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Hidden treasure in Large Magellanic Cloud

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Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. As the Milky Way’s gravity gently tugs on its neighbour’s gas clouds, they collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a kaleidoscope of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. (Credit: NASA, ESA. Acknowledgement: Josh Lake)

Jan. 17, 2013 — Nearly 200,000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars. In turn, these...

Light from darkness: Brilliant stars emerging from dusty stellar nursery

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The Lupus 3 dark cloud and associated hot young stars. (Credit: ESO/F. Comeron)

Jan. 16, 2013 — An evocative new image from the European Southern Observatory shows a dark cloud where new stars are forming, along with a cluster of brilliant stars that have already emerged from their dusty stellar nursery. The new picture was taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile and is the best image ever taken in visible light of this...

Neon lights up exploding stars

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Artistic view of a nova explosion depicting the binary stellar system. (Credit: David A Hardy and STFC)

Jan. 15, 2013 — An international team of nuclear astrophysicists has shed new light on the explosive stellar events known as novae.

These dramatic explosions are driven by nuclear processes and make previously unseen stars visible for a short time. The team of scientists measured the nuclear structure of the radioactive neon produced through this process...

New sunspots producing space weather

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This triptych shows a coronal mass ejection or CME as it burst off of the sun in the morning of Jan. 13, 2013. The images were captured by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO). (Credit: NASA/STEREO)

Jan. 14, 2013 — On Jan. 13, 2013, at 2:24 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME. Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and reach Earth one to...

Dynamic, dark energy in an accelerating universe

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Irene Sendra-Server, PhD holder in Physics and research scientist in the UPV/EHU’s Department of Theoretical Physics and History of Science. (Credit: Image courtesy of Basque Research)

Jan. 14, 2013 — The models proposed by the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country researcher are contributing towards understanding the nature of dark energy.

It was cosmology that drew Irene Sendra from Valencia to the Basque Country. Cosmology also gave her the...

Star Wars: What would hyperspace travel really look like?

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What University of Leicester physics students suggest hyperspace travel would really look like. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Leicester)

Jan. 14, 2013 — The sight of the Millennium Falcon making the "jump to lightspeed" is one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars trilogy. But University of Leicester students have calculated that -- in reality -- Han, Luke and Leia would not see the light from stars stretching past the ship as we are shown in the...

Astronomers find massive supply of gas around modern galaxies

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Circumgalactic gas. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Notre Dame)

Jan. 11, 2013 — Galaxies have a voracious appetite for fuel -- in this case, fresh gas -- but astronomers have had difficulty finding the pristine gas that should be falling onto galaxies. Now, scientists have provided direct empirical evidence for these gas flows using new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The team led by Nicolas Lehner, research associate professor at the...

Nearby dwarf galaxy and possible protogalaxy found: Telescopes reveal intergalactic traffic jam

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Deep, wide-field optical image of M101. Outer parts of all galaxies rescaled up in brightness to highlight features in galaxy outskirts. (Credit: Chris Mihos (CWRU))

Jan. 11, 2013 — Peering deep into the dim edges of a distorted pinwheel galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear), astronomers at Case Western Reserve University and their colleagues have discovered a faint dwarf galaxy and another possible young dwarf caught before it had a chance to form...

Biggest structure in universe: Large quasar group is 4 billion light years across

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The coloured background indicates the peaks and troughs in the occurrence of quasars at the distance of the LQG. Darker colours indicate more quasars, lighter colours indicate fewer quasars. The LQG is clearly seen as a long chain of peaks indicated by black circles. (The red crosses mark the positions of quasars in a different and smaller LQG). The horizontal and vertical axes represent right ascension and declination, the celestial equivalent of longitude and latitude. The map...