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What is Dark Matter?
Astronomers don't know what Dark matter is, but they can see the effect of its gravity on regular matter. One possibility is that it's regular matter, but isn't emitting enough light for us to see. Another idea is that Dark matter is an exotic form of matter that's much more massive than regular particles, but interact so weakly that they're almost impossible to detect. Researchers with the Cryogenic Dark matter Search II have set up a series of detectors in an old iron mine in Minnesota that's shielded from cosmic radiation and might sense these particles.
The Pleiades star cluster has long been a favorite of astronomers, as it's clearly visible with the naked eye, and looks even better in small Telescopes and binoculars. The cluster's wispy appearance comes from the fact that the stars are surrounded by a faint nebula. By tracking the motion of the stars and the cloud, a team of Astronomers have discovered that the area is being formed by multiple clouds colliding together in the same region.
Astronomers from the University of Arizona have used a new technique called "nulling interferometry" to reveal the planetary disk around a newly-forming star. Incredibly, they discovered a gap in the disk, where a Jupiter-like planet is probably forming. This nulling technique works by combining the light from the central star in such a way that it gets canceled out. This allows fainter objects, such as dust and planets to be observed. The planet is likely several times the mass of Jupiter and orbits its star at about 1.5 billion kilometers.
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