with competing answers. Sometimes, contradictory research is published ...

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During a Solar Flare, Dark Voids Move Down Towards the Sun. Now We Know Why

Solar flares are complex phenomena. They involve plasma, electromagnetic radiation across all wavelengths, activity in the Sun’s atmosphere layers, and particles travelling at near light speed. Spacecraft like NASA’s Solar and Heliophysics Observatory (SOHO) and the Parker Solar Probe shed new light on the Sun’s solar flares. But it was a Japanese-led mission called Yohkoh that spotted an unusual solar ...

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Astronomers Discover a Mysterious Star That Flashes Every 20 Minutes. But What is it?

Just 4,000 light-years from Earth is a strange, star-sized object. It’s been observed by radio telescopes, but astronomers aren’t sure what it is. They call it a long period transient. Transients are objects in the sky that change over some period of time. Fast transients are things such as pulsars, which emit a bright flash over a period of seconds ...

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