Deep Space

  • New Planet, Magnified
    The gravity of a star can act as a lens, focusing and intensifying the light of a star behind it. The combined light from the two stars causes that point in the night sky to suddenly appear much brighter. For the first time, a
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  • Dating A Star
    Sifting through the fossil records of nearly 100,000 galaxies may seem more like paleontology than astronomy. Some early conclusions from such a stellar expedition have revealed a five billion year peak in star formation and more massive galaxies forming stars earliest.
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  • Can SETI Probe for Probes?
    Just as our own robots reach out beyond the solar system, searching for life elsewhere may well involve hailing some kind of space artifact in our own neighborhood. At least one style of life search is about looking for the technological evidence of life, rather
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  • Ashes of the Phoenix
    What had become the first systematic attempt to search for another world's intelligent radio communications has wound down. Project Phoenix will transition to more advanced search methods, but its pioneering status has become part of history.
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  • How Many Earths?
    About half of hundred solar systems with known planets may hold potential Earths. Simulating whether such stars and outer planets might eject an Earth-like world, the results also suggest another possibility, a habitable moon around a much larger Jupiter-like world.
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  • Can Intelligent Life Thrive in Close Quarters?
    Where should SETI researchers target their hunt for other intelligent species? The answer depends in large part on whether planets orbiting dim red-dwarf, or M-class, stars can provide suitable habitats for the evolution of intelligent life.
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  • Looking towards Creation
    To astronomers looking back to what is called a Redshift 12 distance implies seeing light from the first half billion years of the universe. The resulting view can be compared to time-travel, since it gives a glimpse of galaxies as they once appeared soon after
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  • Questioning The Prime Directive
    It has become somewhat accepted that an extrasolar contact could be interpreted as a good 'artificial' signal if it arose from certain branches of mathematics. If another galactic civilization decided to reach us, they would send a beacon of bleeps akin to the digits of
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  • Nearest Young Planet-forming Star Found
    The nearest, youngest star with dusty debris disk - the stuff from which planets form - has been found by Berkeley and Hawaii astronomers a mere 33 light-years away.
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  • A Good Planet Is Hard To Find?
    Harvard-Smithsonian astronomers have simulated the early planet formation around stars like our own. It turns out that an alien astronomer could have seen the embryonic Earth in its earliest dusty stages.
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  • View to the Edge of No-Return
    Ever imagine making a telescope that was fifty light-years long, and could see into the mouth of the most dense objects known, a black-hole. Astrobiology Magazine talks to astronomer Hayley Bignall about what it takes to see into the center of an active galaxy.
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  • Seeing the Edge of the Universe
    Light reaching the Hubble Space Telescope from 13 billion light-years gives cosmologists a glimpse back in time, to when the universe was less than a billion years old or five percent of its current age.
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  • Dying Planet Leaks Carbon-Oxygen
    Using the Hubble Space Telescope to view a star dim, international researchers have identified the first extrasolar planet with a carbon and oxygen signature. While unlikely to be habitable, this gas giant adds to the menagerie of other worlds and their unusual properties.
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  • Gem Sorting for the Next Earth
    Which star is most like our own Sun? This intriguing question offers a chance to test hypotheses about what places might make for a good Earth-like, habitable planet. The best found so far may well be the 37th most westerly star in the constellation, Gemini,
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  • Galactic Mergers and Acquisitions
    Coincident with announced de-orbiting of Hubble Space Telescope in 2007, a team of astronomers have created the largest color Hubble image yet, showing 80 diverse galaxies and helping visualize how large galaxies like our own Milky Way have evolved among menagerie of different types, sizes
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