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Outer Space

Violent formation of the moon: New view

This artist's rendering shows the collision of two planetary bodies.

Within the first 150 million years after our solar system formed, a giant body roughly the size of Mars struck and merged with Earth, blasting a huge cloud of rock and debris into space. This cloud would eventually coalesce and form the moon. For almost 30 years, planetary scientists have ...

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Explosions of Jupiter’s aurora linked to extraordinary planet-moon interaction

In this artist's rendering, flows of electrically charged ions and electrons accelerate along Jupiter's magnetic field

On Earth, bursts of particles spewed by the Sun spark shimmering auroras, like the Northern Lights, that briefly dance at our planet’s poles. But, on Jupiter, there’s an auroral glow all the time, and new observations show that this Jovian display sometimes flares up because of a process having nothing ...

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Monster black hole discovered at cosmic dawn

Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The international team led by astronomers from Peking University in China and from the University of Arizona announce their findings in the scientific journal Nature on Feb. 26. ...

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A smiling lens: ‘Happy face’ galaxy cluster reveals arcs caused by strong gravitational lensing

galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849

In the centre of this image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 — and it seems to be smiling. You can make out its two orange eyes and white button nose. In the case of this “happy face,” the two eyes are very ...

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Evidence for dark matter in the inner Milky Way

Evidence for dark matter in the inner Milky Way

A new study is providing evidence for the presence of dark matter in the innermost part of the Milky Way, including in our own cosmic neighbourhood and the Earth’s location. The study demonstrates that large amounts of dark matter exist around us, and also between us and the Galactic centre. ...

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