Spacebuzz

Blog posts tagged with astronomy

Posts in the past four weeks

Saturday
Jan 31 2015
18:26 UTC

Awesome New Radar Images of Asteroid 2004 BL86

New video┬of 2004 BL86 and its moon Newly processed images of asteroid 2004 BL86 during it brush with Earth Monday night reveal fresh details┬of its lumpy surface and orbiting moon. We've learned from both optical and radar data┬that Alpha, the main body, spins once every 2. 6 hours. Beta (the moon) spins more slowly. The images […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Jan 30 2015
15:03 UTC

This Comparison of Comet 67/P With Other Solar System Bodies Will Blow Your Mind

There's darkness out there in the cold corners of the solar system. And we're not talking about a Lovecraftian darkness, the kind that would summon Cthulhu himself.┬ We're talking of celestial bodies that are, well. So black, they make a Spinal Tap album cover blinding by comparison.(...)Read the rest of This Comparison of Comet 67/P […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 29 2015
20:30 UTC

What Asteroid 2004 BL86 and Hawaii Have in Common

At first glance, you wouldn't think Hawaii has any connection at all┬with asteroid 2004 BL86, the one that┬missed Earth by 750,000 miles (1. 2 million km) just 3 days ago. One's a tropical paradise with nightly pig roasts, beaches and shave ice; the other an uninhabitable ball of bare rock untouched by floral print swimsuits. But┬Planetary […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 29 2015
18:53 UTC

Stargazing at Sea

... sharing knowledge about astronomy and space science. The trips have been nearly all over the world (although there are still places I haven't been). They've given […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Thursday
Jan 29 2015
14:06 UTC

Elon Musk and the SpaceX Odyssey: the Path from Falcon 9 to Mars Colonization Transporter

In Kubrick's and Clark's 2001 Space Odyssey, there was no question of Boots or Bots[ref]. The monolith had been left for humanity as a mileage and direction marker on Route 66 to the stars. So we went to Jupiter and Dave Bowman overcame a sentient machine, shut it down cold and went forth to discover […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 28 2015
19:54 UTC

iPhone Astrophotography: How to Take Amazing Images of the Sky with Your Smartphone Tonight!

Got a smartphone and a telescope? It's a sight now common at many star parties. Frequently, you see folks roaming through the darkness, illuminated smartphone aimed skyward. Certainly, the wealth of free planetarium apps has done lots to kindle a renewed interest in the night sky.(...)Read the rest of iPhone Astrophotography: How to Take Amazing […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 28 2015
18:49 UTC

Astronomers See a Massive Black Hole Tear a Star Apart

... telescope peers into the blackness of deep space. Suddenly – a brilliant┬flash of light appears that wasn't there before. What could it be? A supernova? Two┬massively dense stars fusing┬together? Perhaps a gamma ray burst? Five years ago, researchers using the ROTSE IIIb telescope at McDonald Observatory noticed just such an event. But far from […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 27 2015
17:06 UTC

Luna vs. the Hyades! The 1st of 13 Occultations of Aldebaran Set For January 29th

The cosmos is continually in motion. Be it atoms, stars or snowflakes from the latest nor'easter pounding the New England seaboard, anything worth studying involves movement. And as skies and snowbound roads clear, this Wednesday and Thursday evening will give us a reason to brave the January cold, as the waxing gibbous Moon pierces the […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 27 2015
13:29 UTC

crash course in astronomy

... youtube series about astronomy, hosted by my friend, the bad astronomer himself, phil plait.

Posted by astropixie

Tuesday
Jan 27 2015
04:50 UTC

Are Asteroids the Future of Planetary Science?

... don't think I ever learned one of those little rhymes – My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas – to memorize the order of the planets, but if I had, it would've painted for me a minimalist picture of the solar system. (Side question: what is my Very Educated Mother serving now […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Jan 26 2015
16:40 UTC

Astronomers Catch A Quasar Shutting Off

Last week, astronomers at Yale University reported seeing something unusual: a seemingly stedfast beacon from the far┬reaches┬of the Universe went┬quiet. This┬relic┬light source, a quasar located in the region of our sky known as the celestial equator, unexpectedly became 6-7 times dimmer┬over the first decade of the 21st century. Thanks to this┬dramatic┬change in luminosity, astronomers now […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Jan 24 2015
22:17 UTC

Latest Research Reveals a Bizarre and Vibrant Rosetta's Comet

We've subsisted for months on morsels of information coming from ESA's mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.┬Now, a series of scientific papers┬in journal┬Science┬offers a much more complete, if preliminary, look at Rosetta's comet. And what a wonderful and complex world it┬is.(...)Read the rest of Latest Research Reveals a Bizarre and Vibrant Rosetta's Comet (1,696 words) ┬ Bob […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Jan 24 2015
13:22 UTC

There's a Crack Forming on Rosetta's 67P. Is it Breaking Up?

