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Twin of the Sun.
Fri, 24 Mar 2006 - When Astronomers start searching for evidence of live orbiting other stars, they'll start with familiar terrain: other stars like our Sun. Astronomers from the Australian National University have identified a nearby candidate that's a virtual twin of our Sun in age, size, temperature and chemistry; although, it's 2% more massive. The star, HD98618, is located 126 light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), and is bright enough to see with binoculars.
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 - Since it makes up a large part of the Universe, you'd think we'd know what Dark matter is by now. Sorry, it's still a mystery, but new theories are coming out all the time. An international team of researchers are now theorizing that Dark matter could be a class of particles known as "sterile neutrinos". These particles, formed right at the Big Bang, could account for the Universe's missing mass, and would have the handy side effect of speeding up the early formation of stars.
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 - ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope has observed the tiny cores of dead stars wrapped up in a nice warm blanket of superheated gas. These "low-mass X-ray binary" are pulling a steady stream of material from a larger companion star, and then whipping it up into a disk. This observation answers the question of why these dead stars sometimes blink off in the X-ray spectrum. That's the time when we're seeing this disk edge-on, and it's obscuring our view of the star.
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 - Sometimes the supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies are quiet, and nearly invisible. Other times they're actively gobbling up material, blazing as Quasars in the X-ray spectrum. NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory has observed one of these transition times, when the heated material around the supermassive black hole is beginning to ignite. It's likely the Galaxy recently collided or merged with another galaxy, and the turbulence caused material to fall into the black hole.
Wed, 19 Apr 2006 - NASA scientists have created a new computer simulation that shows what happens when two black holes come together. Einstein predicted that this cataclysmic event should send out a torrent of gravitational waves, rippling the space around them. The simulation was done on the the Columbia supercomputer, which is the 4th fastest computer in the world. The mathematics involved in these simulations are so complex, and so bizarre, that previous attempts have ended with little more than crashed computers.
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