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Space

Herschel zooms in on region of chaotic star formation

A newly-released image taken by the now decommissioned Herschel Space Observatory displays the complex and chaotic structure of the Vulpecula OB1 star formation region. The tumultuous scene, revealed thanks to the infrared capabilities of the Herschel telescope, was captured as part of the Hi-GAL project, which was responsible for imaging the entirety of the galactic plane in five distinct infrared wavelengths.
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Space

Kepler stable after being rescued from Emergency Mode

It was action stations for the Kepler mission team last Thursday when, during a scheduled contact, it was discovered the Kepler spacecraft was in Emergency Mode (EM). NASA subsequently declared a spacecraft emergency, giving engineers priority access to its Deep Space Network ground-based communications system. The spacecraft was successfully recovered from EM on Sunday morning and is now in a stable state, however, it is still unclear what triggered the craft's brief departure from regular operations.

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Space

Black hole weighing 17 billion suns found in "cosmic backwater"

Black holes are a bit like celebrities — the larger they are, the more activity they have swirling about them. It came as some surprise then, when two NASA telescopes spied a supermassive black hole in a relatively quiet neighborhood of the universe. The gravity gobbler has the weight of 18 billion of our suns and is found in a giant elliptical galaxy that should have a much more impressive bulge of stars near its center for a black hole of that size.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

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