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“Over the past few days, engineers here at JPL have been working to address an issue on Curiosity that is preventing it from sending much of the science and engineering data stored in its memory,” the Curiosity team explains. “The rover remains in its normal mode and is otherwise healthy and responsive.” The rover isn’t totally silent, however, and is still relaying certain status information, just not the science data it has stored locally. This strange set of circumstances is leaving Curiosity’s engineers scratching their heads.


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An international team of astronomers has discovered a new radio pulsar as part of the LOFAR Tied-Array All-Sky Survey (LOTAAS). The newly detected object, designated PSR J0250+5854, turns out to be the slowest-spinning radio pulsar known to date.


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NASA’s interdisciplinary Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) project has awarded Rice University $7.7 million for a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research program aimed at finding many different recipes nature might follow to produce rocky planets capable of supporting life.


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The American space agency has launched a laser into orbit to measure the condition of Earth's ice cover. The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming. Antarctica, Greenland and the ice floating on the Arctic Ocean have all lost volume in recent decades. ICESat-2 will track ongoing change in unprecedented detail from its vantage point some 500km above the planet.


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Scientists searching for extraterrestrial life say they have spotted 72 mysterious signals from an alien galaxy using artificial intelligence (AI). The researchers at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute discovered the unusual signals when examining 400 terabytes of radio data from a dwarf galaxy three billion light years away from Earth.


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The one-ton Curiosity, which carries a massive amount of scientific kit, was drilling for a new rock sample when the photo was taken. Curiosity's panorama was taken on Vera Rubin Ridge during the rover's adventures on Mars and released by NASA this week.


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A British astrophysicist who was passed over for the Nobel prize for her discovery of exotic cosmic objects that light up the heavens has won the most lucrative award in modern science. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a visiting professor at Oxford University, was chosen by a panel of leading scientists to receive the $3m (£2.3m) special Breakthrough prize in fundamental physics for her landmark work on pulsars and a lifetime of inspiring leadership in the scientific community.


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Astronauts used tape to temporarily patch up an air leak discovered on the Russian side of the International Space Station. Officials said the gap had caused a small loss in cabin pressure and was "isolated to a hole about two millimetres in diameter". It was temporarily plugged with heat resistant tape but astronauts were later able to do a more permanent fix. NASA and Russian officials stressed the six astronauts were not in any danger.


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FAST HAS BEEN in the making for a long time. In the early 2000s, China angled to host the Square Kilometre Array, a collection of coordinated radio antennas whose dishes would be scattered over thousands of miles. But in 2006, the international SKA committee dismissed China, and then chose to set up its distributed mondo-telescope in South Africa and Australia instead. Undeterred, Chinese astronomers set out to build their own powerful instrument. The point of radio telescopes is to sense radio waves from space—gas clouds, galaxies, quasars. By the time those celestial objects’ emissions reach Earth, they’ve dimmed to near-nothingness, so astronomers build these gigantic dishes to pick up the faint signals. But their size makes them particularly sensitive to all radio waves, including those from cell phones, satellites, radar systems, spark plugs, microwaves, Wi-Fi, short circuits, and basically anything else that uses electricity or communicates. Protection against radio-frequency interference, or RFI, is why scientists put their radio telescopes in remote locations: the mountains of West Virginia, the deserts of Chile, the way-outback of Australia.


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We live inside a galaxy-wide zombie, says a fascinating new study. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has apparently had quite an eventual life, “dying” once before. This is according to calculations by the Japanese astronomer Masafumi Noguchi of Tohoku University. Noguchi looked at the history of the Milky Way over a period of 10 billion years. He wanted to explain the mystery of why the stars of the Milky Way can be split into those that are rich in the “alpha” elements like oxygen, silicon and magnesium, and those that are overflowing with iron. The astronomer created a model that shows the existence of two separate periods of star formation.


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Those of us who follow science news had a good chuckle when news broke a while back about a mysterious sky phenomenon appearing in auroral and sub-auroral regions dubbed 'Steve'. Well, Steve is actually STEVE, standing for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, and it’s no joke. What it is, on the other hand, is unknown. Appearing in the dark sky as a mostly vertical ribbon of vibrant whites and purples with shimmering offshoots of green, STEVE has been photographed and video-recorded for decades. The scientific community, prompted by the citizen scientists who’ve been capturing images of it, is just now catching up.


