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MUSE looks deeper into the universe than Hubble in 3-D

2 March 2015 Astronomy Now

The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep universe. The new observations of the Hubble Deep Field South reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky.

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Curiosity rover drills rock sample at Mount Sharp

28 February 2015 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has used its drill to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called “Telegraph Peak.” Examining rock samples like these will help scientists understand how the ancient wet environment of Mars dried up.

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Ancient quasar with massive black hole found at cosmic dawn

25 February 2015 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers has found a huge and ancient black hole which was powering the brightest object in the early universe. The black hole’s mass is 12 billion times that of the Sun, and was at the centre of a quasar that pumped out a million billion times the energy of our star.

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Ceres looming large in Dawn’s camera

25 February 2015 Astronomy Now

These views of dwarf planet Ceres were taken on 19 February from a distance of about 46,000 kilometres (29,000 miles) by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Dawn observed Ceres completing one full rotation, which lasted about nine hours to capture both sides of this minor body.