Thursday, 8 December 2016

John Glenn, American Hero of the Space Age, Dies at 95

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Mr. Glenn was a symbol of the space age as the first American to orbit Earth, then became a national political figure representing Ohio in the Senate.
via New York Times

Amateur astronomer helps uncover secrets of unique pulsar binary system

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A professional astrophysicist and an amateur astronomer have teamed up to reveal surprising details about an unusual millisecond pulsar (MSP) binary system comprising one of the fastest-spinning pulsars in our Galaxy and its unique companion star.
via Science Daily
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Dark matter may be smoother than expected

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Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team used data from the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS) to study how the light from about 15 million distant galaxies was affected by the gravitational influence of matter on the largest scales in the universe.
via Science Daily
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Machine learning enables predictive modeling of 2-D materials

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Scientists have used machine learning tools to create the first atomic-level model that accurately predicts the thermal properties of stanene, a 2-D material made up of a one-atom-thick sheet of tin.
via Science Daily

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

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What will happen to Earth when, in a few billion years' time, the sun is a hundred times bigger than it is today? Using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, an international team of astronomers has set out to look for answers in the star L2 Puppis. Five billion years ago, this star was very similar to the sun as it is today.
via Science Daily
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Whirlpool with Comets

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Not a comet, bright spiral galaxy Messier 51 is popularly known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. Just off the handle of the Big Dipper in northern skies, you can spot it at the upper left in this image from December 1st. The pretty 4 by 2.5 degree wide field of view does contain two comets though. Different in appearance, both comets are new visitors to the inner Solar System and are currently faint telescopic objects, highest above northern horizons in morning twilight. At lower left newly discovered comet NEOWISE (C/2016 U1) shows off a round fuzzy coma in the greenish light of diatomic carbon gas fluorescing in sunlight. Sunlight reflects from dust in the coma and stubby tail of comet Johnson (C/2015 V2) at upper right.
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Fly over Mawrth Vallis

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Fly through an outflow channel on Mars that once saw vast volumes of water charging through
via ESA Space Science
http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2016/12/Fly_over_Mawrth_Vallis

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cassini beams back first images from new orbit

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's intriguing hexagon-shaped jet stream.
via Science Daily
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Saturn’s bulging core implies moons younger than thought

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Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that the ringed planet's moons may be younger than previously thought.
via Science Daily
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NGC 4696: Filaments around a Black Hole

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