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The Case for Manned Mission to Mars –“Life on the Red Planet Could Be Preserved as Fossils the Same Way Extinct Life on Earth Is” (Today’s Top Space Headline)

“Arguably, the notion that life may have once existed on the Red Planet is the most compelling scientific reason to send investigators there. The ancient Martian rocks reveal a very different world in the distant past—one with a thicker and warmer atmosphere and perhaps even an Earth-like climate, seas and precipitation. This has been inferred from the widespread evidence of fluvial features on the surface first mapped by Mariner 9. Such intriguing results motivated the Viking missions of the 1970s to search for potential life with Martian soils, which yielded ambiguous results.”

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Hubble’s Ultraviolet Vision Reveals the Fire and Fury of Star Birth Near the Dawn of the Cosmos

Astronomers using the ultraviolet vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have captured one of the largest panoramic views of the fire and fury of star birth in the distant universe. The field features approximately 15,000 galaxies, about 12,000 of which are forming stars. Hubble’s ultraviolet vision opens a new window on the evolving universe, tracking the birth of stars over the last 11 billion years back to the cosmos’ busiest star-forming period, which happened about 3 billion years after the big bang.

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“Hugely Exciting” –Oldest Galaxies in the Cosmos Detected: ‘Like Finding Fossils of the First Humans that Inhabited Earth’

 

“Our finding supports the current model for the evolution of our Universe, the ‘Lambda-cold-dark-matter model’ in which the elementary particles that make up the dark matter drive cosmic evolution,” said Carlos Frenk, Director of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology.

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“Just Another Pale Blue Dot?” –Earth-Like Worlds Might Be Not Be Unusual

 

“Most of the building blocks we have looked at in other planetary systems have a composition broadly similar to that of the Earth”, said Dr Siyi Xu of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, who was presenting the research at the Goldschmidt conference in Boston.

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“690 Trillion Suns!” –Ancient Quasar’s Light So Bright It Obscured a Massive Unknown Galaxy Cluster

“We started asking ourselves why we had not found it earlier, because it’s very extreme in its properties and very bright,” says Michael McDonald, assistant professor of physics in MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. “It’s because we had preconceived notions of what a cluster should look like. And this didn’t conform to that, so we missed it.”

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“Hiding in Plain Sight” –Neutron Stars Hint at Known Unknowns About the Dark Side of Our Universe

 

“If we did discover exotic neutron decays, then we would in the same stroke also learn something amazing about the dark side of our universe—the survival of massive neutron stars would then immediately tell us that there isn’t just one dark matter particle, but a whole set of dark particles with their own dark forces.” said Jessie Shelton, physicist at the University of University of Illinois who has won awards from MIT and the LHC Theory Initiative working on a broad range of topics in particle physics beyond the Standard Model, with particular interests in dark matter, top quarks, and the Higgs boson.

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“Scorching!” –Alien Planet Discovered With Iron and Titanium Atmosphere

 

Exoplanets, planets in other solar systems, can orbit very close to their host stars. When the host star is much hotter than the sun, the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star. The hottest “ultra-hot” planet was discovered last year by American astronomers. Today, an international team led by researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), who collaborated with theoreticians from the University of Bern (UNIBE), Switzerland, discovered the presence of iron and titanium vapors in the atmosphere of this planet. The detection of these heavy metals was made possible by the surface temperature of the planet, which reaches more than 4000 degrees.

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Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –NASA Funding Southern-Hemisphere Asteroid Protection Network

“By placing telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll enhance the ability to protect the planet,” says Tim Spahr of the astronomy consultancy NEO Sciences. “There will always be things we can’t see from the north.”

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