Not all comets breakup as they vent and age, but for Rosetta's comet 67P, the Rubber Duckie comet, a crack in the neck raises concerns. Some comets may just fizzle and uniformly expel their volatiles throughout their surfaces. They may become like puffballs, shrink┬some┬but remain intact. Comet 67P is the other extreme. The expulsion of […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 22 2015
20:08 UTC

The Entire Milky Way Might Be a Huge Wormhole That's Stable and Navigable

Our very own Milky Way could be home to a giant tunnel in spacetime. At least, that's what the authors of a new study have proposed. According to the team, a collaboration between Indian, Italian, and North American researchers at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Italy, the central halo of our galaxy […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 20 2015
16:27 UTC

Rare Triple Transit! There'll be 3 Moon Shadows on Jupiter on January 24th, 2015

Play the skywatching game long enough, and anything can happen. Well, nearly anything. One of the more unique clockwork events in our solar system occurs this weekend, when shadows cast by three of Jupiter's moons can be seen transiting its lofty cloud tops simultaneously.(...)Read the rest of Rare Triple Transit! There'll be 3 Moon Shadows […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 20 2015
15:06 UTC

Esa favours moon not Mars for next crewed mission Stuart Clark

... new video from the European Space Agency talks about an international effort to return humans to the moon as a stepping stone for future crewed missionsThe European Space Agency has outlined its vision for what lunar exploration could be in the future in a new video released onto the internet today. It comes in the wake of a decision to look into collaborating with the Russians over sending a lander to the Moon's south pole. The video is general and contains no reference to any specific futur

Posted by Across the universe

Monday
Jan 19 2015
20:25 UTC

Where to Look for Comet Lovejoy Until it Fades from Sight

... hate to admit it, but our dear comet is fading. Only a little though. As Comet Q2 Lovejoy wends its way from Earth toward perihelion and beyond, it will slowly dim and diminish. With an orbital period of approximately┬8,000 years it has a long journey ahead. Down here on Earth, we continue to look […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Jan 17 2015
17:35 UTC

Comet Finlay Surprise Outburst, Visible in Binoculars again!

Lost sleep at night, fingers tapping on the keyboard by day. Darn comets are keeping me busy!┬But of course that's a good problem. Comet 15P/Finlay, which had been languishing in┬the western sky at dusk at magnitude +10, has suddenly come to life … for a second time. Two nights ago, Australian comet observer Michael Mattiazzo […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Jan 16 2015
19:23 UTC

News of the Cosmos

Lost and Found Amazing news today from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE team: they found the European Space Agency's┬Beagle 2┬lander (built by a team headed by the late Colin Pillinger) and it seems to be intact on the surface of Mars. This is great news for ESA and the British lander team, especially in light […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Friday
Jan 16 2015
12:43 UTC

Beagle 2: Found on Mars After An 11 Year Hunt

The final chapter in the saga of a wayward Mars lander was finally revealed today, as an international team released images showing the Beagle-2 lander's final resting place on Mars.(...)Read the rest of Beagle 2: Found on Mars After An 11 Year Hunt (1,203 words) ┬ David Dickinson for Universe Today, 2015. | Permalink | […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Jan 16 2015
04:50 UTC

Dear Jane Treacy and Isaac Mizrahi

Those DefinitionsOh, Please!!! Darlings, I just saw a little clip of your Astronomy 101 mockup on QVC and it was SO not fabby! ┬First of all, Jane, dear what were you thinkingI mean, is the Moon a Star? ┬And Isaac, darling, PLANET MOON!? Let me fix that for you dears: ┬the Moon is a satellite […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Thursday
Jan 15 2015
20:07 UTC

When Two Supermassive Black Holes Merge, It's a Galactic Train Wreck

Most large galaxies harbor central supermassive black holes with masses equivalent to millions, or even billions, of Suns. Some, like the one in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, lie quiet. Others, known as quasars, chow down on so much gas they outshine their host galaxies and are even visible across the Universe. Although […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 15 2015
16:19 UTC

