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Astronomy

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BYU student’s research solves an icy dwarf planet mystery

May 09, 2022
The dwarf planet Haumea has befuddled modern scientists for years. New BYU research details the planet's creation and solves one of astronomy's puzzles.
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How many Earth-like planets exist in the universe?

August 19, 2019
A new study from researchers at BYU and Penn State provides the most accurate estimate of the number of Earth-like planets in the universe.
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Dust storms on Saturn’s largest moon: what can they tell us about Earth’s dunes?

October 08, 2018
The images showed three unusual brightenings over fields of dunes near the equator of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Captured by the Cassini spacecraft, the images provided a glimpse of an environmental phenomenon only otherwise seen on Earth and Mars: dust storms.
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Scientists reveal the secrets behind Pluto's dunes 

May 30, 2018
An international team of scientists have discovered a series of dunes on Pluto — a finding that indicates the planet's surface is younger and more dynamic than previously thought.

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BYU researchers help discover massive exoplanet

March 27, 2017
Understanding more about KELT-16b, though it’s “as different from Earth as you could possibly get,” might ultimately give scientists a better understanding of our own planet.

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Searching for Alien Comets: BYU Researchers Create Guidebook to Aid in First Discovery

June 30, 2016
Treasure needs a map, vehicles need a manual, and, as it turns out, interstellar discoveries need a guidebook.

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BYU scientist finds a towering mountain on an earth-like moon

March 28, 2016
Jani Radebaugh discovered a mountain nearly as tall as Mt. Timpanogos on Saturn's largest moon, adding to a string of recent discoveries that show Titan is the most earth-like object in the solar system. 

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BYU uses planet-hunting satellite to observe supermassive black hole

January 04, 2015
If you want to see just how far BYU’s latest research extends, step outside of your house tonight, look up towards the sky, focus your view between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra, and then zoom in about 100 million light years.

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Putting an airplane on a distant moon

January 19, 2012
In addition to its rivers, oceans, mountains, sand dunes and winds, Saturn’s moon Titan may someday share another similarity with Earth: airplanes.

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Movement of black holes powers the universe’s brightest lights, study finds

July 19, 2011
Whether on their own or orbiting as a pair, black holes don’t typically sit still. Not only do they spin, they can also move laterally across their host galaxy. And according to astrophysicists at Brigham Young University, both types of movement power massive jets of energy known as quasars.

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BYU telescope captures Halloween sights in the stars?

October 27, 2010
BYU's West Mountain Observatory captured images of the expanding gasses of an exploded star some 2000 light years away that create some interesting visuals -- a few of which look a little like Halloween characters.

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BYU prof shows which way the wind blows on Saturn's largest moon

March 01, 2009
BYU geologist Jani Radebaugh is part of a team that mapped the vast sand dunes of Titan with four years of radar data collected by the Cassini spacecraft.

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BYU study adds a ‘twist’ to stars’ death throes

May 26, 2008
Thirty-seven miles apart, twin stars orbit each other on a high-speed collision course. In a matter of milliseconds, the stars collide in spectacular fashion, spewing out radiation and forming an object so massive it collapses under its own weight and becomes a black hole.

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BYU scientist leads discovery of mountains on Saturn’s largest moon

December 18, 2007
By analyzing images from NASA’s Cassini Radar instrument, a Brigham Young University professor helped discover and analyze mountains on Saturn’s largest moon, additional evidence that it has some of the most earthlike processes of any celestial body in the solar system.

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BYU mirror headed to space on Venus Express

October 18, 2005
One and a half years after a mirror created by Brigham Young University students left Earth onboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, a second mirror – this one on the Venus Express – will be launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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BYU astronomy department unveils new planetarium

March 21, 2005
With a specialized 3-D projector and state-of-the-art acoustics, the completely rebuilt Brigham Young University planetarium was unveiled by physics and astronomy department officials in March.

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Preparing earthlings for Mars

February 01, 2004
Brigham Young University students under the direction of physics professor David D. Allred have been asked by the Mars Society to maintain its Mars Desert Research Station. The cramped, two-story habitat in the desert of Southern Utah is part of an effort to prepare humans for exploration and possible settlement of the red planet. Students only leave the station dressed in custom-made space suits to better simulate the experience.

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