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Our celestial companion in the midnight sky has been a constant source of wonder and awe. From anyplace on the planet, the brightest thing in the night sky is usually the moon. The moon is our only natural satellite and one of the nearest astronomical bodies at around 240,250 miles or 384,400 km away. The moon has a radius of 1079 miles and is approximately 27% the size of the Earth.


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A team of scientists, led by Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii and Brown University and including Richard Elphic from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, used data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument to identify three specific signatures that definitively prove there is water ice at the surface of the Moon.


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New research shows a black hole-fuelled quasar shining 46 billion times brighter than the Sun is not the lone wolf astronomers once believed. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have found the quasar, PKS 1353-341, is simply so bright it drowns out the light from hundreds of galaxies in a surrounding cluster. Michael McDonald, an assistant professor of physics at MIT’s Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Space Research, writes in the Astrophysical Journal that the previously unseen cluster is about as massive as 690 trillion suns. For comparison, the Milky Way tips the scales at some 400 billion solar masses.


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The United States' last crewed space mission (it was also the final shuttle flight STS-135) launched from Kennedy Space center in 2011. Since then, US astronauts have hitched rides on Russian rockets. Meanwhile, SpaceX, Boeing and NASA are reviving US spaceflight with the "Commercial Crew Program." A boring name for something that's exciting not only for NASA but also the four gentlemen that are testing (and will eventually be aboard) the Dragon spaceship when it launches. To get to that point, SpaceX has spent years working closely with NASA and with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to get everything ready. The experienced astronauts have spent the past three years sharing their expertise with SpaceX on everything from where to place buttons in the craft and building a chair that works best for reaching escape velocity (the velocity needed to escape the gravitational pull of a celestial body. In this case, Earth), to iterating the design of the rather stylish spacesuit they'll be wearing.


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The Perseids are arguably the most famous annual meteor shower. Silently streaking across the mid-August heavens each summer, it’s a profound and beautiful event for anyone with a dark sky and the discipline to just. Keep. Looking. Up. The often-exquisite shooting stars come from a comet that’s drawing ever closer to Earth. Dangerously close, actually: Radio astronomer Gerrit Verschuur has called Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle "the single most dangerous object known to humanity." Apparently, our inspiring, transcendent meteor shower may also be the harbinger of humanity’s doom, give or take a few thousand years.


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About 170 years ago, Eta Carinae, one of the brightest, most massive stars in the Milky Way, erupted with a titanic blast, releasing almost as much energy as a supernova explosion and becoming at one point the second brightest star in the night sky. Somehow, the star survived the “Great Eruption”, providing an intriguing mystery for astronomers. Now, studying light from the outburst that rebounded, or “echoed,” off interstellar dust and has only now reached Earth, researchers have found the original explosion created a huge 10-solar-mass cloud of debris expanding 20 times faster than expected – more than 32 million kilometres per hour (20 million mph) – fast enough to travel from Earth to Pluto in just a few days.


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The NASA and ESA Hubble space telescope is on a captivating quest to image all 110 space objects listed in a catalog that originated with French astronomer Charles Messier. Messier's catalog dates back to the 1700s and is full of gorgeous galaxies, fascinating star clusters and stately nebulae. NASA released 12 new Messier catalog Hubble images on March 16. Hubble has now observed 93 of the 110 objects as of early 2018.


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"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."


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The red planet is making its closest approach to Earth in 15 years. The two planets will be just 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) apart. Mars is already brighter than usual and will shine even more— and appear bigger. Astronomers expect good viewing through early August.


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How to Watch Friday’s Super-Long Lunar Eclipse Online


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The accumulation of condensation on surface landers and the detection of vast subterranean ice deposits suggest the stuff still lingers in gaseous and solid states. But liquid water has proved more elusive. Evidence to date suggests it flows seasonally, descending steep slopes in transient trickles every Martian summer. The search for a big, enduring reservoir of wet, potentially life-giving H20 has turned up nothing. Until now.


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Follow the SpaceX Iridium-7 launch live


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There is a new radio telescope up and running based in Karoo, South Africa. The MeerKAT (Karoo Array Telescope), as it’s named, operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, is already producing brilliant images of the super massive black hole that is at our galaxy’s center, 25,000 light years away.


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Mars is closer to Earth and brighter than its been since back in 2003. It’s so bright that photographer Abdul Dremali managed to capture this photo of the planet casting a bright reflection on the ocean as it rose into the night sky.




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