Space Exploration

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

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It's not just Earth that has volcanoes blasting stuff onto the surface. Other worlds do too. Volcanoes have shaped the Earth. By pumping hot molten rock onto the surface, they have built new lands. The islands of Hawaii were formed by underwater volcanoes that blasted out so much rock, it reached above the surface of the sea. Volcanoes have also changed the makeup of the atmosphere. By pumping greenhouse gases into the air, they have ensured that the planet doesn't freeze over – well, most of the time.

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But Earth isn't the only world with volcanoes. The more we explore the solar system, the more we find that they are common, and they can dwarf our homemade ones.

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Scientists claim an 'imminent' collapse of the universe will take place sooner than expected. According to a new study, galaxies could rip themselves to shreds in tens of billions of years – a relatively short time in cosmological terms. If the scientists are right about their theory, it may help explain the presence of dark energy and why the rate of expansion in the universe has accelerated.

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Many theoretical physicists believe the universe could end someday – and the process is likely to have already begun. While no one knows for certain how it will happen, there are three leading theories dubbed the big crunch, the big rip and the big freeze, that could lead to our demise.

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NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts performed a second spacewalk outside the International Space Station on February 25, 2015 to ready the outpost for a pair of new docking adapters arriving this summer.

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Space station commander Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts switched their spacesuits to internal power at 6:51 a.m. EST, ahead of leaving the station's Quest airlock, beginning the second of three planned spacewalks during an eight day stretch. The duo quickly went to work beginning the nearly seven hour spacewalk by moving over to their work site -- a former space shuttle docking port.

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big_bang_start_of_universe

The widely accepted age of the universe, as estimated by general relativity, is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or singularity. Only after this point began to expand in a "Big Bang" did the universe officially begin.

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X_Ray_of_Sun_Photo

The sun dazzled like a Christmas tree in hues of reds, greens and blues in its first-ever portrait taken in high-energy X-rays on December 22, 2014. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, was built in 2012, chiefly to observe distant high-energy phenomena like supernovas and black holes. But the extraordinary image released by the space agency (above) proved the supersensitive telescope can also capture our home star and could potentially solve a long-standing mystery.