Space


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Since we first spotted the TRAPPIST-1 system in February, scientists have been scrambling to learn more about these seven rocky planets circling around their red dwarf star – but research suggests the planets aren’t as hospitable as we’d hoped. Two more reports on TRAPPIST-1 again identify challenging conditions that would make it difficult for extraterrestrial
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Some 5,000 light-years from Earth, there’s a bizarre and mysterious nebula that clocks an average temperature of just 1 Kelvin (−272.15 °C or −457.87 °F), making it the coldest natural object in the known Universe. For decades, scientists have struggled to explain how this otherwise unremarkable cloud of gas maintains temperatures colder than empty space
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The effects of zero gravity on the human body are taxing, regardless of gender, and NASA has found no differences between men and women in terms of their psychological and behavioural responses to space flight. But sex does seem to have a role in how being in space for long periods of time affects astronauts’ bodies.   In June
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For the third time in two years, physicists have detected ripples in the fabric of spacetime, called gravitational waves, that Albert Einstein predicted the existence of more than 100 years ago with his theory of general relativity. “Einstein continues to rock, in the sense that we keep pushing the boundaries of his theory,” Vicky Kalogera, an astrophysicist at Northwestern
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Scientists have found new evidence to support the idea that matter vanishes completely when it falls into a supermassive black hole, suggesting Einstein was right about these unquenchable voids lurking throughout the Universe. The findings show that black hole event horizons – the invisible barriers beyond which nothing can escape the intense pull of gravitational
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Summer soon arrives, and the big planets Jupiter and Saturn will entertain evening onlookers, Venus will distract morning dog walkers and Mars starts a season-long hiatus. Catch a fattening, waxing moon as it approaches the bright Jupiter (-2.2 magnitude) in the southern sky on the evening of June 2 and then scooting past the planet June 3. Our lunar neighbour sails over the star Spica on
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For the first time, scientists have detected evidence of a magnetic field that’s associated with the vast intergalactic ‘bridge’ that links our two nearest galactic neighbours. Known as the Magellanic Bridge, the bridge is a huge stream of neutral gas that stretches some 75,000 light-years between our two neighbouring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic
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Astronomers have found a giant exoplanet larger than Jupiter, but with extremely low mass – a composition that gives this mysterious ‘puffy planet’ a density very similar to styrofoam. The team who found KELT-11b, which orbits a star located about 320 light-years from Earth, says this “extraordinarily inflated” world is the third-lowest density planet with a