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Infant stars discovered surprisingly near galaxy’s supermassive black hole

28 November 2017 Astronomy Now

At the centre of our galaxy, in the immediate vicinity of its supermassive black hole, is a region wracked by powerful tidal forces and bathed in intense ultraviolet light and X-ray radiation. These harsh conditions, astronomers surmise, do not favour star formation, especially low-mass stars like our Sun. Surprisingly, new observations suggest otherwise.

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Cassini’s farewell to Saturn

26 November 2017 Stephen Clark

Two days before its final plunge into Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft turned its camera toward the ringed world to take a series of images for a colour mosaic, capturing a last evocative close-up until a new mission reaches the planet.

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Jovian Tempest

19 November 2017 Astronomy Now

This colour-enhanced image of a massive, raging storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet.

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Arecibo Observatory will keep scanning the skies

16 November 2017 Stephen Clark

Two months after escaping the destruction brought to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, the famed Arecibo Observatory will get a new lease on life as the National Science Foundation seeks funding partners to keep the radio telescope aimed at the cosmos.

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Closest temperature world orbiting quiet star discovered

16 November 2017 Astronomy Now

A temperate Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from the Solar System. The new world has the designation Ross 128 b and is now the second-closest temperate planet to be detected after Proxima b. It is also the closest planet to be discovered orbiting an inactive red dwarf star, which may increase the likelihood that this planet could potentially sustain life.