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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Most Powerful Geomagnetic Storm of Solar Cycle 24 is Happening->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "The most powerful solar storm of the current solar cycle is currently reverberating around the globe. Initially triggered by the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) hitting our planet’s magnetosphere, a relatively mild geomagnetic storm erupted at around 04:30 UT (12:30 a.m. EDT), but it has since ramped-up to an impressive G4-class geomagnetic storm, priming high latitudes for some bright auroral displays."
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+ - 'Space Invader' Found on International Space Station->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A peculiar alien visitor has been found on the International Space Station — but does it come in peace? Inspired by the popular 1970's video game "Space Invaders," a small red mosaic of one of the pixelated aliens has been recovered by European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and was photographed inside the orbiting outpost's Cupola, looking down on Earth. The art was created by French urban artist "Invader," who's true identity is a closely guarded secret. However, his art is very well known. Inspired by 8-bit video games from the 1970's and 80's, Invader's distinctive artwork can be found in over 60 cities in 30 countries around the globe. And now, in an orbital first, Invader's work has been installed on the hatch of ESA's Columbia module."
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+ - The Milky Way May be 50 Percent Bigger Than Thought-> 1

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A ring-like filament of stars wrapping around the Milky Way may actually belong to the galaxy itself, rippling above and below the relatively flat galactic plane. If so, that would expand the size of the known galaxy by 50 percent and raise intriguing questions about what caused the waves of stars. Scientists used data collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to reanalyze the brightness and distance of stars at the edge of the galaxy. They found that the fringe of the disk is puckered into ridges and grooves of stars, like corrugated cardboard. “It looks to me like maybe these patterns are following the spiral structure of the Milky Way, so they may be related,” astronomer Heidi Newberg, with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, told Discovery News."
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+ - Computing the Optimal Road Trip Across the U.S.->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Wouldn’t it be nice to have a map that hit landmarks in every state and not only that, wouldn’t it be great if the map represented the optimal, most efficient route across the country? Tracy Staedter at Discovery News pondered this idea and teamed up with computer science graduate student Randy Olson from Michigan State University to solve the ultimate traveling salesman problem. Olson nailed it with his own genetic algorithm to create a US road trip that would cover 13,699 miles and take 2-3 months to complete — probably the ultimate addition to any Bucket List."
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+ - Hubble Discovers Quadruple Lensed Ancient Supernova->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Astronomer Patrick Kelly, with the University of California Berkeley, and colleagues report this week about four different routes light from an ancient supernova took to reach the Hubble telescope after being deflected around an intervening elliptical galaxy. The phenomenon is known as an Einstein cross. “Basically, we get to see the supernova four times and measure the time delays between its arrival in the different images, hopefully learning something about the supernova and the kind of star it exploded from, as well as about the gravitational lenses,” Kelly said in a statement. The supernova will appear again in the next 10 years, as its light takes different paths around and through the gravitational lens."
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+ - Fastest Star Ever Seen Will Escape from the Galaxy->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "The compact star US 708 hasn’t had an easy life. Paired with a domineering partner, 708’s mass was siphoned away, reducing it to a dense, helium-filled core. But 708 didn’t go quietly into the night. Instead, scientists believe the feeding frenzy ended in a supernova explosion that catapulted the ravaged remains with such force it’s leaving the galaxy. Fast. A new study shows that the star, classified as a hot subdwarf, is blasting through the Milky Way at about 750 miles per second, faster than any other star in the galaxy."
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+ - Massive Exoplanet Evolved in Extreme 4-Star System->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "For only the second time, an exoplanet living with an expansive family of four stars has been revealed. The exoplanet, which is a huge gaseous world 10 times the mass of Jupiter, was previously known to occupy a 3-star system, but a fourth star (a red dwarf) has now been found, revealing quadruple star systems possessing planets are more common than we thought. “About four percent of solar-type stars are in quadruple systems, which is up from previous estimates because observational techniques are steadily improving,” said co-author Andrei Tokovinin of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The whole 4-star family is collectively known as 30 Ari, located some 136 light-years from Earth — in our interstellar backyard. The exoplanet orbits the primary star of the system once every 335 days. The primary star has a new-found binary partner (which the exoplanet does not orbit) and this pair are locked in an orbital dance with a secondary binary, separated by a distance of 1,670 astronomical unit (AU), where 1 AU is the average distance between the Earth and sun."
