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Mars, at least as far as we know, is a planet populated entirely by robots. Our efforts to make them more autonomous and explore the rocky surface on their own have been successful. In turn, these bots can teach us more about our closest neighbour in the Solar System. Software installed upon the Curiosity Rover, which helps to control its laser, has made it more efficient at self-selecting rocks and objects to study. The system, called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS), has allowed the robot to pick and examine rocks on its own correctly 93 per cent of the time. It is able to work in a precision pointing mode and a rock selecting mode.


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Ten potentially habitable worlds have been announced today by Nasa. They are part of a group of 219 exoplanets revealed by the space agency in its eighth Kepler planet catalogue. The ten planets are Earth-sized and in the habitable zone of their stars. This means they are at just the right distance for liquid water to exist on their surfaces. Just under half of these are orbiting G dwarf stars – stars the same size as our Sun.


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Back in October 2015 astronomers announced they had detected a strange signal that stood a remote chance of being a vast extraterrestrial construction - dubbed the alien megastructure. It was discovered using Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope, which was designed to look for the slight drop in light caused when a planet passes in front of its star. In this case, the telescope gave astronomers much more than they bargained for.


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When searching for alien life, astronomers often look to individual exoplanets, but the stars they orbit are equally important. Now, astronomers have found traces of chemicals that make up the basic ingredients needed for life in early Sun-like stars, suggesting the building blocks of life on Earth could have originated from our own star.


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In a research paper, in 1936, Albert Einstein predicted that the weight of stars can be measured using the bending of distant starlight by its own gravity. However, because stars are so far apart the esteemed physicist never thought observing such a phenomenon would be possible. Now, thanks to the superior resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers from the Space Telescope Science Institute have seemingly done the impossible by determining the mass of a white dwarf using Einstein's theoretical method.


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A team of researchers with the Center of Planetary Science (CPS) has finally solved the mystery of the "Wow!" signal from 1977. It was a comet, they report, one that that was unknown at the time of the signal discovery.


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We know there are frozen bodies of water in Mars, that may have had the potential to be liquid oceans at some point. Now, geographers from the Northern Illinois University have estimated just how much water could have filled those oceans by studying the planet’s topography.


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This blue ‘ball of string’ actually records 2114 movements made by ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope as it shifted its gaze from one X-ray object to another between August 2001 and December 2014. Orbiting in space since 1999, XMM-Newton is studying high-energy phenomena in the Universe, such as black holes, neutron stars, pulsars and stellar winds.


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Ligo was rebooted on November 30 2016 and now, scientists have revealed it detected gravitational waves a little over one month later. On January 4 2017, the twin detectors – based in Washington and Louisiana – found waves emitted from the collision of two distant black holes. The crashing together of the two black holes created a new hole that has a mass 49 times that of the Sun. When gravitational waves were detected in 2015, they were found from the formation of a black hole with 62 times the mass of our Sun and 21 times the mass.


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A year from now, Nasa plans to launch its first mission to the Sun’s atmosphere. The Solar Probe Plus is set to come within four million miles of the giant gas ball's surface as it attempts to unlock the secrets of stars. Ahead of this mission, on May 31 at 11am EDT (4pm BST), the US space agency will announce more details in a press conference, during which five Nasa experts will discuss how the probe will handle the star's blistering temperatures.


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Stars can turn into black holes without a supernova. Our assumptions about star death might be misguided.


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The first close-up observations from Nasa’s Juno spacecraft have captured towering clouds, swirling cyclones and dramatic flows of ammonia that drive giant weather systems on the largest planet in the solar system. The $1.1bn probe swung into orbit around Jupiter in July last year on a mission to peer through the thick clouds that shroud the planet and learn how the alien world, and ultimately all of the planets in the solar system, formed around the nascent sun 4.5bn years ago.


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Two NASA astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:20 a.m., EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about 2.5 hours. Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer will replace a critical computer relay box.


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On Friday, 19 May, Tabby’s star began to dim, carrying on a history of mysterious dips in brightness. Astronomers are scrambling to point as many telescopes as possible at the star, which is 1,300 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, to decipher its strange signal.


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Our Universe could be one of an infinite number of Universes, and, in its early stages, might have collided with one of these other worlds, according to a recent discovery. A mysterious ‘cold spot’ in the Universe is not caused by a massive void, according to a recent paper.


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The nascent off-Earth manufacturing industry is getting set to take its next big steps. Made In Space, the California-based company that owns and operates the commercial 3D printer aboard the International Space Station (ISS), is developing new technology, called Archinaut, that's designed to enable the assembly of large structures in the final frontier.


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Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA concluded the 200th ISS spacewalk at 1:21 p.m. EDT.


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Researchers have formed the clearest picture yet of massive explosions that controlled the creation of galaxies, including our own, and continue to influence star formation today. The findings confirm a long-held theory about the after-effects of these spectacular explosions called supernovae, and how they slow down the formation process.


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The record-shattering mission of the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane is finally over. After circling Earth for an unprecedented 718 days, the X-37B touched down Sunday (May 7) at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida — the first landing at the SLF since the final space shuttle mission came back to Earth in July 2011.


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Amazing imagery from Cassini


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Adam Makarenko wants to change the way we look at space – so he creates miniature exoplanets in his living room in Toronto, Canada. Makarenko, 43, has been creating models since 2006 and began building exoplanets in 2016.


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A newly discovered exoplanet is causing excitement among astronomers as it has the potential to give us the best opportunity ever to find alien life. The 'super-Earth', which is around 1.4 times the size of Earth but seven times its mass, is rocky, temperate and orbits a quiet star in our galactic neighbourhood.


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The first sighting of a halo of hydrogen wafting around the Milky Way has been revealed today. It was thought our galaxy had this kind of halo of diffuse gas, based on what we knew about other galaxies, but it had never been directly observed until now. Spiral galaxies like the Milky Way are made up of a central bulge surrounded by a disk and spiral arms, but these only make up a tiny part of its mass. It is thought the bulk of the ‘missing mass’ is made up of dark matter, which does not interact with light so cannot be seen.


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Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other "ocean worlds" in our solar system and beyond. The findings are presented in papers published Thursday by researchers with NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn and Hubble Space Telescope.


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Later today, Nasa will be making an announcement about the presence of oceans in our Solar System. While little detail has been given, Nasa has said the mysterious news comes from data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble space telescope. The full announcement will be made at 19:00 BST (14:00 EDT).




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