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Cassini has found that Enceladus.
Physicists have used the Brookhaven National Laboratory's relativistic heavy ion collider to create quark-gluon plasma; a mysterious form of matter that was probably present in the first moments after the Big Bang. The team created it by smashing the nuclei of gold atoms together at relativistic speeds. The resulting explosion of particles lasted just 10-20 seconds. Astronomers think that large neutron stars might go into a quark-gluon phase before they collapse into black holes.
Is the discovery of methane in Mars' atmosphere the first direct evidence of extraterrestrial life? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so scientists are working to figure out what it will take to know for sure. The best way to know for sure will be to analyze the ration of carbon-12 to carbon-13. Living creatures prefer to pick up carbon-12 as they assemble methane, so a larger amount of this isotope will be a telltale sign. Unfortunately, detecting this isotope is best done by spectrometers on the surface of Mars, so future landers/rovers with more sensitive instruments will be required.
Cepheid variables are one of the most accurate tools Astronomers can use to measure the distance to objects in space because the period of their pulsation is directly tied to their brightness. An international team of Astronomers have used this method to calculate the distance to Galaxy NGC 300 which is in the Sculptor Group. The team found more than 100 Cepheid variables, and then used them to calculate the distance to be 6.13 million light-years away; give or take 3%.
Instead of being a dead, icy moon, Cassini has found that Enceladus is actually quite active. This Moon of Saturn has a huge cloud of water vapour over its southern pole, and warmer fractures. The Moon is relatively close to Saturn, so the intense tidal pressures are keeping it warmer than it should be. This is the same interaction between Jupiter and Io that keeps the Moon covered in volcanoes.
Jul 30, 2005 Astronomers have discovered a new planet orbiting our Sun, which is larger than Pluto. It's located 97 times further than the Earth from the Sun. This new, 10th planet was actually first photographed in 2003 by the Samuel Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory, but it took this long to study and confirm its size and orbit. A name has been proposed to the International Astronomical Union, which is making its decision.
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