The curious case of the warped Kuiper Belt

The plane of the solar system is warped in the belt’s outer reaches, signaling the presence of an unknown Mars-to-Earth-mass planetary object far beyond Pluto, according to new research.  …

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Magnetic memories of a metal world

Research deciphering the hidden magnetic messages encoded in a rare group of meteorites has helped secure nearly half a billion dollars of NASA funding for a journey to their parent asteroid — the only known place in the solar system where scientists can examine directly what is probably a metallic core. …

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Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job

An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions. …

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Massive dead disk galaxy challenges theories of galaxy evolution

By combining the power of a ‘natural lens’ in space with the capability of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery — the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang. …

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The astronaut’s extra nose

How do we prevent astronauts in space from inhaling hazardous gases? A hi-tech optical gas sensor provides a solution. …

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Researchers Check Space-Time to See if It’s Made of Quantum Bits

The newly developed theory of emergent gravity, proposed as an alternative to dark matter, struggles in one of its first trials. …

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Deceleration of runaway electrons paves the way for fusion power

Fusion power has the potential to provide clean and safe energy that is free from carbon dioxide emissions. However, imitating the solar energy process is a difficult task to achieve. Two young plasma physicists have now taken us one step closer to a functional fusion reactor. Their model could lead to better methods for decelerating the runaway electrons, which could destroy a future reactor without warning.

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Star’s birth may have triggered another star birth, astronomers say

Radio images give new evidence that a jet of material from one young star may have triggered the gas collapse that started another young star. …

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Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature. …

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Ten near-Earth size planets in habitable zone of their star

NASA’s Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star’s habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet. …

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