Big Asteroid 2004 BL86 Buzzes Earth on January 26: How to See it in Your Telescope

... lot of asteroids pass near Earth every year. Many are the size of a house, make close flybys and zoom out of the headlines. 2004 BL86 is a bit different. On Monday evening January 26th, it will become the largest asteroid to pass closest to Earth until 2027 when 1999 AN10┬will approach within one […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 15 2015
15:49 UTC

Like a BOSS: How Astronomers are Getting Precise Measurements of the Universe's Expansion Rate

Astrophysicists studying the expansion of the Universe with the largest galaxy catalogs ever assembled are ushering in an exciting era of precision cosmology. Last week, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) issued its final public data release, and scientists working in its largest program, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) also presented their final results […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 15 2015
00:47 UTC

Did a House-Sized Meteorite Create This Mysterious Circle in Antarctica?

Endless blinding white ice as far as the eye can see. This is the common scene from the window of planes delivering researchers to Antarctica. However, this is not always the case. While there┬are mountain ranges and valleys, for a recent research expedition, a large ringed structure came into view on the King Baudouin┬ice shelf […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 14 2015
16:15 UTC

Challenge Yourself! See an Astronomical Event that Only Happens Once Every 26 Years

... truly fascinating event may be in the offing this month. Picture two distant burning embers (candles, light bulbs, LEDs, what have you) circling each other in the distance. From our far-flung vantage point, the two points of light are too faint to resolve individually, but as they pass in front of each other, a […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 14 2015
10:54 UTC

1000 years of comets and meteors!

speaking of open access, i found this great site, the public domain review: a project of the open knowledge foundation. on that site there is a collection called flowers of the sky which shows historic depictions of comets, meteors, and meteorites over almost a 1000 year period. very neat! check out this link for all the original sources. Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch (The Book of Miracle), c. 1552Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, (Comet mit einem grosen Schwantz), c. 1552Aug

Posted by astropixie

Tuesday
Jan 13 2015
22:29 UTC

Largest Digital Camera Ever Constructed will be Pointed at the Skies in 2022

The world's largest-ever digital camera has received the green light to move forward with development. The 3,200-megapixel camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will snap the widest, deepest and fastest views of the night sky ever observed, providing unprecedented details of the Universe. Astronomers say the LSST will help uncover some of the […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 13 2015
17:30 UTC

One of the Milky Way's Arms Might Encircle the Entire Galaxy

Given that our Solar System sits inside the Milky Way Galaxy, getting a clear picture of what it looks like as a whole can be quite tricky. In fact, it was not until 1852 that astronomer Stephen Alexander first postulated that the galaxy was spiral in shape. And since that time, numerous discoveries have come […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 13 2015
16:51 UTC

Faster-Than-Light Lasers Could Illuminate the Universe

It's a cornerstone of modern physics that nothing in the Universe is faster than the speed of light (c). However, Einstein's theory of special relativity does allow for instances where certain influences appear to travel faster than light without violating causality. These are what is known as “photonic booms,” a concept similar to a sonic […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Jan 12 2015
19:22 UTC

It's a Comet!

Meet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy! On nearly any given night of the year, there's a comet out there. Some are fairly faint and a real challenge to observe. Others get bright enough that you can see them with binoculars, a small telescope, orif you have a good dark-sky observing sightwith the naked eye. There's a new […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Monday
Jan 12 2015
17:45 UTC

It Looks Like These Are All the Large Kuiper Belt Objects We'll Ever Find

The self-professed Pluto Killer is at it again. Dr. Michael Brown is now reminiscing about the good old days when one could scour through sky survey data and discover big bright objects in the Kuiper Belt. In his latest research paper, Brown and his team have concluded that those days are over. Ten years ago, […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Jan 12 2015
14:00 UTC

NASA Space Shots Inspire This Brilliant Video Of Universal Wonders

Moons pass by Saturn's rings. An eclipse takes place on Jupiter. We see these shots every day in images from space agencies, but how would it be to actually float in a nearby spacecraft and watch these in action? An incredible new Vimeo video called “Space Suite” shows off what it actually could be like. […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Jan 10 2015
18:15 UTC

How to Find and Make the Most of Comet Lovejoy

Comet Q2 Lovejoy passed closest to Earth on January 7th and┬has been putting on a great show this past week. Glowing at magnitude +4 with a bluish coma nearly as big as the Full Moon, the comet's easy to see with the naked eye from the right location if you know exactly where to look. […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Jan 10 2015
18:03 UTC

