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Astronomers witness mysterious, never-before-seen disintegration of asteroid

Astronomers have witnessed for the first time the breakup of an asteroid into as many as 10 smaller pieces. The discovery is published online...

NIST Detectors to Probe Origins of Stars, Planets and Galaxies

The world’s largest submillimeter camera—based on superconducting technology designed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—is now ready to scan the universe,...

When the black hole was born

Most galaxies in the universe, including our own Milky Way, harbor super-massive black holes varying in mass from about one million to about 10 billion times the size of our sun. To find them, astronomers look for the enormous amount of radiation em...

Newly discovered planet may have water on its surface

A team of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaiʻi' at Manoa's Nader Haghighipour has announced the discovery of a planet that could have...

Methane Clouds Discovered at the South Pole of Titan

Teams of astronomers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley have discovered methane clouds near the south pole of Titan. Titan is Saturn's largest moon, larger than the planet Mercury, and is the only moon in our solar system with a thick atmosphere. Like Earth's atmosphere, the atmosphere on Titan is mostly nitrogen. Unlike Earth, Titan is inhospitable to life due to the lack of atmospheric oxygen and its extremely cold surface temperatures (-183 C; -297 F). Along with nitrogen, Titan's atmosphere contains a significant amount of methane. Earlier spectroscopic observations had hinted at the existence of clouds on Titan, but gave no clue as to their location.

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