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Ice Clouds Put Mars In The Shade - Until now, Mars has generally been regarded as a desert world, where a visiting astronaut would be surprised to see clouds scudding across the orange sky. January 22, 2008

MESSENGER Reveals Mercury In New Detail - As MESSENGER approached Mercury on January 14, 2008, the spacecraft’s Narrow-Angle Camera on the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) instrument captured this view of the planet’s rugged, cratered landscape illuminated obliquely by the Sun. January 18, 2008

Life's Ingredients Detected In Far Off Galaxy - Astronomers from Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, have detected for the first time the molecules methanimine and hydrogen cyanide - two ingredients that build life-forming amino acids - in a galaxy some 250 million light years away. January 17, 2008

Dark Matter Found Tugging At Galaxies In Supercluster - Astronomers are using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to dissect one of the largest structures in the Universe as part of a quest to understand the violent lives of galaxies. January 16, 2008

Have Astronomers Observed The Aftermath Of A Distant Planetary Collision? - Astronomers have announced that a mystery object orbiting a star 170 light-years from Earth might have formed from the collision and merger of two protoplanets. January 15, 2008

Hubble Finds Double Einstein Ring - The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a never-before-seen optical alignment in space: a pair of glowing rings, one nestled inside the other like a bull's-eye pattern. January 14, 2008

An Inconvenient Galaxy Arms Winding 'Backwards' - Discovery of two new components within a puzzling spiral galaxy confirm it must have a pair of arms winding in the opposite direction from most galaxies, according to new results. January 11, 2008

Astronomy Team Discovers Ancestors Of Milky Way-type Galaxies - Astronomers at Rutgers and Penn State universities have discovered galaxies in the distant universe that are ancestors of spiral galaxies like our Milky Way. January 10, 2008

Red Dust In Planet-forming Disk May Harbor Precursors To Life - Astronomers at the Carnegie Institution have found the first indications of highly complex organic molecules in the disk of red dust surrounding a distant star. January 9, 2008

Stardust Formed Close To Sun - Samples of the material picked up during the NASA Stardust mission indicate that parts of the comet Wild 2 actually formed in an area close to the sun. January 8, 2008

NASA Mars Images Reveals a Doorway Structure - There is a strange door-like structure at the base of the mountain formation from a NASA image of Mars that is causing a stir. January 7, 2008

White Dwarf Pulses Like A Pulsar - New observations from Suzaku, a joint Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA X-ray observatory, have challenged scientists’ conventional understanding of white dwarfs. January 4, 2008

Triple Cosmic Collision Of Galaxies Stuns Astronomers - Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. January 2, 2008

Exoplanet Reflected Light Detected For The First Time - An international team of astronomers, led by Professor Svetlana Berdyugina of ETH Zurich's Institute of Astronomy, has for the first time ever been able to detect and monitor the visible light that is scattered in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. December 31, 2007

Jets Are a Real Drag - Astronomers have found the best evidence yet of matter spiraling outward from a young, still-forming star in fountain-like jets. Due to the spiral motion, the jets help the star to grow by drawing angular momentum from the surrounding accretion disk. December 28, 2007

Mysterious Cosmic Powerhouses Explored - By working in synergy with a ground-based telescope array, the joint Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)/NASA Suzaku X-ray observatory is shedding new light on some of the most energetic objects in our galaxy, but objects that remain shrouded in mystery. December 27, 2007

Astronomers Monitor Asteroid To Pass Near Mars - Astronomers funded by NASA are monitoring the trajectory of an asteroid estimated to be 50 meters (164 feet) wide that is expected to cross Mars' orbital path early next year. December 26, 2007

Mountains Discovered On Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon - By analyzing images from NASA’s Cassini Radar instrument, a Brigham Young University professor helped discover and analyze mountains on Saturn’s largest moon, additional evidence that it has some of the most earthlike processes of any celestial body in the solar system. December 25, 2007

Evidence Of 'Habitable Niche' On Mars - Inch by power-conserving inch, drivers on Earth have moved the Mars rover Spirit to a spot where it has its best chance at surviving a third Martian winter - and where it will celebrate its fourth anniversary (in Earth years) since bouncing down on Mars for a projected 90-day mission in January 2004. December 24, 2007

Origin Of Solar System Dated - UC Davis researchers have dated the earliest step in the formation of the solar system - when microscopic interstellar dust coalesced into mountain-sized chunks of rock - to 4,568 million years ago, within a range of about 2,080,000 years. December 21, 2007

Intergalactic 'Shot In The Dark' Shocks Astronomers - When a shot is fired, one expects to see a person with a gun. In the same way, whenever a giant star explodes, astronomers expect to see a galaxy of stars surrounding the site of the blast. December 20, 2007

