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Carbon in Vesta's craters: Asteroid impacts may have transferred carbonaceous material to protoplanet and inner solar system

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In this three-dimensional image of one of Vesta’s smaller craters, the dark material can be seen within the crater. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

Jan. 3, 2013 — The protoplanet Vesta has been witness to an eventful past: images taken by the framing camera onboard NASA's space probe Dawn show two enormous craters in the southern hemisphere. The images were obtained during Dawn's year-long visit to Vesta that ended in September 2012. These huge impacts not only altered Vesta's shape, but also its surface composition. Scientists under the lead of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau in Germany have shown that impacting small asteroids delivered dark...

Are we closing in on dark matter?

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Dec. 18, 2012 — This fall, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago and the National Academy of Sciences organized a colloquium that brought together more than 100 cosmologists, particle physicists and observational astrophysicists -- three fields now united in the hunt to determine what is dark matter. Their goal: to take stock of the latest theories and findings about dark matter, assess just how close we are to detecting it and spark cross-disciplinary...

First direct detection sheds light on dark galaxies

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This deep image shows the region of the sky around the quasar HE0109-3518. The quasar is labelled with a red circle near the centre of the image. The energetic radiation of the quasar makes dark galaxies glow, helping astronomers to understand the obscure early stages of galaxy formation. The faint images of the glow from 12 dark galaxies are labelled with blue circles. Dark galaxies are essentially devoid of stars, therefore they don’t emit any light that telescopes can catch...

Mathematicians offer unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field equations

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BestAstronomy (Sep. 6, 2012) — A pair of mathematicians -- one from Indiana University and the other from Sichuan University in China -- have proposed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy that alters Einstein's equations describing the fundamentals of gravity. Share This: See Also: Space & TimeDark MatterAstrophysicsBlack HolesMatter & EnergyPhysicsAlbert EinsteinNuclear EnergyReference Introduction to general relativityShape of the...

Theoretical physicists probe the Majorana mystery

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BestAstronomy (Aug. 1, 2012) — With headlines proclaiming the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called God particle -- particle physics has captured the imagination of the world, particularly among those who dwell on the nature of the cosmos. But this is only one puzzle seemingly solved in a universe of mysteries. In a recent paper in Physical Review Letters, Dartmouth physicists delve into another enigmatic particle. Share This: See Also: Space &...