Scalloped Terrain Led to Finding of Buried Ice on Mars This vertically exaggerated view shows scalloped depressions in a part of Mars where such textures prompted researchers to check for buried ice, using ground-penetrating radar aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. They found about as much frozen water as the volume of Lake Superior. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Mars Ice Deposit Holds as Much Water as Lake Superior

Mars Ice Deposit Holds as Much Water as Lake Superior Fast Facts: — Water ice makes up half or more of an underground layer in…

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Massive cluster of galaxies Abell 1689 creates a strong gravitational effect on background and older galaxies, seen as arcs of light. Image credit: NASA, ESA, B. Siana, and A. Alavi

Large Number of Dwarf Galaxies Discovered in the Early Universe

Large Number of Dwarf Galaxies Discovered in the Early Universe A UC Riverside-lead team of astronomers has discovered a large number of dwarf galaxies in…

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Astronomers observed light from a quasar 8.5 billion years after it passed through distant galaxies. Credit: James Josephides and Professor Michael Murphy

Cosmic ‘barcode’ from distant galaxy confirms Nature’s constancy

Cosmic ‘barcode’ from distant galaxy confirms Nature’s constancy Astronomers have precisely measured the strength of a fundamental force of Nature in a galaxy seen eight…

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Using colorized topography, Mercury’s “great valley” (dark blue) and Rembrandt impact basin (purple, upper right) are revealed in this high-resolution digital elevation model merged with an image mosaic obtained by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/Carnegie Institution of Washington/DLR/Smithsonian Institution

‘Great Valley’ Found on Mercury

‘Great Valley’ Found on Mercury A newly discovered “great valley” in the southern hemisphere of Mercury provides more evidence that the small planet closest to…

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This illustration depicts a newly discovered brown dwarf, an object that weighs in somewhere between our solar system's most massive planet (Jupiter) and the least-massive known star. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Space Telescopes Pinpoint Elusive Brown Dwarf

NASA Space Telescopes Pinpoint Elusive Brown Dwarf In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, NASA’s Spitzer and Swift space telescopes joined forces to observe a microlensing event, when…

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NGC 1222, seen in this image taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), is a galaxy with a rather eventful story to tell. NGC 1222 has been described as a peculiar example of a type of galaxy known as a lenticular galaxy. Typically, this kind of galaxy would present a rather smooth appearance on the sky and would consist mostly of old, reddish stars. A bit dull, perhaps. But NGC 1222 is certainly not a typical member of its class — and it’s anything but dull. Observations show the characteristic features of very recent star formation on a huge scale — an event known as a starburst. The reason for all this violent activity is caused by the fact that NGC 1222 is not alone. It actually contains three compact regions, each of which appears to be the central nucleus of a galaxy. Astronomers think that NGC 1222 is in the process of swallowing up two much smaller dwarf galaxies that strayed too close to it. It is likely that the encounter was the trigger for the starburst in NGC 1222, bringing in fresh supplies of gas that are now fuelling the burst of star formation. Although its peculiarities were first seen in photographic images, these were not able to reveal the level of fine detail that can be recovered by Hubble. The image taken by Hubble allows us to see an astonishing amount of structure in this galaxy, emphasising its colourful history. Against the smooth background of old stars that was the original lenticular galaxy, we can clearly see dark filaments of dust and bright filaments of gas, both associated with the powerful star formation process.

Hubble Steals a Look at a Hungry Giant

Hubble Steals a Look at a Hungry Giant NGC 1222, seen in this image taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on board the NASA/ESA…

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It may be famous for hosting spectacular sights such as the Tucana Dwarf Galaxy and 47 Tucanae (heic1510), the second brightest globular cluster in the night sky, but the southern constellation of Tucana (The Toucan) also possesses a variety of unsung cosmic beauties. One such beauty is NGC 299, an open star cluster located within the Small Magellanic Cloud just under 200 000 light-years away. Open clusters such as this are collections of stars weakly bound by the shackles of gravity, all of which formed from the same massive molecular cloud of gas and dust. Because of this, all the stars have the same age and composition, but vary in their mass because they formed at different positions within the cloud. This unique property not only ensures a spectacular sight when viewed through a sophisticated instrument attached to a telescope such as Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, but gives astronomers a cosmic laboratory in which to study the formation and evolution of stars — a process that is thought to depend strongly on a star’s mass. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Hubble Takes Flight with the Toucan and the Cluster

Hubble Takes Flight with the Toucan and the Cluster It may be famous for hosting spectacular sights such as the Tucana Dwarf Galaxy and 47…

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The dark, smooth-surfaced rock at the center of this Oct. 30, 2016, image from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover was examined with laser pulses and confirmed to be an iron-nickel meteorite. It is about the size of a golf ball. Credits: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mars Rover Checks Odd-looking Iron Meteorite

Curiosity Mars Rover Checks Odd-looking Iron Meteorite Laser-zapping of a globular, golf-ball-size object on Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover confirms that it is an iron-nickel…

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