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+ - Ceres' Mystery Bright Dots May Have Volcanic Origin->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "As NASA’s Dawn mission slowly spirals in on its dwarf planet target, Ceres’ alien landscape is becoming sharper by the day. And, at a distance of only 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers), the robotic spacecraft has revealed multiple bright patches on the surface, but one of the brightest spots has revealed a dimmer bright patch right next door. “Ceres’ bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin,” said Chris Russell, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and principal investigator for the Dawn mission. “This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations.”"
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+ - Star Quadruplets Spied Growing Inside Stellar Womb->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "New observations of a star-forming nebula have revealed four stellar embryos, providing clues as to how multiple star systems evolve. The majority of stars in our galaxy come in pairs, triplets or even quadruplets, but our sun appears to be a loner. This fact poses an interesting question: if our star is alone, and yet contains a rich multiplanetary system, how do planetary systems evolve in multi-star systems? In a new study published in the journal Nature this week, Alyssa Goodman, professor of astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), reports on the discovery of four embryonic stars slowly forming 825 light-years from Earth. Previously known to contain one protostar, the molecular cloud located in the constellation Perseus apparently contains more stellar siblings."
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+ - Supermassive Diet: Black Holes Bulk-Up on Dark Matter->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "It has long been assumed that the size of a supermassive black hole in a galaxy’s core is intimately related to the number of stars that galaxy contains — but it might not be that simple after all. According to new research, it may in fact be a galaxy's extensive dark matter halo that controls the evolution of the central supermassive black hole and not the total number of stars that galaxy contains. “There seems to be a mysterious link between the amount of dark matter a galaxy holds and the size of its central black hole, even though the two operate on vastly different scales,” said lead author Akos Bogdan of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Cambridge, Mass."
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+ - Oldest Twin Remains Found in Siberia->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A team of Canadian and Russian researchers investigating an early Neolithic cemetery in Siberia have identified the world’s oldest set of human twins, buried with their young mother. The skeleton of the woman was exhumed in 1997 from a hunter-gatherer cemetery in south-eastern Siberia. Found with 15 marmot teeth — decorative accessories which were probably attached to clothing — the remains were photographed and labelled, but were not investigated by anthropologists. Now Angela Lieverse, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and colleagues Andrzej Weber from the University of Alberta, Canada, and Vladimir Bazaliiskii from Irkutsk University, Russia, have examined the skeleton and found remains of twin fetuses nestled between the pelvis and upper legs. The twins, about 36 to 40 weeks old, probably suffocated during their mother’s troubled labor nearly 8,000 years ago. “This is not only one of the oldest archaeologically documented cases of death during childbirth, but also the earliest confirmed set of human twins in the world,” Lieverse said."
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+ - Comets Form Like Deep Fried Ice Cream Scoops->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif., have added another oddity to the cometary ‘weird list’: comets are best described as scoops of deep fried ice cream. “The crust is made of crystalline ice, while the interior is colder and more porous,” said Murthy Gudipati of JPL, co-author of a recent study appearing in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. “The organics are like a final layer of chocolate on top.”"
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+ - West to East Coast: SpaceX Ready for Extreme Multitasking->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Breaking new ground is nothing new for SpaceX, but how about launch and landing operations on opposite sides of the country at the same time? A poor weather forecast in Florida prompted SpaceX to pass on a second launch opportunity Monday to put the Deep Space Climate Observatory into orbit. The first launch attempt on Sunday was called off with two minutes to spare because of a glitch with a ground-based radar system needed to track the Falcon 9 rocket in flight. The launch of the spacecraft, nicknamed DSCOVR, is now pegged for 6:05 p.m. EST Tuesday, which overlaps with the return flight of a Dragon cargo ship from the International Space Station."
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+ - Craters Pop as NASA's Dawn Probe Approaches Ceres->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "New features on Ceres’ icy surface are popping into view as NASA’s Dawn spacecraft slowly spirals in on its final celestial target in the asteroid belt. Due to arrive in a stable Ceres orbit in March, the ion drive-propelled spacecraft is now less than 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from its ultimate goal. Once arrived at Ceres, NASA will insert the probe into a highly stable orbit where, when the mission concludes in a year from now, Dawn will become a permanent man-made moon of the dwarf planet."
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+ - Kepler Discovers Solar System's Ancient 'Twin'->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Astronomers have found a star system that bears striking resemblance to our inner solar system. It’s a sun-like star that plays host to a system of five small exoplanets — from the size of Mercury to the size of Venus. But there’s something very alien about this compact ‘solar system’; it formed when the universe was only 20 percent the age it is now, making making it the most ancient star system playing host to terrestrial sized worlds discovered to date."
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