Deep Space

  • Hypernova Blast
    The light from a massive explosion 2 billion years ago just arrived March 29th on Earth, thus setting off a global flurry of robotic telescopes to track what turned out to be 100 times more intense than any previously studied supernova events.
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  • First Light on New Planet Finder
    Atop a Chilean mountain- in the driest place on Earth- a new telescope promises to seek out distant stars that harbor planets. 'First light' showed that a star's velocity can be detected with the astonishing accuracy equivalent to the speed of a pedestrian's walk (within
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  • Star’s Eye-Popping Outburst
    In January 2002, a dull star in an obscure constellation suddenly became the brightest star in our Milky Way galaxy. The mysterious star's three-dimensional structure of dust-shells provided the Hubble telescope with a glimpse of an aging star's 15 minutes of fame.
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  • Star Light, Star Bright…Any Oxygen Tonight?
    The possibility of complex life on other worlds may depend on green plant photosynthesis. But could this sunlight-dependent process evolve on worlds that orbit stars different from our sun?
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  • SETI@home’s Serendipity To-Do
    The idle processing power of millions of computers, turned to look for a stray signal from billions of stars, now has a target: 150 promising signals to be handled again in a new SETI@home project.
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    Depois da computação de mais de um milhão de anos de dados em mais de 4 milhões de computadores em todo o mundo, o SETI@home (SETI em casa), que processa dados em busca de sinais inteligentes do espaço, produziu uma lista de fontes de rádio
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  • Poof! How to Evaporate a Planet
    Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have observed for the first time the atmosphere of a planet beyond our solar system evaporating into space.
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  • Nanodiamonds are Forever? Maybe Not
    When nanodiamonds were discovered in 1989, they seemed to be remnants of supernovas - tiny grains of physical history even older than the solar system. Logically, comets should be full of these microscopic diamonds.
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  • We Are All Made of Stars
    For the first time, scientists have identified and analyzed single grains of silicate stardust in the laboratory.
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  • The Day the Stars Ignited
    To see the afterglow of the Big Bang is to know the age of the Universe: 13.7 billion years within a remarkable 1% error. But in just the first 200 million years, the embryonic stars ignited their fusion of light elements towards heavier ones,
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  • The Universe in Forty Leaps
    Zoom out from a single sodium atom to the edge of the universe. From micro- to mega- in powers of ten on the zoom lens.
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  • Planet Found Orbiting Red Giant
    A new planet has been discovered in the southern constellation, Canis Major (The Great Dog). The Jupiter-like planet orbits a Red Giant star--more than 400 light-years away and the second most distant planetary system yet.
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  • Telescopes for Stardust
    As they reach Earth at faster than bullet speeds, extrasolar meteors hint at distant planet formation. Radar telecopes could trace dust grains back to neighboring solar systems, detailing their journey as grand detective stories for astronomers.
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  • What Does ET Look Like from 40 Light Years Away?
    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission will have the technology to look for signs of life in the light reflected or emitted by planets orbiting nearby stars. But nobody knows exactly what signals life would emit. Clues from studies of Earth's early atmosphere are guiding
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  • New World of Iron Rain
    Discover the remarkable new planet that has a year that lasts a terrestrial day, and rains down not water, but iron. The discovery is made possible by a planetary detection method--called a transit search--where the parent star dims as the orbitting planets pass across
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