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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – March 23, 2014

'Smoking Gun' Discovered, ‘Theory of Everything’ and More

BICEP2 Collaboration

Last week scientists found the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation, this major discovery of ancient gravitational waves from the universe’s birth also brought physicists closer to the long-sought “theory of everything,” and scientists determined the surface of Mercury has contracted more than previously thought. See the best stories from last week here.

FIRST STOP: Major Discovery: 'Smoking Gun' for Universe's Incredible Big Bang Expansion Found

Major Discovery: 'Smoking Gun' for Universe's Incredible Big Bang Expansion Found

Steffen Richter (Harvard University)

Scientists have found the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation, which describes the rapid expansion of spacetime just after the Big Bang. The find also confirms the existence of long-theorized gravitational waves.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Major Big Bang Discovery Brings 'Theory of Everything' a Bit Closer to Reality

Major Big Bang Discovery Brings 'Theory of Everything' a Bit Closer to Reality

BICEP2 Collaboration

The discovery of ancient gravitational waves from the universe’s birth brings physicists a bit closer to the long-sought “theory of everything.”

[Full Story]

NEXT: Our Universe May Exist in a Multiverse, Cosmic Inflation Discovery Suggests

Our Universe May Exist in a Multiverse, Cosmic Inflation Discovery Suggests

Shutterstock/Victor Habbick

Some scientists think that cosmic inflation bolsters the idea of the multiverse.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Tiny Planet Mercury Is Shrinking Fast

Tiny Planet Mercury Is Shrinking Fast

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Using data from MESSENGER's survey of Mercury, scientists have determined the surface of the planet has contracted more than previously thought.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Colliding Solar Eruptions Created 'Perfect Storm' in Space

Colliding Solar Eruptions Created 'Perfect Storm' in Space

Ying Liu

Two consecutive coronal mass ejections provided a laboratory to study how the extreme storms interact as they travel away from the sun, suggesting that models of solar wind speed and magnetic fields may need to be revised.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Active Volcanoes Revealed on Venus

Active Volcanoes Revealed on Venus

ESA/AOES

Scientists have long suspected that volcanoes played a huge role in the evolution of cloud-shrouded Venus, the second planet from the sun.

[Full Story]

NEXT: NASA HD Moon Map Reveals Lunar North Pole Like Never Before (Photo)

NASA HD Moon Map Reveals Lunar North Pole Like Never Before (Photo)

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Donated Spy Satellite Telescope Could Boost NASA Dark Energy Mission: Report

Donated Spy Satellite Telescope Could Boost NASA Dark Energy Mission: Report

NASA

The National Research Council has issued a report evaluating the redesign of NASA’s proposed WFIRST/AFTA mission, a high-priority effort to hunt for exoplanets and dark energy.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Satellite Images Show Possible Debris from Malaysia Flight 370 (Photos)

Satellite Images Show Possible Debris from Malaysia Flight 370 (Photos)

Digital Globe/Australian Maritime Safety Authority

In what may be the first break in the case of the mysterious March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, satellite images from DigitalGlobe now show possible plane debris in the Southern Indian Ocean.

[Full Story]

NEXT: 'Cosmos' Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Reflects on TV's New 'Spacetime Odyssey'

'Cosmos' Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Reflects on TV's New 'Spacetime Odyssey'

Daniel Smith/FOX

Neil deGrasse Tyson reflected on the success of Cosmos during an intimate discussion with reporters and spaceflight experts after a debate he hosted Wednesday on commercializing space.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Chinese Satellite Spies Possible Malaysia Jet Debris (Photo)

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