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Ian O'Neill
19,717 followers -
Star stuff, eventual star chum.
Star stuff, eventual star chum.

19,717 followers
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Imagine the early universe: The first massive stars sparked to life and rapidly consumed their supply of hydrogen. These “metal poor” stars lived hard and died fast, burning quickly and then exploding as powerful supernovas. This first population of stars…
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Fortunately for life on Earth, our planet has an ozone layer. This high-altitude gas performs an invaluable service to biology, acting as a kind of global “sunscreen” that blocks the most damaging forms of ultraviolet radiation. Early in the evolution of…
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Like the infamous “Crasher Squirrel” that launched one of the most prolific memes in online history, “crasher asteroids” have photobombed the Hubble Space Telescope’s otherwise uninterrupted view of the ancient universe. While carrying out its Frontier…
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Astronomers using the PanSTARRS 1 telescope in Maui may have discovered an alien comet. Comets usually originate from the outermost reaches of the solar system — they’re the ancient icy debris left over from the formation of the planets 4.6 billion years…
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The universe shouldn’t exist, according to new ultra-precise measurements of anti-protons. But the fact that I’m typing this article and you’re reading it, however, suggests that we are here, so something must be awry with our understanding of the physics…
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Although comets are static lumps of ancient ice for most of their lives, their personalities can rapidly change with a little heat from the sun. Now, astronomers have witnessed just how dynamic comets can be, seeing one dramatically slow its rate of…
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One hundred and thirty million years ago in a galaxy 130 million light-years away, two neutron stars met their fate, merging as one. Trapped in a gravitational embrace, these two stellar husks spiraled closer and closer until they violently ripped into…
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Streaming LIVE here, today, at 4 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT/11 p.m. GMT The Perimeter Institute’s public lecture series is back! At 7 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. PDT) today, Erik Verlinde of the University of Amsterdam will ask: Are we standing on the brink of a new…
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The day before Cassini plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere, dramatically ending 13 years of Saturn exploration (and nearly two decades in space), I was sitting on a bench outside the Von Karman Visitor Center on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory campus in…
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This morning, the sun erupted with the most powerful solar flare in a decade, blasting the Earth’s upper atmosphere with energetic X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation. The flare was triggered by intense magnetic activity over an active region…
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