'Death Star' Black Hole Fires At Neighboring Galaxy - A jet from a black hole at the center of a galaxy strikes the edge of another galaxy. This is the first time such an interaction has been found. December 19, 2007

Largest Digital Survey Of The Milky Way Released - A collaboration of over 50 astronomers, The IPHAS consortium, led from the UK, with partners in Europe, USA, Australia, has released today (10th December 2007) the first comprehensive optical digital survey of our own Milky Way. December 18, 2007

Extrasolar Planet Might Indeed Be Habitable - In April, a European team of astronomers announced the discovery of two possibly habitable Earth-like planets. Two new detailed studies of this system confirm that one of the planets might indeed be located within the habitable zone around the star Gliese 581. December 17, 2007

Mars Rover Investigates Signs Of Steamy Martian Past - Researchers using NASA's twin Mars rovers are sorting out two possible origins for one of Spirit's most important discoveries, while also getting Spirit to a favorable spot for surviving the next Martian winter. December 14, 2007

Hazy Red Sunset On Extrasolar Planet - A team of astronomers have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to detect, for the first time, strong evidence of hazes in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a distant star. December 13, 2007

Building Blocks Of Life Formed On Mars, Scientists Conclude - Organic compounds contain carbon and hydrogen and form the building blocks of all life on Earth. By analyzing organic material and minerals in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001, scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory have shown for the first time that building blocks of life formed on Mars early in its history. December 12, 2007

Voyager 2 Proves Solar System Is Squashed - NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has followed its twin Voyager 1 into the solar system's final frontier, a vast region at the edge of our solar system where the solar wind runs up against the thin gas between the stars. December 11, 2007

Odd Little Star Has Magnetic Personality - A dwarf star with a surprisingly magnetic personality and a huge hot spot covering half its surface area is showing astronomers that life as a cool dwarf is not necessarily as simple and quiet as they once assumed. December 10, 2007

Travel Maps Of The Lunar North Pole - A new map obtained with SMART-1 data shows the geography and illumination of the lunar north pole. Such maps will be of great use for future lunar explorers. December 7, 2007

Astronomers Discover How White Dwarf Stars Get Their 'Kicks' - University of British Columbia astronomer Harvey Richer and UBC graduate student Saul Davis have discovered that white dwarf stars are born with a natal kick, explaining why these smoldering embers of Sun-like stars are found on the edge rather than at the centre of globular star clusters. December 6, 2007

Dark Matter In Newborn Universe Doused Earliest Stars - Perhaps the first stars in the newborn universe did not shine, but instead were invisible "dark stars" 400 to 200,000 times wider than the sun and powered by the annihilation of mysterious dark matter, a University of Utah study concludes. December 5, 2007

Stunning Image Of Nearby Spiral Galaxy - Hubble has sent back an early Christmas card with this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the nearby spiral galaxy Messier 74. December 3, 2007

Astronomers Discover Youngest Solar Systems Ever - Astronomers at the University of Michigan have found what are believed to be some of the youngest solar systems yet detected. November 30, 2007

Earth-like Lightning On Venus, European Space Probe Confirms - Venus is a hellish place of high temperatures and crushing air pressure. The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission adds into this mix the first confirmation that the Venusian atmosphere generates its own lightning. November 29, 2007

Watching Galaxies Grow Old Gracefully - In the early 1900s, Edwin Hubble made the startling discovery that our Milky Way galaxy is not alone. It is just one of many galaxies, or "island universes," as Hubble dubbed them, swimming in the sea of space. November 28, 2007

New Light On Early Formation Of Earth And Mars - A team of scientists from NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the University of California, Davis (UCD) has found that terrestrial planets such as the Earth and Mars may have remained molten in their early histories for tens of millions of years. November 27, 2007

Mars Express - 5000 orbits And Counting - On 25 December 2003, Europe’s first Mars explorer arrived at the Red Planet. Almost four years later, Mars Express continues to rewrite the text books as its instruments send back a stream of images and other data. Today, the spacecraft reached another milestone in its remarkable career by completing 5000 orbits of Mars. November 26, 2007

Planets Forming In Pleiades Star Cluster - Rocky terrestrial planets, perhaps like Earth, Mars or Venus, appear to be forming or to have recently formed around a star in the Pleiades ("seven sisters") star cluster, the result of "monster collisions" of planets or planetary embryos. November 23, 2007

Astronomers Discover Stars With Carbon Atmospheres - Astronomers have discovered white dwarf stars with pure carbon atmospheres. The discovery could offer a unique view into the hearts of dying stars. November 22, 2007

