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Pockets of Calm Protect Molecules Around a Supermassive Black Hole

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Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered regions where certain organic molecules somehow endure the intense radiation near the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 1068, also known to amateur stargazers as M77.

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Hubble Gets Best View of a Circumstellar Debris Disk Distorted by a Planet

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Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to take the most detailed picture to date of a large, edge-on, gas-and-dust disk encircling the 20-million-year-old star Beta Pictoris. The new image traces the disk in closer to the star to within about 650 million miles of the star. Join the live Hubble Hangout at 3pm (EST) today (Feb. 19) to learn even more about Beta Pictoris and the Hubble telescope. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuaQEOTqm0c .

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Does Dark Matter Cause Mass Extinctions and Geologic Upheavals?

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Research by New York University Biology Professor Michael Rampino concludes that Earth’s infrequent but predictable path around and through our Galaxy’s disc may have a direct and significant effect on geological and biological phenomena occurring on Earth.

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A Close Call of 0.8 Light Years

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A group of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system’s distant cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud. No other star is known to have ever approached our solar system this close – five times closer than the current closest star, Proxima Centauri. In a paper published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, lead author Eric Mamajek from the University of Rochester and his collaborators analyzed the velocity and trajectory of a low-mass star system nicknamed “Scholz’s star.”

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Why Do Starburst Galaxies 'Burst'? ALMA Sees Super Stellar Nurseries at Heart of Sculptor Galaxy

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An international team of astronomers used ALMA to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253, one of the nearest starburst galaxies to the Milky Way.

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From Space Junk to Asteroids, Dark Energy Camera Unveils Small Objects in Our Solar System

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The 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, built to observe galaxies far away from Earth, also helps scientists spot and identify objects much closer to home: space junk that could damage satellites, large rocks that could hit Earth and asteroids that traverse our solar system.

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UAH Scientists Ship Instrument That Will Expand View of Global Lightning

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An expanded view of lightning around the globe is coming closer for scientists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), thanks to a repurposed measuring instrument.

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Hubble Captures Rare Triple-Moon Conjunction

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured the rare occurrence of three of Jupiter's largest moons racing across the banded face of the gas-giant planet: Europa, Callisto, and Io on Jan. 24, 2015. Join the live Hubble Hangout event at 3:00 pm (EST) on Thurs., Feb. 5 to learn more. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf6j6WJS8Ig .

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Boise State Scientist Searches Far-Off Galaxies for Clues to Planet Formation

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Boise State Physicist Brian Jackson is looking for planets orbiting much closer to their host stars than once thought possible.

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Image Release: High-Def Radar Images of Near-Earth Asteroid

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A team of astronomers using the NSF's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia and NASA's Deep Space Network radar transmitter at Goldstone, California, has made the most detailed radar images yet of asteroid 2004 BL86.