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E.g., 06/30/2015
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  • The Science Life

    In retirement, Nobelist takes up moon bouncing

    If the moon is up, there’s a good chance Joseph Taylor is on his ham radio, using a homemade antenna in his backyard to bounce signals off the moon’s pockmarked face. It’s a skill Taylor began cultivating in 2003, shortly before he retired from Princeton University, where he used radio waves to probe the secrets of pulsars, the spinning, magnetized neutron stars that emit bursts of radiation...

    06/30/2015 - 07:00 Physics, Planetary Science
  • News

    Super-Earths are not a good place for plate tectonics

    Plate tectonics doesn’t rumple the surfaces of Earth’s supersized cousins, new research suggests.

    Simulating the extreme pressures inside giant exoplanets called super-Earths, researchers discovered that these planets probably have thick, stagnant outer shells and sluggish internal circulation. Those properties make the existence of fragmented jigsaw puzzles of sliding and shifting...

    06/26/2015 - 14:12 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Earth
  • Science Ticker

    Advice to a baby planet: Avoid black holes

    If you’re having a bad day, it could be worse: A black hole could be eating your planet. A dusty blob that loops around the heart of the Milky Way might be all that’s left of an infant world, researchers suggest June 18 in the Astrophysical Journal. The embryonic planet could have been kidnapped by the region’s...

    06/26/2015 - 11:00 Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    X-ray rings reveal neutron star’s distance

    A cosmic bull’s-eye is helping astronomers pinpoint the distance to a neutron star. Concentric rings of X-rays bouncing off interstellar dust indicate that the stellar remnant is about 31,000 light-years away in the constellation Circinus, researchers report in the June 20 Astrophysical Journal.

    The X-rays, seen...

    06/26/2015 - 08:30 Astronomy
  • 50 Years Ago

    50 years ago, Mariner 4 sent back first pictures from Mars

    Earth to Mars in 229 days — The longest recorded journey in the history of man will reach its goal on Wednesday, July 14 — and keep on going. The Mariner 4 spacecraft ... will have covered more than 325 million miles in order to take a few television...

    06/25/2015 - 10:30 Planetary Science, Technology
  • News

    Dark galaxies grow in abundance

    Hundreds of shady characters are lurking in a nearby neighborhood of galaxies. The Coma cluster houses nearly 20 times as many dark galaxies as previously known, researchers report. These shadowy figures — some of which are as large as the Milky Way but with just one-thousandth the number of stars — could be dead ends in galactic evolution.

    The cluster houses at least 854 of these barely...

    06/24/2015 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Rosetta mission extended until September 2016

    The Rosetta spacecraft’s final resting place could be on the comet it called home for over two years. The mission, which kicked into high gear when the probe started orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014, has officially had its...

    06/23/2015 - 16:25 Planetary Science
  • News

    Magnetic ‘glue’ helps shape galaxies

    New maps of the nearby galaxy IC 342 show that its magnetic fields closely mimic its spiral arms of gas and stars. The similar pattern suggests that galactic magnetic fields have some role to play in molding spiral galaxies, astronomer Rainer Beck reports June 11 in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

    ...
    06/23/2015 - 07:30 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Pluto and Charon’s orbital dance captured in color

    View the video

    A pale orange Pluto and a dark gray Charon dance around one another in the first true-color animation captured by the New Horizons spacecraft, which is scheduled to buzz the pair on July 14. The images...

    06/22/2015 - 15:00 Planetary Science
  • How Bizarre

    Big exoplanet may be surrounded by helium

    The party balloon industry could make a killing on an exoplanet such as GJ 436b, a broiling Neptune-sized world whose atmosphere might contain mostly helium. No such planet orbits our sun, but helium planets might be common throughout the galaxy, researchers say.

    Hydrogen dominates the skies over the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. But if those planets were closer to...

    06/21/2015 - 15:30 Exoplanets, Astronomy