Cosmic Evolution

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Pop-Up Planets
    New calculations estimate giant planet formation may take only centuries instead of tens of millions of years.
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  • Looking for Carbonates in Dry Places
    A research team claims it has found carbonates in dust around two dying stars, where water cannot exist. If the finding is confirmed, astronomers may have to re-think some assumptions about the presence of water during the formation of our own solar system. But both
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  • High-Energy Telescope
    A new, high-energy window on the universe has opened in Namibia, Africa. The Max Planck Society inaugurates their stereoscopic view of the galaxy.
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  • Hubble Discovers Black Holes in Unexpected Places
    Previously undiscovered black holes provide an important link that sheds light on the way black holes grow. Even more odd, these new black holes were found in the cores of glittering, "beehive" swarms of stars -- called globular star clusters -- that orbit our Milky
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