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— Space

Durham University astronomers find evidence of hidden supermassive black holes

By - July 8, 2015 3 Pictures

The nature of the universe recently became a little clearer, as astronomers from Durham University announced the discovery of a large population of supermassive black holes that were previously hidden from view by gas and dust. Using data from NASA's NuSTAR satellite observatory, the researchers confirmed the detection of high-energy x-rays from black holes that could be billions of times the mass of the Sun.

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— Space

NASA narrows the field on advanced space technology concepts

By - July 8, 2015 1 Picture

NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program has advanced to its second phase, green-lighting a series of futuristic technological concepts for further agency-backed development. The program's chief objective is to foster clever ideas that help shape future aerospace exploration and, with interstellar submarines and swarms of tiny satellites, it offers a mind boggling picture of what future space travel might look like.

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— Space

EPFL's CleanSpace One satellite will "eat" space junk

By - July 7, 2015 4 Pictures

Three years ago, Swiss research institute EPFL announced its plans to build a spacecraft that could grab orbital debris and then carry it back towards Earth, burning up in the atmosphere with it on its way down. Called CleanSpace One, the satellite was depicted at the time as using a claw-like grasping tool. Now, however, EPFL has announced that it will utilize a folding conical net to essentially gobble up bits of space garbage.

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— Space

Germany to tackle space junk with GESTRA project

By - July 6, 2015 1 Picture

Scientists estimate there are 20,000 particles of space junk measuring up at over 10 cm in diameter currently hurtling around the earth at an average velocity of 25,000 km/h, threatening to damage or destroy orbiting satellites. To combat the problem, the German Government has granted the German Aerospace Center (DLR) €25 million to create a system to track space junk as it orbits the earth and the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) has been tasked with creating the new system's radar component.

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— Space

Contact temporarily lost with New Horizons spacecraft

By - July 5, 2015 2 Pictures

Like a racehorse stumbling at the finish line, NASA's New Horizons deep space probe gave mission control a moment of anxiety on July 4 as communications were temporarily lost. The unmanned nuclear-powered spacecraft, which is only nine days from its historic flyby with the dwarf planet Pluto, lost contact with the Deep Space Network at 1:54 pm EDT before coming back online at 3:15 pm.

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— Space

Latest New Horizons images show puzzling spots along Pluto's equator

By - July 2, 2015 2 Pictures

A new mystery currently has the New Horizon's science team abuzz as the probe plunges ever closer to the Pluto – what's the deal with the series of dark spots near the dwarf planet's equator? The huge, neatly arranged dots were revealed in the latest color images snapped by the NASA probe and the scientists are hopeful of learning more about their origins in the coming weeks.

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— Space

World Asteroid Day raises awareness of a deadly menace

By - July 2, 2015 7 Pictures

June 30th marked the world's first Asteroid Day – a global awareness campaign designed to promote an understanding of the dangers presented by the rocky bodies, and how best to protect our planet from a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact. Significantly, the campaign was held on the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska asteroid strike – an impact that devastated eight hundred square miles of Siberian forest, and served as a powerful indicator of the damage that could be wrought by just one of the 600,000 plus known asteroids whizzing around our solar system.

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