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Our understanding of astrophysics states that we should be seeing co-orbiting planets when astronomers look through their telescopes. Co-orbiting planets are planets of roughly similar size that have overlapping orbits around their host star. These two planets orbit so closely to each other that they influence the…

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Cancer is one of the greatest challenges of our time. A common misconception about cancer is that it is one disease. There are hundreds of unique types of cancers that all require different treatment strategies. This diversity in cancer types is one reason curing cancer is so difficult. The advances in medicine over…

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You are on one of those trips where the travel is so tedious that even your cell phone looks boring. Not being able to sleep, you look out the window to distract yourself. You see lots of plants, people along the road, birds disappearing in the distance, and you just can’t stop wondering — how did all this…

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Animals are unable to tell us why they do the things they do, and curious scientists often want to find out. They set up experiments to see how animals behave in certain situations and try to determine the motivations for the behavior. The behavior often gives the animal a survival edge, as is the case for this study…

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Nitrogen pollution is a big problem in standing water such as lakes and ponds. The nitrogen comes from many sources, often agricultural fertilizers. Some of this nitrogen is in the water, but the rest of it is actually trapped in the sediment at the bottom of the lake. You can see evidence of this pollution when a…

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51 Pegasi b is a roughly jupiter-sized planet around a star pretty similar to our sun. This planet has been part of astronomy conversations before, as it is a huge planet with a really small orbit; this planet orbits around its star only every 4 days. For comparison, Earth orbits the sun every 365 days. One way of…

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At the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, there is a supermassive black hole. This is normal — at the center of almost every galaxy there is a black hole that is millions or billions times heavier than our sun. As galaxies move through the universe, they occasionally collide (the Milky Way is currently colliding with…

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When we first learn about cells in biology, we are taught that bacterial cells are simple, and animal and plant cells are more complex. Mammalian cells, the cells that make up dogs, humans and all mammals, are “eukaryotes.” Eukaryotes have multiple membranes — one surrounding their innermost section, the nucleus,…

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Today, Nature published the landmark discovery of a system of seven planets around a star named TRAPPIST-1 about 40 light years away. This star is a red dwarf that is much cooler and smaller than our yellow sun; it is about the size of Jupiter. This is the first time that several planets the size of Earth have all been…

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Galaxies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Many galaxies are in the shape of spirals, including our own Milky Way Galaxy. The movement and evolution of these spirals is not well understood in astrophysics. There are a few hypotheses. Originally, these spiral arms were thought to be rigid arms attached to the…