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Latest and Breaking Space Science News

2015 Triennial Earth-Sun Summit: Media briefing scheduled
(American Geophysical Union) The American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division and the American Geophysical Union's Space Physics and Aeronomy Section will meet together at the Westin Indianapolis in Indiana for the first Triennial Earth-Sun Summit, 26-30 April 2015.

Astronomers find runaway galaxies
(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) We know of about two dozen runaway stars, and have even found one runaway star cluster escaping its galaxy forever. Now, astronomers have spotted 11 runaway galaxies that have been flung out of their homes to wander the void of intergalactic space.

Celestial fireworks celebrate Hubble's 25th anniversary
(ESA/Hubble Information Centre) The glittering tapestry of young stars flaring to life in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image aptly resembles an exploding shell in a fireworks display. This vibrant image of the star cluster Westerlund 2 has been released to celebrate Hubble's 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of new discoveries, stunning images and outstanding science.

Time and age
(World Scientific) Entitled 'Time and Age: Time Machines, Relativity and Fossils,' this book authored by Professor Michael Mark Woolfson from University of York, addresses the measurement of time in relation to astronomical time.

Small victims of galactic threesomes can run away
(Lomonosov Moscow State University) Using publicly available astronomical observational data, Russian astronomers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University revealed, how entire galaxies could be thrown away from their homes. They hope that the discovery will shed light on the structure and evolution of compact elliptical galaxies, because they think that these galaxies don't contain dark matter that is thought keeps stable most galaxies of other types.

This week from AGU: Undersea eruptions, shale boom and ozone pollution, Titan's atmosphere
(American Geophysical Union) This week from AGU: articles on undersea eruptions, shale boom and ozone pollution, and Titan's atmosphere.

Tau Ceti: The next Earth? Probably not
(Arizona State University) Star system Tau Ceti has long been used in science fiction as a very likely place to have life due to its proximity to Earth and the star's sun-like characteristics. Since December 2012 Tau Ceti has become even more appealing, thanks to evidence of possibly five planets orbiting it, with two of these potentially residing in the habitable zone. ASU researchers took a closer look and determined that most likely the planets do not and cannot support life.

Millimeter-sized stones formed our planet
(Lund University) Researchers can now explain how asteroids are formed. According to a new study led by Lund University in Sweden, our own planet also has its origins in the same process, a cosmic ocean of millimeter-sized particles that orbited the young sun.

Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth
(University of Groningen) How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer -- how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 22. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

First exoplanet visible light spectrum
(ESO) Astronomers using the HARPS planet-hunting machine at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile have made the first-ever direct detection of the spectrum of visible light reflected off an exoplanet. These observations also revealed new properties of this famous object, the first exoplanet ever discovered around a normal star: 51 Pegasi b. The result promises an exciting future for this technique, particularly with the advent of next generation instruments and future telescopes, such as the E-ELT.

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