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Our Sun can flare up from time to time.
With the launch of NASA's Swift spacecraft, Gamma Ray Bursts - those "most powerful explosions in the Universe" - have been in the news on a regular basis. When a GRB is detected, a worldwide network of instruments tune in and image the afterglow in every possible wavelength, from radio to visible to gamma ray. But some bursts are "dark", causing a brilliant flash in gamma rays, but absolutely nothing in the visible spectrum. The "dark gamma ray bursters" are a mystery to astronomers, but a team of international Astronomers think they have a way to narrow down the search for an explanation.
Our Sun can flare up from time to time, but probably nothing like the superflares it created in its early days. According to new observations by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory of a nursery of young stars in the Orion Nebula, young stars can produce flares on an incredible scale - many times greater than anything we'd see on the Sun today. Surprisingly, these flares might force rocky planets to keep their distance from their parent star, preventing them from spiraling in to their destruction.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this photograph of Saturn's chaotic, tumbling Moon Hyperion. Only 266 km (165 miles) across, Hyperion one very large crater which scientists are trying to use to pin down just how quickly the Moon is spinning. This image was taken by Cassini on March 19, 2005 when the spacecraft was just 1.3 million km (824,000 miles) away - its second best view of the Moon so far.
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