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A mysterious, ghostly particle that slammed into Earth and lit up sensors buried deep beneath the south pole has been traced back to a distant galaxy that harbours an enormous spinning black hole. Astronomers detected the high-energy neutrino, a kind of subatomic particle, when it tore into the southern Indian Ocean near the coast of Antarctica and carried on until it struck an atomic nucleus in the Antarctic ice, sending more particles flying.


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Blasts of ocean spray that erupt from a moon of Saturn contain complex organic molecules, making it the only place beyond Earth known to harbour crucial constituents for life as we know it. Astronomers detected the compounds in plumes of water and ice that shoot from huge fractures in the south pole of Enceladus, a 300-mile-wide ice ball that orbits Saturn along with 52 other moons. Enceladus stands out among the planet’s natural satellites because it hosts a global water ocean beneath its frozen crust.


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We have just released an updated version of Redshift Premium for Mac. The app is now available in 8 languages.


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Sand dunes often accumulate in the floors of craters. In this region of Lyot Crater, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows a field of classic barchan dunes on Jan. 24, 2018. Just to the south of the group of barchan dunes is one large dune with a more complex structure. This particular dune, appearing like turquoise blue in enhanced color, is made of finer material and/or has a different composition than the surrounding.


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A new multiagency report outlines how the U.S. could become better prepared for near-Earth objects—asteroids and comets whose orbits come within 30 million miles of Earth—otherwise known as NEOs. NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observation Program funds asteroid detection and tracking efforts at observatories across the U.S. and in space, and collaborates with other observatories around the world. The NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, maps and publishes the orbits of all detected objects so that everyone can understand the potential risk. NASA also is studying approaches for deflecting (turning aside) or disrupting (breaking up) asteroids.


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A new study validates Einstein's theory of general relativity in a distant galaxy for the first time. This study supports our current understanding of gravity and provides more evidence for the existence of dark matter and dark energy — two mysterious concepts that scientists know about only indirectly by observing their effects on cosmic objects. Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, published in 1916, explains how gravity is the result of a concept known as the fabric of space-time. Simply put, the theory predicts how much the mass of an object — in this case, a galaxy — curves space-time.


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Recently, the scientists seem to have begun to master the science and art of cosmos creation. They are applying the laws of physics to a smooth, hot fluid of (simulated) matter, as existed in the infant universe, and seeing the fluid evolve into spiral galaxies and galaxy clusters like those in the cosmos today.


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Mysterious streams of microwaves that come from far across the galaxy have been traced to immense clouds of spinning diamonds that swirl around newly-born stars. Astronomers have been stumped by the strange waves since they were first spotted more than 20 years ago, but now appear to have solved the puzzle after training US and Australian telescopes on rings of dust that circle stars about 500 light years from Earth.


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Nasa’s veteran Curiosity rover has found complex organic matter buried and preserved in ancient sediments that formed a vast lake bed on Mars more than 3bn years ago. The discovery is the most compelling evidence yet that long before the planet became the parched world it is today, Martian lakes were a rich soup of carbon-based compounds that are necessary for life, at least as we know it.


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Massive galaxies like our Milky Way are orbited by satellite dwarf galaxies. Standard cosmological simulations of galaxy formation predict that these satellites should move randomly around their host. Müller et al. examined the satellites of the nearby elliptical galaxy Centaurus A (see the Perspective by Boylan-Kolchin). They found that the satellites are distributed in a planar arrangement, and the members of the plane are orbiting in a coherent direction. This is inconsistent with more than 99% of comparable galaxies in simulations. Centaurus A, the Milky Way, and Andromeda all have highly statistically unlikely satellite systems. This observational evidence suggests that something is wrong with standard cosmological simulations.


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Scientists have spotted one of the most detailed looks at the universe in the history of astronomy. The breakthrough observation allowed scientists to receive radiation from deep in space, and could shed light on the fast radio bursts that are one of the most mysterious signals we have ever received on Earth.


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China launched on Monday a relay satellite that will allow a rover to communicate with the Earth from the far side of the Moon during an unprecedented mission later this year. The Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge") satellite was blasted into space from the southwestern Xichang launch centre in the pre-dawn hours, according to the China National Space Administration.


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A permanent visitor from interstellar space has been found in our solar system, astronomers studying an asteroid orbiting our sun have revealed. While collisions with Earth by comets and asteroids from within our solar system are thought to have brought organic material and water necessary for life to emerge, experts say the latest discovery suggests bodies from beyond the solar system might have also have played a role.


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Scientists have begun an experiment aimed at solving one of astronomy’s most intriguing puzzles: the great Martian methane mystery. In the next few months they hope to determine whether tantalising whiffs of the gas that have been detected on the red planet in recent years are geological in origin – or are produced by living organisms.


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During the early weeks of his 167-day stint aboard the International Space Station in 2014, astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore noticed that a torque wrench was missing. “It’s not uncommon for things to disappear in space,” he tells me over the phone from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “You just don’t have gravity keeping stuff in place.” Wilmore mentioned the missing tool to Nasa’s mission control as he was tending to a 3D printer, a microwave-sized box that extrudes heated plastic to build up objects layer by layer, which was being tested on the space station.


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Saturn’s rings display their subtle colors in this view captured on Aug. 22, 2009, by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The particles that make up the rings range in size from smaller than a grain of sand to as large as mountains, and are mostly made of water ice. The exact nature of the material responsible for bestowing color on the rings remains a matter of intense debate among scientists.


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A meteorite that fell to Earth in October 2008 contained scores of small diamonds. The diamonds and the impurities found in them suggest the rock came from inside a planet. Scientists think the planet was destroyed 4.5 billion years ago and was the size of Mercury or even Mars.


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NASA's new planet-hunting mission, poised to launch Monday, aims to advance the search for extraterrestrial life by scanning the skies for nearby, Earth-like planets.


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"This invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy. So finding a galaxy without it is unexpected. It challenges the standard ideas of how we think galaxies work, and it shows that dark matter is real: it has its own separate existence apart from other components of galaxies. This result also suggests that there may be more than one way to form a galaxy."


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The Tiangong-1 was part of China's ambitious space programme, and the prototype for a manned station in 2022. It was put into orbit in 2011 and five years later completed its mission, after which it was expected to fall back to Earth. Time and place of impact are hard to predict as it is no longer controlled. The latest estimate for re-entry is between 30 March and 2 April. Most of the station is likely to burn up in the atmosphere but some debris could survive to hit the surface of the Earth.


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A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million years earlier and were not as deep as once thought.


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Exciting to see Redshift Astronomy featured in the Apple App Store today


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Behind the lens at SpaceX’s historic Falcon Heavy launch


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Temperatures at the North Pole are about to reach or possibly exceed the freezing point this week as the North Atlantic and the North Pacific Oceans inject unusually mild air into the Arctic. Not coincidentally, Arctic sea ice is at record low levels.


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The biggest black holes in the Universe are growing faster than the rate of stars being formed in their galaxies, according to two new studies using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes.




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