The universe

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) flew above the earth for the first time on Wednesday morning. The telescope also took the first infrared photos, including a heat image of the planet Jupiter. The flying telescope saw something that has never been seen before. Old heat is leaking away through the clouds of Jupiter.

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Thanks to Kepler, we can add eleven new planetary systems containing around 26 new planets to our database. And with that the number of confirmed Kepler planets is doubled. And the number of stars with multiple planets is even tripled by the discovery. Light Kepler observed the planetary systems by studying the light of stars.

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On February 23, 1987, the light of supernova SN 1987A reached the earth. The explosion took place at a distance of 168,000 light-years, in the so-called Large Magellanic Cloud. It was a special supernova explosion, especially since it was the closest supernova since Kepler's supernova in the year 1604.

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Every now and then astronomers spot fast radio flashes (so-called Fast Radio Bursts, FRBs), the origin of which is unknown to date. These pulses have a length of a few milliseconds and are not repeated. Researchers claim in a new paper that these flashes can be an indication of where aliens are located.

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The Spitzer Telescope and the Hubble Telescope have joined forces and that gives fantastic results: they may have found the oldest galaxy together. The galaxy dates from the youth of the universe and is around 13.2 billion years old. "This galaxy is the most distant object we have ever observed with such certainty," says researcher Wei Zheng.

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The Cassini spacecraft has taken truly breathtaking photos of Saturn and its moons. The photos show that the north of Saturn is preparing for the summer, while the south is facing the winter. The American space agency has released four photos of Cassini.

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Last Saturday the spacecraft made its very last shaving flight past Saturn's interesting moon Enceladus. Cassini skimmed the moon at a distance of about 5000 kilometers. The purpose of the shaving flight? Measuring how much heat - through the ice - comes from the heart of Enceladus. Ocean Enceladus is covered by a thick pack of ice.

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Scientists almost caught him in the act: a black hole that "killed" a star. And that is special. When stars get too close to a black hole, they are literally pulled apart. Researchers have regularly witnessed this, but now they have been able to follow it so well that they could even identify the victim.

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Researchers have investigated a fragment of a 1.3 billion-year-old Mars meteorite and found a mysterious cell-like structure. The Greek and British scientists claim that there was once water here. The special structure was found by Dr. Elias Chatzitheodoridis of the Technical University of Athens.

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Scientists have found strong evidence that new planets have recently emerged around four young stars. Astronomers studied the distribution of gas and dust in four transition discs. These discs - which are located around four young stars - show a surprising absence of dust in their center.

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It may seem like a rustic oil painting, but it is a turbulent atmosphere of a never-nasty gas giant. On this false color photo you can see some cloud bands on Saturn. They move - depending on the width at which they are located - at different speeds and also in different directions.

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The end of the Cassini mission is approaching and that means that the spacecraft is taking more risks. On April 12, Cassini flew past Atlas at a distance of only 11,000 kilometers. These are the first images. Atlas is only 30 kilometers wide and turns around the planet just outside the A-ring.

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The 'room trash bin' will catch the rubble lying around piece by piece. Researchers are currently working on a small satellite that has been assigned the important task of cleaning up the space waste lying around. The researchers have named the CubeSat 'OSCar', named after the grumpy monster from Sesame Street that has a garbage can as its home.

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And the old space telescope also delivers a family portrait of Saturn and his moons. In recent months, the planets Mars and Saturn were both in opposition to the Earth - Saturn on June 27 and March on July 27. During this event the planets are relatively close to the Earth, allowing astronomers to observe them in detail.

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Scientists have found a star that looks very much like our sun. The special composition of this star is striking. The gas ball may have swallowed planets. "This does not mean that our sun will soon eat the earth," says professor Jacob Bean of the University of Chicago. “But thanks to this discovery we know that it can sometimes be chaotic in a planetary system.

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During the partial solar eclipse, about 89 percent of the sun was covered by the moon at its peak. The Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted the partial solar eclipse at the end of last week. The eclipse lasted about an hour. Sharp edge What is striking when the moon passes in front of the sun is the sharp edge of the moon.

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We know it mainly from science fiction series such as Star Trek: ships that travel to faraway places. A serious group of people now wants to develop those ships. The initiative is known as '100 Year Starship' (100YSS). The goal is clear: to develop a ship that can travel to other galaxies as quickly as possible.

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Large explosions take place regularly on the sun, causing plasma to be thrown into space. These clouds with electrically charged particles can also travel to Pluto. Will New Horizons be affected by this? If a space probe is bombarded by many electrically charged particles, then there is a chance that the spacecraft will activate safe mode.

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