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Astronomy

Space

Evidence of gargantuan asteroid strike unearthed in Australia

All it takes is a quick look up at the moon to understand what a violent place the early solar system was. All those craters are the results of asteroids smashing into the lunar surface. The Earth was likewise battered all those billions of years ago, but the evidence of many asteroid strikes has long been erased through topography changes. Researchers at Australian National University (ANU) though, have found clues to a massive asteroid that impacted our planet about 3.5 billion years ago, when the Earth was less than a quarter as old as it is now.Read More

Journey toward Milky Way's dark heart in new Hubble video

Do you have 37 seconds of time to spare today? If so, you can zip towards the very center of our galaxy thanks to a new video put out by the Hubble Space Telescope team. The video is really just a long zoom into an image released last month, but it definitely provides the sensation of heading through our galactic core to the black hole that lies at its center.Read More

Space

Stephen Hawking's space probes eye the express lane to neighboring stars

The Alpha Centauri star system is a fair old hike. At 25 trillion miles (4.37 light years) away, it would take around 30,000 years for us to roll into the area, and that's if we hitched a ride on today's fastest spacecraft. If the latest idea from the cosmically inquisitive Stephen Hawking comes to fruition, however, we could reach this neighboring stellar system within 20 years of launch.Read More

Space

First observed shockwave to shed light on supernovas

As the late Carl Sagan said, "we are made of star stuff." The question is, where did this star stuff come from? The answer may be a bit nearer now that an international team of astronomers has for the first time captured the initial few minutes of a pair of supernovae as they exploded, as well as the first recorded supernova shockwave. According to the scientists, this could give us a better understanding of how many of the elements formed that make up the Earth and us.Read More

Space

A preview of the beautiful way our sun will die

This week the European Space Agency dug up one of the final images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), to provide a preview of the end of the world. This star is all but gone now, but was once roughly the same mass as our sun. Read More

Space

Charge injection device boosts chances of detecting Earth-like planets near bright stars

The quest to find small, Earth-like exoplanets isn't just a matter of pointing an exceptionally powerful telescope towards a star, as one may do to observe moons orbiting a planet. Apart from resolving images adequately in relation to the enormous distances involved, the glare from a distant sun often washes out the image of anything but the largest of planetary bodies in its vicinity. To help combat this problem, researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) have developed a new type of astronomical camera that can detect the faint reflections of distant worlds near bright stars many millions of times better than that possible with an ordinary telescope. Read More

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