First Temperate Exoplanet — Size of Jupiter — Discovered

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The planet, called CoRoT-9b, was discovered by using the CoRoT space telescope satellite.

An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter. The finding is published in the March 18 issue of the journal Nature.

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UN To Discuss International Air Traffic Control For Outer Space

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Debris objects in Earth’s orbit is an increasingly troublesome issue.

An international air traffic control for outer space should be set up to prevent damage to satellites and spacecraft orbiting the Earth, according to proposal to be discussed at the United Nations next week.  Space experts from around the world will discuss ways of tackling the growing problem of space debris in orbit around the Earth. It comes just a year after an American satellite collided with a Russian satellite.

 

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Solar Winds Triggered by Magnetic Fields

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XRT Full Sun (Synoptic).

Solar wind generated by the sun is probably driven by a process involving powerful magnetic fields, according to a new study led by UCL (University College London) researchers based on the latest observations from the Hinode satellite.

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Celestial Rosetta Stone: White Dwarf Star, Circling Companion Star, Could Explode In A Few Million Years

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Illustration of the white dwarf and its companion HD49798. If it was possible to look at the system up-close, it would look something like this.

ESA’s XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescope has uncovered a celestial Rosetta stone: the first close-up of a white dwarf star, circling a companion star, that could explode into a particular kind of supernova in a few million years. These supernovae are used as beacons to measure cosmic distances and ultimately understand the expansion of our Universe.

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The Milky Way Doomed to be Destroyed by Galactic Bombardment? Probably Not, Study Says

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This image from a supercomputer simulation shows the density of dark matter in our Milky Way galaxy which is known to contain an ancient thin disk of stars.

As scientists attempt to learn more about how galaxies evolve, an open question has been whether collisions with our dwarf galactic neighbors will one day tear apart the disk of the Milky Way.

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Coolest Spacecraft Ever In Orbit Around L2 (-273 Degrees Celsius)

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This artist’s impression shows the focal plane unit of the Planck telescope.

On July 2 the detectors of Planck’s High Frequency Instrument reached their amazingly low operational temperature of -273°C, making them the coldest known objects in space. The spacecraft has also just entered its final orbit around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2. Planck is equipped with a passive cooling system that brings its temperature down to about -230°C by radiating heat into space. Three active coolers take over from there, and bring the temperature down further to an amazing low of -273.05°C, only 0.1°C above absolute zero – the coldest temperature theoretically possible in our Universe.

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Herschel’s Daring Test: A Glimpse Of Things To Come

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far-infrared image of M51, the ‘whirlpool galaxy’

Herschel opened its ‘eyes’ on 14 June and the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer obtained images of M51, ‘the whirlpool galaxy’ for a first test observation. Scientists obtained images in three colours from the observation, which clearly demonstrate the excellence of Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope ever flown.

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Rare Magnetar Discovered: Giant Eruption Reveals ‘Dead’ Star

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member of a select class of objects called magnetars.

NASA’s Swift satellite reported multiple blasts of radiation from a rare object known as a soft gamma repeater, or SGR. Now, astronomers report an in-depth study of these eruptions using the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) satellites. Continue reading… “Rare Magnetar Discovered: Giant Eruption Reveals ‘Dead’ Star”

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