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Sun-like star shows magnetic field was critical for life on early Earth

© Afrim Constantin –

Nearly four billion years ago, life arose on Earth. Life appeared because our planet had a rocky surface, liquid water, and a blanketing atmosphere. But life thrived thanks to another necessary ingredient: the presence of a protective magnetic field. A new study of the young, Sun-like star Kappa Ceti shows that a magnetic field plays

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How to detect colliding black holes

© Afrim Constantin –

On 18 March 2016, Harald Pfeiffer, Associate Professor at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Physics, Toronto, will be honoured with a Bessel Award of the Humboldt Foundation. The award will allow him to stay at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam where he will work closely with Prof.

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Unexpected changes of bright spots on Ceres discovered

© Afrim Constantin –

Observations made using the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile have revealed unexpected changes in the bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. Although Ceres appears as little more than a point of light from the Earth, very careful study of its light shows not only the changes expected as Ceres rotates,

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Telescopes combine to push frontier on galaxy clusters

© Afrim Constantin –

Galaxy clusters are enormous collections of hundreds or even thousands of galaxies and vast reservoirs of hot gas embedded in massive clouds of dark matter, invisible material that does not emit or absorb light but can be detected through its gravitational effects. These cosmic giants are not merely novelties of size or girth — rather

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Ambitious European-led Mars mission ready for liftoff

© Afrim Constantin –

Click on image to make it bigger Credit: Infographic created by Afrim Constantin COPYRIGHT 2016 © spacefan.org

NASA Administrator Pays Tribute to Astronaut Scott Kelly

© Afrim Constantin –

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the retirement of astronaut Scott Kelly: “When the first Americans set foot on Mars, they will be following in the footsteps of one of the finest astronauts in the history of the space program, my friend, Commander Scott Kelly. After spending an American record

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Astronaut Scott Kelly to Retire from NASA in April

© Afrim Constantin –

NASA astronaut and one-year crew member Scott Kelly will retire from the agency, effective April 1. Kelly joined the astronaut corps in 1996 and currently holds the American record for most time spent in space. After retiring, Kelly will continue to participate in the ongoing research related to his one-year mission. He will provide periodic

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NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Record-Breaking U.S. Astronaut

© Afrim Constantin –

On a second American record-breaking mission for 2016, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 5:26 p.m. EDT Friday, March 18, with cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA Television launch coverage will begin at 4:30

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NASA Announces Winning Concepts to Further its Journey to Mars

© Afrim Constantin –

NASA has announced the winners of two challenges to create new concepts for construction and human habitation on future space exploration missions, including the agency’s journey to Mars. The Space Suit Textile Testing and In-Situ Materials Challenges, managed for NASA by NineSigma, launched in October 2015 under the umbrella of the NASA Tournament Lab, yielded

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