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How much light has been emitted by all galaxies since the cosmos began? After all, almost every photon (particle of light) from ultraviolet to far infrared wavelengths ever radiated by all galaxies that ever existed throughout cosmic history is still speeding through the Universe today. If we could carefully measure the number and energy (wavelength) of all those photons -- not only at the present time, but also back in time -- we might learn ...
Image Credit: ESA / PACS / SPIRE / N. Schneider
Europe's Herschel space telescope has imaged one of the most popular subjects in the sky - the Horsehead Nebula - and its environs.
The distinctively shaped molecular gas cloud is sited some 1,300 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Orion.
It is in a region of space undergoing active star formation - something Herschel has been most keen to study.
The Hubble space observatory ...
The search for a far-off twin of Earth has turned up two of the most intriguing candidates yet.
Scientists say these new worlds are the right size and distance from their parent star, so that you might expect to find liquid water on their surface.
It is impossible to know for sure. Being 1,200 light-years away, they are beyond detailed inspection by current telescope technology.
But researchers tell Science magazine, they are an exciting discovery. ...
Image Credit: NASA
Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet.
Uncharted waters, mountains or far away lands have always drawn explorers. History books show that desire for adventure, even in the face of extreme danger, did not deter the likes of Columbus or Magellan.
So it is ...
Image Credit: NASA
A $2bn experiment on the space station has made observations that could prove to be the first signs of dark matter, a mysterious component of the Universe.
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) surveys the sky for high-energy particles, or cosmic rays.
It has seen evidence for what could be dark matter colliding with itself in a process known as "annihilation".
But scientists stress that a precise description of this enigmatic cosmic ...
A spectacular new map of the "oldest light" in the sky has just been released by the European Space Agency.
Scientists say its mottled pattern is an exquisite confirmation of our Big-Bang model for the origin and evolution of the Universe.
But there are features in the picture, they add, that are unexpected and will require ideas to be refined.
The map was assembled from 15 months' worth ...
Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties. But a team of astronomers including Carnegie's Wendy Freedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson is reporting the discovery of a new type of supernova called Type Iax.
This research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
Previously, supernovae were divided into either core-collapse or Type Ia categories. Core-collapse supernovae are the explosion of a star about 10 to 100 times as massive as ...
"I'm hoping there's something surprising there for them. If they just say, 'well, other people were right' - that's not exciting; the last decimal places are never very interesting. What we want is some new phenomenon."
American Nobel Laureate John Mather believes the bar has been set very high for the European Space Agency's (Esa) Planck surveyor.
The satellite was launched in 2009 to make temperature maps of the sky, and on Thursday this data ...
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