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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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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.