nature

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A hole in the ice?

Data from a NASA planetary mission have provided scientists evidence of what appears to be a body of liquid water, equal in volume to the North American Great Lakes, beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s…


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Old gas

Two clumps of primordial gas from the dawn of time have been detected in deep space by astronomers using the 10-meter telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory. The gas clouds are too diffuse to…


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Water or no water?

Four billion years ago, the Martian surface may have been cold and dry — not warm, watery and more Earthlike than it is today, as many scientists have suggested. Instead of saturating the dusty surface,…


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Moon layers

Lucian crater, located in Mare Tranquillitatis at 14.3°N, 36.7° E, is a small (~7 km in diameter), relatively fresh crater. Because Lucian is still young, rock is freshly exposed in its wall, and the rocks…


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The pitless peach

Like all galaxies, our Milky Way is home to a strange substance called dark matter. Dark matter is invisible, betraying its presence only through its gravitational pull. Without dark matter holding them together, our galaxy’s…


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The exciting neutrino

Neutrinos have grown out to be the superstars of particle physics recently. They have some history. Only experimentally discovered in 1970, their existence was accepted way earlier by physicists. Wolfgang Pauli, studying radioactive beta decay,…


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Alien life, a glimpse

What does alien life look like, provided we find it? Many think of exotic creatures based on equally exotic pedigree. Even more people think of bipeds, big heads, big eyes, human-like with a twist. Go…