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NASA’s new planet-hunter to seek closer, Earth-like worlds

NASA is poised to launch a $337 million washing machine-sized spacecraft that aims to vastly expand mankind’s search for planets beyond our solar system, particularly closer, Earth-sized ones that might harbor life, reported AFP. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is scheduled to launch Monday at 6:32 pm (2232 GMT) atop a SpaceX Falcon…

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There is no life on Mars and scientists finally know why

NEWS DESK: Mars was made uninhabitable when its surface water was absorbed into the planet’s crust, Oxford scientists have concluded, reported The Independent. New research led by the university’s department of Earth sciences provides insight into the subtle changes in planetary conditions that dictate whether life is possible. The Red Planet was covered in water…

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Jupiter’s moon Europa could support alien life: scientists

NEWS DESK: A moon in our own solar system might support life, according to scientists. Europa, which orbits around Jupiter, looks cold and desolate. But strange activity appears to be happening under its surface – which could indicate that it would be hospitable to aliens, according to scientists who study it, reported The Independent. Researchers…

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NASA releases new images of raging storm on Jupiter

MIAMI: NASA on Wednesday released a series of stunning images of a raging storm on Jupiter, known as the Great Red Spot, snapped earlier this week as an unmanned probe zipped by.

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We are probably not alone – NASA finds 10 ‘earth-like’ worlds

Astronomers using the Kepler space telescope have detected 219 possible new exoplanets in our galaxy, including 10 relatively small, rocky and possibly habitable planets similar to our own, NASA announced Monday. These are the last additions to the catalog of exoplanets compiled during the first phase of the Kepler mission, when the space telescope scanned…

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Habitable planet found in solar system next door

Scientists Wednesday announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting the star nearest our Sun, opening up the glittering prospect of a habitable world that may one day be explored by robots. Named Proxima b, the planet is in a “temperate” zone compatible with the presence of liquid water — a key ingredient for life….

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully orbits Jupiter to probe origin of solar system

MIAMI, UNITED STATES: NASA celebrated a key triumph on Tuesday as its $1.1 billion Juno spacecraft successfully slipped into orbit around Jupiter on a mission to probe the origin of the solar system. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California erupted in cheers as the solar observatory entered its aimed-for orbit around the biggest planet…

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NASA’s Kepler telescope finds largest trove of exoplanets

MIAMI: The largest trove of planets outside our solar system — 1,284 in all — was announced Tuesday, more than doubling the number of known exoplanets found with the Kepler space telescope, NASA said Tuesday. “This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler,” said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters…

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Mercury making rare transit across sun today

PARIS: Astronomers on Monday were preparing for one of the highlights of the skywatchers’ year, when the Sun, Mercury and Earth all line up — a phenomenon that happens just a dozen or so times per century. Mercury will be seen through telescopes as a black dot inching over the face of our star, providing…

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Scientists discover three ‘potentially habitable’ planets

PARIS: An international team of scientists said Monday they had discovered a trio of Earth-like planets that are the best bet so far for finding life outside our solar system. The three orbit an ultracool dwarf star a mere 39 light years away, and are likely comparable in size and temperature to Earth and Venus,…

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Astronomers spot widest solar system: study

LONDON: Astronomers have found the widest-known solar system, with a huge planet so far from its star that it takes nearly a million years to complete an orbit, according to a new study. Long thought to be a free-floating or lonely planet without a solar system “home”, scientists have now linked it to a star…

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‘Ninth planet’ may exist in solar system: US scientists

MIAMI: A previously unknown giant planet may have been discovered lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system, US scientists announced on Wednesday. Nicknamed Planet Nine, the object “has a mass about 10 times that of Earth” and follows a “bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the distant solar system,” said a statement by researchers…

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Water flows on Mars, planet could support life

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA: Briny water flows during the summer months on Mars, raising the possibility that the planet long thought to be arid could support life today, scientists analyzing data from a NASA spacecraft said on Monday.

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How the universe’s brightest galaxies were born

PARIS: The brightest galaxies in our universe are fuelled by what their gravity sucks in, not through explosive mergers of star systems as scientists previously argued, researchers said Wednesday. In what may be the most complete explanation yet of how these enormous collections of stars and dust came to be, scientists found the galaxies pulled…

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Meteorite bashing changed Earth’s chemistry: study

PARIS: In its early life, Earth suffered a meteorite pummelling that lasted 100 million years and may have changed its chemical makeup forever, researchers said Wednesday. The steady stream of Earth-shattering collisions shortly after the birth of our solar system, ripped up the planet’s surface and altered the very composition of the rock we call…

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