Outer Space

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Ghosts of Ancient Explosions Live on in Stars Today

When small, dense stars called white dwarfs explode, they produce bright, short-lived flares called Type Ia supernovae. These supernovae are informative cosmological markers for astronomers — for example, they were…

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New Water Cycle on Mars Discovered

Approximately every two Earth years, when it is summer on the southern hemisphere of Mars, a window opens: Only there and only in this season can water vapor efficiently rise…

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Hubble’s Dazzling Display of 2 Colliding Galaxies

Located in the constellation of Hercules, about 230 million light-years away, NGC 6052 is a pair of colliding galaxies. They were first discovered in 1784 by William Herschel and were originally classified as…

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What Exactly Is a Black Hole?

What is a black hole? In an article that has just appeared in the journal Nature Astronomy, LMU philosopher Erik Curiel shows that physicists use different definitions of the concept,…

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X-ray Pulse Detected Near Event Horizon

On Nov. 22, 2014, astronomers spotted a rare event in the night sky: A supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy, nearly 300 million light-years from Earth, ripping…