Mercury and Venus an Awesome Duo at Dusk

As Universe Today's┬Dave Dickinson described earlier this week┬not only has Venus returned to the evening sky, but Mercury has climbed up from the horizon to join it. Last night (Jan. 9th) the two planets┬were separated by just a hair more┬than┬one Moon diameter. The photo only hints at┬amazingly easy the pair was to see. Consider the […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Jan 09 2015
21:30 UTC

New Mission: DSCOVR Satellite will Monitor the Solar Wind

Solar wind – that is, the stream of charged electrons and protons that are released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun – is a constant in our Solar System and generally not a concern for us Earthlings. However, on occasion a solar wind shock wave or Coronal Mass Ejection can occur, disrupting satellites, electronics […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Jan 09 2015
15:50 UTC

How NASA Is Saving Fuel On Its Outer Solar System Missions

While Saturn is far away from us, scientists have just found a way to make the journey there easier. A new technique pinpointed the position of the ringed gas giant to within just two miles (four kilometers). It's an impressive technological feat that will improve spacecraft navigation and also help us better understand the orbits […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Jan 08 2015
20:44 UTC

Disorderly Conduct: Andromeda's Mature Stars Exhibit Surprising Behavior, Says Study

To a distant observer,┬our own┬Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy would probably┬look very┬similar. Although Andromeda is longer, more massive, and more luminous than┬the Milky Way, both galaxies are┬vast spirals composed of hundreds of millions of stars. But new research presented at this week's AAS conference in Seattle suggests that there are other differences as well […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
21:20 UTC

New 3-D-Printed Models of Eta Carinae Reveal Hidden Features

In the constellation of Carina, lies the most luminous and mysterious star system within 10,000 light-years. The two massive stars, better known as Eta Carinae, erupted twice in the 19th Century for reasons astronomers still don't understand, and are now approaching the point where one might soon detonate as a supernova. Astronomers from the 225th […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
20:32 UTC

The Dark Energy Survey Begins to Reveal Previously Unknown Trans-Neptunian Objects

Sometimes when you stare at something long enough, you begin to see things. This is not the case with optical sensors and telescopes. Sure, there is noise from electronics, but it's random and traceable. Stargazing with a telescope and camera is ideal for staring at the same patches of real estate for very long and […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
16:00 UTC

Glorious Star Factories Shine In Astounding Amateur Shots

We often publish photos from professional observatories, but it's important to note that amateurs can also do a great job taking pictures of the sky with modest equipment and photo processing software. On Universe Today's Flickr pool, we're proud to showcase the work of all the fans of the cosmos. Included here are some of […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
14:00 UTC

Gallery: Some Of Kepler's Strange New Worlds Outside The Solar System

With the latest Kepler space telescope exoplanet finding announced yesterday, the mighty planet hunter has now found 1,000 confirmed worlds — with about 3,000 more planetary candidates just waiting for confirmation. The NASA observatory has found exoplanets of many sizes — smaller than Mercury, the size of our Moon, the size of Jupiter or larger, […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
04:42 UTC

Astronomy in the Park - Sydney

if any sydneysiders read this ... I'll be participating in Astronomy in the Park this Friday at Centennial Park in Sydney. I'm giving a talk around 8pm and then the star-gazing begins! Let me know if you're interested - I can give you a ticket discount code. sign up HERE.

Posted by astropixie

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
01:02 UTC

Japan's Akatsuki Spacecraft to Make Second Attempt to Enter Orbit of Venus in December 2015

Back in 2010, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the The Venus Climate Orbiter “Akatsuki” with the intention of learning more about the planet's weather and surface conditions. Unfortunately, due to engine trouble, the probe failed to make it into the planet's orbit. Since that time, it has remained in a heliocentric orbit, some […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Jan 07 2015
00:23 UTC

Hubble turns 25

This April 24th marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope!?! hard to believe the old girl has lasted this long and continues to be used by astronomers to produce some AMAZING science and images.

