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Latest Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Stories

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2009-03-19 16:45:00

Does a twin Earth exist somewhere in our galaxy? Astronomers are getting closer and closer to finding an Earth-sized planet in an Earth-like orbit.

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2009-03-16 13:45:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope offers a rare view of an imminent collision between the cores of two merging galaxies, each powered by a black hole with millions of times the mass of the sun.

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2009-02-24 09:39:37

On long, dark winter nights, the constellation of Orion the Hunter dominates the sky. Within the Hunter’s sword, the Orion Nebula swaddles a cluster of newborn stars called the Trapezium.

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2009-01-20 09:35:00

Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a planet somewhat larger and more massive than Neptune orbiting a star 120 light-years from Earth.

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2009-01-05 15:40:33

The planet Jupiter gained weight in a hurry during its infancy. It had to, since the material from which it formed probably disappeared in just a few million years, according to a new study of planet formation around young stars.

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2009-01-06 07:40:00

Fasten your seat belts -- we're faster, heavier, and more likely to collide than we thought. Astronomers making high-precision measurements of the Milky Way say our Galaxy is rotating about 100,000 miles per hour faster than previously understood.

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2008-11-18 13:55:00

The powerful black holes at the center of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters act as hearts to the systems, pumping energy out at regular intervals to regulate the growth of the black holes themselves, as well as star formation, according to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

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2008-10-16 14:00:00

New observations with the Submillimeter Array now suggest that colossal black holes were common even 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only 1.7 billion years old and galaxies were just beginning to form.

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2008-09-18 13:45:00

Water is being blasted to pieces by a young star's laser-like jets, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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2008-08-22 12:45:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells a tale of life and death, and reveals a rich family history. The striking infrared picture shows a colorful cosmic cloud, called W5, studded with multiple generations of blazing stars.


Word of the Day
alicorn
  • The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
  • A winged horse with a single horn on its head; a winged unicorn.
The word 'alicorn' comes from Italian alicorno, already associated with unicorns and reinterpreted, popularized by Bearing an Hourglass (1984) and other fantasy novels by Piers Anthony.
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