Astronomers Say Moons Like Ours Are Uncommon - The next time you take a moonlit stroll, or admire a full, bright-white moon looming in the night sky, you might count yourself lucky. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that moons like Earth's - that formed out of tremendous collisions - are uncommon in the universe, arising at most in only 5 to 10 percent of planetary systems. November 21, 2007

Hubble Zooms In On Heart Of Mystery Comet - The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has probed the bright core of Comet 17P/Holmes which, to the delight of sky watchers, mysteriously brightened by nearly a million-fold in a 24-hour period beginning October 23, 2007. November 19, 2007

How To Make The Brightest Supernova Ever - A supernova observed last year was so bright - about 100 times as luminous as a typical supernova - that it challenged the theoretical understanding of what causes supernovae. November 16, 2007

Nearby Barred Spiral Galaxy Shows Off Its Warped Disc - Known until now as a simple number in a catalogue, NGC 134, the 'Island in the Universe' is replete with remarkable attributes, and the VLT has clapped its eyes on them. November 13, 2007

Mars Express Probes The Red Planet's Most Unusual Deposits - The radar system on ESA’s Mars Express has uncovered new details about some of the most mysterious deposits on Mars: The Medusae Fossae Formation. It has given the first direct measurement of the depth and electrical properties of these materials, providing new clues about their origin. November 9, 2007

Astronomers Discover Record Fifth Planet Around Nearby Star 55 Cancri - Astronomers have discovered a record-breaking fifth planet around the nearby star 55 Cancri, making it the only star aside from the sun known to have five planets. November 7, 2007

Three New Exo-planets Discovered - The UK's leading team of planet-hunting astronomers, the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP), have announced the discovery of three new planets. November 6, 2007

A Big Chunk Of The Universe Is Missing - Again - Not only has a large chunk of the universe thought to have been found in 2002 apparently gone missing again but it is taking some friends with it, according to new research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). November 5, 2007

Supermassive Black Holes Produce Powerful Galaxy-shaping Winds - Supermassive black holes can produce powerful winds that shape a galaxy and determine their own growth, confirms a group of scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology. November 2, 2007

Hubble Spies Shells Of Sparkling Stars Around Quasar - New images taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope - part of a research project led by UC Riverside's Gabriela Canalizo - have revealed the wild side of an elliptical galaxy, nearly two billion light-years away, that previously had been considered mild-mannered. October 31, 2007

Mystery Comet Explodes Into Brightness - A once-faint comet has made a sudden leap from obscurity to center stage. Comet 17P Holmes, now visible to northern hemisphere residents, increased its brightness by a factor of one million this week, going from magnitude 17 to 2. October 30, 2007

Detailed Picture Of Frigid Red Planet Emerges - Mars, like Earth, is a climate-fickle water planet. The main difference, of course, is that water on the frigid Red Planet is rarely liquid, preferring to spend almost all of its time traveling the world as a gas or churning up the surface as ice. October 29, 2007

Missing Black Hole Report: Hundreds Found! - Astronomers have unmasked hundreds of black holes hiding deep inside dusty galaxies billions of light-years away. October 26, 2007

Home Computers Help Researchers Better Understand Universe - Want to help unravel the mysteries of the universe? A new distributed computing project designed by a University of Illinois researcher allows people around the world to participate in cutting-edge cosmology research by donating their unused computing cycles. October 25, 2007

Five Years Of Space Exploration With ESA's Integral - With eyes that peer into the most energetic phenomena in the universe, ESA's Integral has been setting records, discovering the unexpected and helping understanding the unknown over its first five years. October 24, 2007

Asteroid Is 'Practice Case' For Potential Hazards - In research that could aid decisions about future asteroids on a collision course with Earth, MIT scientists have for the first time determined the composition of a near-Earth asteroid that has a very slight possibility of someday hitting our planet. October 23, 2007

Heaviest Stellar Black Hole Discovered In Nearby Galaxy - Astronomers have located an exceptionally massive black hole in orbit around a huge companion star. This result has intriguing implications for the evolution and ultimate fate of massive stars. October 22, 2007

Mars Express: Hummocky And Shallow Maunder Crater - The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on ESA’s Mars Express orbiter has obtained pictures of the Noachis Terra region on Mars, in particular, the striking Maunder crater. October 19, 2007

Hubble Shows 'Baby' Galaxy Is Not So Young After All - The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found out the true nature of a dwarf galaxy that astronomers had for a long time identified as one of the youngest galaxies in the Universe. October 18, 2007