Posted by astropixie

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
23:21 UTC

Hearing the Early Universe's Scream: Sloan Survey Announces New Findings

Imagine a single mission that would allow you to┬explore the Milky Way and beyond, investigating┬cosmic chemistry, hunting planets, mapping galactic structure, probing dark energy and analyzing the expansion of the wider┬Universe. Enter the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a┬massive┬scientific collaboration that┬enables┬one thousand astronomers from 51 institutions around the world to do just that. At┬Tuesday's AAS briefing […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
21:38 UTC

Prying Planets Out of The Shadows: The Gemini Planet Imager's First Year of Light

This year marks the 20th anniversary of 51 Peg b, the first exoplanet detected around a Sun-like star. And although the number of sheer detections in the years since have been remarkable, it's also remarkable how little we still know about these alien worlds, save for their distances from their host stars, their radii, and […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
19:27 UTC

Kepler Targets Supermassive Black Hole

With only an introductory course in science, it's easy to think that scientists strictly follow the scientific method. They propose a new hypothesis, test that hypothesis, and after many years of hard work, either confirm or reject it. But science is often prone to chance. And when a surprise presents itself, the book titled Scientific […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
19:22 UTC

New Finds From Kepler: 8 New Worlds Discovered in the Habitable Zone

... fascinating set of finds was announced today at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), currently underway this week in Seattle, Washington. A team of astronomers announced the discovery of eight new planets potentially orbiting their host stars in their respective habitable zones. Also dubbed the Goldilocks Zone,' this is the distance […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
15:47 UTC

By Boots or Bots? How Shall We Explore?

With robotic spacecraft, we have explored, discovered and expanded our understanding of the Solar System and the Universe at large. Our five senses have long since reached their limits and cannot reveal the presence of new objects or properties without the assistance of extraordinary sensors and optics. Data is returned and is transformed into a […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
15:00 UTC

Andromeda Galaxy Shines In Nosehair-Closeup Glory

Woah, is that ever close! The Hubble Space Telescope's new picture of the Andromeda Galaxy makes us feel as though we're hovering right above the iconic structure, which is visible with the naked eye from Earth under the right conditions. Just to show you how awesome this close-up is, we've posted a picture below the […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
14:47 UTC

Exoplanet-Hunting TESS Satellite to be Launched by SpaceX

The search for exoplanets is heating up, thanks to the deployment of space telescopes like Kepler and the development of new observation methods. In fact, over 1800 exoplanets have been discovered since the 1980s, with 850 discovered just last year. That's quite the rate of progress, and Earth's scientists have no intention of slowing down! […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
14:00 UTC

Hubble Makes Pillars Of Creation' Look Better Than Ever

When you look at that image on the right, make sure to thank the STS-125 crew. And all the people who defended the idea of sending one last repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope before the space shuttle was decommissioned. That's because the famous “Pillars of Creation” image taken in 1995 by Hubble just […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Jan 06 2015
03:50 UTC

Hubble Gives Us Our Best View Yet Of The “Pillars of Creation”

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch this year and to commemorate the milestone┬it's recently turned its gaze (during the course of about 15 orbits) back onto one of the┬most iconic targets of its career: the “Pillars of Creation,” five-light-year-high columns of cold gas in the process of being sculpted […]

Posted by Lights in the Dark

Monday
Jan 05 2015
20:23 UTC

Exciting Exoplanet News from AAS: How Rocky Worlds are Made; Oceans on Super-Earths

Astronomers from around the world gathered in Seattle today for the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Although it's just past noon on the West Coast, the discoveries are already beginning to unfurl. Here are some of the highlights from this morning's exoplanet session. And the keyword seems to be water. (...)Read the rest […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Jan 05 2015
15:24 UTC

Catch Mercury Brushing Past Venus in a Spectacular Dusk Quasi-Conjunction' This Week

Missing Venus? The third brightest natural object in the heavens returns to prime time dusk skies in 2015 after being absent and lingering in the dawn for most of 2014. But there's another reason to hunt down the Cytherean world this week, as elusive Mercury chases after it low in the dusk. If you've never […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Jan 05 2015
13:57 UTC

New Simulation Models Galaxies Like Never Before

Astronomy is, by definition, intangible. Traditional laboratory-style experiments that utilize┬variables and┬control groups are of little use to the scientists who spend their careers analyzing the intricacies┬our Universe. Instead, astronomers rely on simulations┬–┬robust, mathematically-driven facsimiles of the cosmos – to investigate┬the┬long-term evolution┬of objects like stars, black holes, and galaxies. Now, a team of European researchers has […]

Posted by Universe Today

Sunday
Jan 04 2015
23:15 UTC

How Did We Find the Distance to the Sun?

How far is the Sun? It seems as if one could hardly ask a more straightforward question. Yet this very inquiry bedeviled astronomers for more than two thousand years. Certainly it's a question of nearly unrivaled importance, overshadowed in history perhaps only by the search for the size and mass of the Earth. Known today […]

Posted by Universe Today

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