Habitable Planets Around Red Dwarf Stars

According to a recent study, tens of billions of planets around red dwarfs are likely capable of containing liquid water, dramatically increasing the potential to find signs of life somewhere other than Earth. Red dwarfs are stars that are fainter, cooler and less massive than the sun. These stars, which typically also live longer than Class G stars like the sun, are thought to make up about 80 percent of the stars in the Milky Way, astronomers have said.

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Spitzer Finds Galaxy with Split Personality

While some galaxies are rotund and others are slender disks like our spiral Milky Way, new observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is both. The galaxy, which is a round elliptical galaxy with a thin disk embedded inside, is one of the first known to exhibit characteristics of the two different types. As said Dimitri Gadotti of the European Southern Observatory in Chile the Sombrero is more complex than previously thought.

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Stellar Grouping NGC 2040

These bright stars shining through what looks like a haze in the night sky are part of a young stellar grouping in one of the largest known star formation regions of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.The LMC is the third closest galaxy to our Milky Way. It is located some 160 000 light-years away, and is about 100 times smaller than our own. The image was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

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Missing Dark Matter

Dark matter is one of the greatest cosmic mysteries of our time, an invisible, intangible material thought to make up five-sixths of all matter in the universe. Scientists currently think it is composed of a new type of particle, one that interacts normally with gravity but only very weakly with all the other known forces of the universe. As such, dark matter is detectable only via the gravitational pull it generates.

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Rogue Alien Planets

According to study many wandering alien worlds, which were ejected from the solar systems in which they formed, likely find new homes with different suns. The finding could explain why some alien planets orbit extremely far from their stars.Study lead author Hagai Perets, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and co-author Thijs Kouwenhoven of China’s Peking University simulated the evolution of young star clusters containing about as many free-floating planets as stars.

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Hubble Space Telescope Shows Heart of Tarantula Nebula

New photo from the Hubble Space Telescope has captured an unprecedented panoramic view of the Tarantula nebula, revealing its bright heart of massive stars. The photo is actually a colossal mosaic, one of the largest ever built from Hubble images, and shows an intense star-forming hotspot called 30 Doradus. Hubble’s science team unveiled this new image on April 17. Hubble’s new view of the region inside the Tarantula nebula shows massive stars’ winds carving cavities into gas clouds, creating a fantasy landscape of pillars, ridges and valleys.

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Hubble Captured Globular Cluster Messier 70

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the brilliance of the compact center of Messier 70, a globular cluster. This picture was obtained with the Wide Field Camera of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The field of view is around 3.3 by 3.3 arcminutes. Quarters are always tight in globular clusters, where the mutual hold of gravity binds together hundreds of thousands of stars in a small region of space. Messier 70 has undergone what is known as a core collapse.

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An Ancient Planetary System Discovered

Astronomers have discovered a planetary system that formed nearly 13 billion years ago, suggesting the early universe harbored more planets than has been thought. The system consists of a star called HIP 11952 and two Jupiter-like alien planets. It is just 375 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cetus (the Whale). The planets are likely the oldest yet found, at 12.8 billion years old, they’re just 900 million years younger than the universe itself, according to the commonly accepted Big Bang theory. HIP 11952 contains very little other than hydrogen and helium.

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Billion Stars Shine in New Photo of Our Milky Way Galaxy

An international team of astronomers snapped a new photo of our Milky Way galaxy. The new picture, which was released on March 28, combines infrared images of the Milky Way taken during sky surveys by two different instruments, the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii and the VISTA telescope in Chile. As said scientists the photo is part of a 10-year project that is gathering mountains of data to help guide future research.

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