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Moon plays lead role in new astronomical technique

Lunar occultation sky maps of Cygnus X-1 obtained using the Lunar Prospector Gamma-Ray Spectrometer. The features correspond to the location of the Moon’s horizon, projected onto the celestial sphere (equatorial coordinates), during intervals when Cygnus X-1 rose and set relative to the spacecraft. Also shown is an illustration of the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. Credit: Richard …

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Hubble finds universe may be expanding faster than expected

This illustration shows the three steps astronomers used to measure the universe’s expansion rate to an unprecedented accuracy, reducing the total uncertainty to 2.4 percent. Astronomers made the measurements by streamlining and strengthening the construction of the cosmic distance ladder, which is used to measure accurate distances to galaxies near and far from Earth. Beginning …

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Astronomers unravel the history of galaxies for the first time

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration A team of international scientists, led by astronomers from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, has shown for the first time that galaxies can change their structure over the course of their lifetime. By observing the sky as it is today, and peering back in …

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NASA’s WISE spacecraft discovers most luminous galaxy in universe

This artist’s concept depicts the current record holder for the most luminous galaxy in the universe. NASA/JPL-Caltech The galaxy belongs to a new class of objects — extremely luminous infrared galaxies. By Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Published: Friday, May 22, 2015 A remote galaxy shining with the light of more …

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NASA satellites catch a “growth spurt” from a newborn protostar

Infrared images from instruments at Kitt Peak National Observatory (left) and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope document the outburst of HOPS 383, a young protostar in the Orion star-formation complex. Background: A wide view of the region taken from a Spitzer four-color infrared mosaic. E. Safron et al.; Background: NASA/JPL/T. Megeath (U-Toledo)   The observed outburst …

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