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Stars, planets, and our simulated universe March 15, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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So it turns out there are hard limits in our universe’s physical laws that don’t (yet) make a whole lot of sense…but have the same pattern as the kind of limits you would have to encode into a computer simulation of a universe.

Stupidly huge new black hole discovered. At the heart of galaxy NGC 1277, it’s 17 billion times the mass of our Sun…and 14 percent of the total mass of its galaxy.

Screw life on Mars, all the action these days is happening on Mercury: NASA reports discovering water ice and “organic material” in one of its permanently-in-shadow craters.

We found another Earthlike planet! And this one’s only twelve light-years away!

“The world’s highest radio telescope, built on a Chilean plateau in the Andes 5,000 metres above sea level, has captured the first image of a new planet being formed as it gobbles up the cosmic dust and gas surrounding a distant star.

This object is an expanding cloud of gas rushing away from a dying star. Right in the very center you can see the star itself, a tiny blue dot whose appearance belies its power. […] So what’s with the huge backwards S-shape?”

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