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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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New Horizons spots Pluto’s small moons

19 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Exactly 85 years after Clyde Tombaugh’s historic discovery of Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft set to encounter the icy dwarf planet this summer is providing its first views of the small moons orbiting Pluto.

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Sun’s close encounter with Scholz’s Star

18 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using large telescopes in South Africa and Chile identify the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System: a low-mass star system nicknamed “Scholz’s Star” that passed through the Oort Cloud 70,000 years ago.