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Tiny Space Telescope to Aim at 'Super-Earth' Atmospheres

Hothouse ‘super-Earth’ 55 Cancri e (seen in an artist’s impression) is one of the planets that could be studied by Twinkle, if the telescope launches.Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH Even with about 2,000 confirmed planets found outside the solar system, we know so little about them. What are they made of? Are their atmospheres habitable? What weather exists? […]

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Second Cosmic Ray Detector Delivered to Space Station

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that was attached to the space station in 2011. It will now be joined by the Calorimetric Electron Telescope, a detector that will be used to measure even more energetic cosmic rays.Credit: NASA In addition to ferrying tons of food, water and supplies […]

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The Area Around a Black Hole

Best Space Stories of the Week – Aug. 30, 2015

This artist’s concept shows a black hole’s surroundings, including its accretion disk, jet and magnetic field.Credit: ESO/L. Calçada Mars One seeks billionaires, Ceres and Dione get close-ups, a Martian hoax is debunked and Stephen Hawking solves a black hole conundrum in Space.com’s top stories for this week. Mars One seeks billionaires A billionaire funder could […]

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Best Space Photos of the Week – August 29, 2015

Scott MacNeill of the Frosty Drew Observatory compiled three nights of Perseid meteor activity, August 13-15, 2015, into one image containing 57 meteors.…Read More » He writes in an email message to Space.com: “I originally wanted to collect another night’s session, though weather had different plans in New England last night. I have heard mixed […]

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Full Moon Tonight Offers Sneak Preview of September Lunar Eclipse

Astrophotographer Fernando Roquel Torres captured the full moon over Caguas, Puerto Rico on Aug. 10. 2014. Tonight’s full moon is known in some Native American tribes as a “Sturgeon Moon.”Credit: Fernando Roquel Torres, Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe A full moon will grace the sky tonight (Aug. 29), but it is only a dress rehearsal […]

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What Is Parallax?

Astronomers use a technique called parallax to precisely measure to distance to stars in the sky. Using the technique, which requires observing targets from opposite sides of Earth’s orbit around the sun, astronomers have pinpointed the distance to the famed “Seven Sisters” star cluster, the Pleiades.Credit: Alexandra Angelich, NRAO/AUI/NSF Astronomers estimate the distance of nearby […]

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Beyond Pluto: 2nd Target Chosen for New Horizons Probe

NASA’s New Horizons probe, which flew past Pluto last month, now has a second target to aim for. The New Horizons team has selected an object named 2014 MU69, which lies roughly 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto , as the next target for up-close study by the spacecraft, NASA announced today (Aug. […]

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Was Venus Alive?

Venus Displays Its Brilliant Morning Finery for the Fall

All through the spring and early summer, the planet Venus dominated the western evening sky. Now, as summer turns into fall, Venus will dominate the eastern sky before sunrise. Venus has erupted into view in the eastern morning sky for the past couple of weeks. As September opens, this resplendent “morning star” will be rising just […]

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