Most Powerful Supernova Is 100 Billion Times Brighter Than The Sun - Astronomer Robert Quimby has done it again. Found the most luminous supernova ever, that is. October 17, 2007

Long-lost, Dangerous Asteroid Is Found Again - Echoing the re-discovery of America by the Spanish long after an earlier Viking reconnaissance, astronomers have learned that a recently observed asteroid - one that could potentially hit the Earth - was actually first observed nearly a half-century ago. October 16, 2007

Saturn's Moon Titan - Land Of Lakes And Seas - The best views of the hydrocarbon lakes and seas on Saturn's moon Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft are now available. October 15, 2007

Pluto-bound Spacecraft Sees Changes In Jupiter System - The voyage of NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft through the Jupiter system earlier this year provided a bird’s-eye view of a dynamic planet that has changed since the last close-up looks by NASA spacecraft. October 12, 2007

Cassini Pinpoints Hot Sources of Jets on Enceladus - A recent analysis of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provides conclusive evidence that the jets of fine, icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus originate from the hottest spots on the moon's "tiger stripe" fractures that straddle the moon's south polar region. October 11, 2007

Cassini Is On The Trail Of A Runaway Mystery - NASA scientists are on the trail of Iapetus' mysterious dark side, which seems to be home to a bizarre "runaway" process that is transporting vaporized water ice from the dark areas to the white areas of the Saturnian moon. October 10, 2007

Extreme Star Cluster Bursts Into Life - The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a spectacular image of NGC 3603, a giant nebula hosting one of the most prominent massive young clusters in the Milky Way, thus supplying a prime template for star formation studies. October 9, 2007

SOHO Mission Discovers Rare Comet - The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has discovered a rare periodic comet. SOHO has already discovered more than 1,350 comets during its mission, but this is the first time one of its discoveries officially has been designated periodic. October 5, 2007

Lunar Outpost Plans Taking Shape - NASA's blueprints for an outpost on the moon are shaping up. The agency's Lunar Architecture Team has been hard at work, looking at concepts for habitation, rovers, and space suits. October 4, 2007

Comet Collides With Solar Hurricane - A NASA satellite has captured the first images of a collision between a comet and a solar hurricane. It is the first time scientists have witnessed such an event on another cosmic body. October 3, 2007

A Warm South Pole? Yes, on Neptune! - An international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope has discovered that the south pole of Neptune is much hotter than the rest of the planet. This is consistent with the fact that it is late southern summer and this region has been in sunlight for about 40 years. October 2, 2007

Tiny Animals Exposed To Outer Space - “For the first time ever, animals are now being exposed to an unmitigated space environment, with both vacuum conditions and cosmic radiation,” says the ecologist Ingemar Jönsson, a researcher at Kristianstad University in Sweden. October 1, 2007

Baby Booms And Birth Control In Space - Stars in galaxies are a bit similar to people: during the first phase of their existence they grow rapidly, after which a stellar birth control occurs in most galaxies. September 28, 2007

Orphan Stars Found In Long Galaxy Tail - Astronomers have found evidence that stars have been forming in a long tail of gas that extends well outside its parent galaxy. This discovery suggests that such "orphan" stars may be much more prevalent than previously thought. September 25, 2007

NASA Orbiter Finds Possible Cave Skylights On Mars - NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano. The find is fueling interest in potential underground habitats and sparking searches for caverns elsewhere on the Red Planet. September 24, 2007

Early Star Formation In The Universe Illuminated - A groundbreaking study has provided new insight into the way the first stars were formed at the start of the Universe, some 13 billion years ago. September 20, 2007

Life On Mars 'Pregnancy Test' Successfully Launched - Key components of a new approach to discover life on Mars were successfully launched into space Friday as part of a twelve-day, low-Earth orbit experiment to assess their survivability in the space radiation environment - a prelude future journeys to Mars. September 19, 2007

Hubble Captures Stars Going Out In Style - The colorful, intricate shapes in these NASA Hubble Space Telescope images reveal how the glowing gas ejected by dying Sun-like stars evolves dramatically over time. September 18, 2007

Exoplanet Offers Clues To Earth's Future - An international team of astronomers that includes Steve Kawaler of Iowa State University has announced the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star near the end of its life. September 17, 2007

Astronomers Find Bizarre Planet-mass Object Orbiting Neutron Star - Using NASA’s Swift and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellites, astronomers have discovered one of the most bizarre planet-mass objects ever found. September 14, 2007

Mars Rovers Survive Severe Dust Storms - Two months after sky-darkening dust from severe storms nearly killed NASA's Mars exploration rovers, the solar-powered robots are awake and ready to continue their mission. September 11, 2007

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