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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 06:22:08 am »


Hubble Mystery Object Still Not Explained - 13th of January 2009



LINK: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Hubble-Mystery-Object-Still-Not-Explained-101861.shtml

The large flash of light that left astronomers puzzled more than three years ago has yet to be explained, Hubble scientists announced recently, although many hours were spent studying the photographs the space telescopes relayed back to Earth on that day. According to the astronomers, the readings do not match those of a supernova, or any other know cosmological events. Basically, the explanation for the flash that appeared on Hubble's images for some 200 days still eludes everyone.

"We have never seen anything like it. No one has been able to come up with a good explanation for this object," Kyle Barbary, an expert working with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), in Berkeley, California, shared with reporters, during the 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. He added that the chemical analysis of the object was just as puzzling as the flash itself.
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2009, 06:19:15 am »


Mystery Roar from Faraway Space Detected - posted: 07 January 2009



LINK: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090107-aas-loud-cosmic-noise.html


LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Space is typically thought of as a very quiet place. But one team of astronomers has found a strange cosmic noise that booms six times louder than expected.

The roar is from the distant cosmos. Nobody knows what causes it.

Of course, sound waves can't travel in a vacuum (which is what most of space is), or at least they  can't very efficiently. But radio waves can.

Radio waves are not sound waves, but they are still electromagnetic waves, situated on the low-frequency end of the light spectrum.

Many objects in the universe, including stars and quasars, emit radio waves. Even our home galaxy, the Milky Way, emits a static hiss (first detected in 1931 by physicist Karl Jansky). Other galaxies also send out a background radio hiss.

But the newly detected signal, described here today at the 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, is far louder than astronomers expected.
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2009, 06:15:13 am »

"Warm Plasma Cloak" Discovered Enveloping Earth - January 7, 2009

LINK - http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/01/090107-warm-plasma-cloak.html



The Earth is dressed in layers that protect it from the sun's fierce winds, and scientists have identified a new one they call a "warm plasma cloak."

The magnetosphere—the shield of ions and electrons that envelops Earth—extends far beyond the atmosphere, defending the planet from the harmful solar wind.

Charles "Rick" Chappell, a physicist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, led a research team that assembled information dating back decades to describe the new magnetosphere layer.
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2009, 06:10:50 am »

Pluto-bound probe's Jupiter vista - Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007

LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7037366.stm



Jupiter proved ready for its close-up when the New Horizons spacecraft flew by earlier this year.

New images and analyses of the massive planet have revealed surprising details of its atmosphere, rings and moons.

They include never-seen-before observations of Jupiter: lightning displays at the poles, mysterious clumps embedded in its rings, and the first movie of volcanic eruption on its moon Io.

Scientist took advantage of the flyby, designed to give New Horizons a gravity boost and shorten its journey to Pluto, to learn more about the Jovian system, and to follow up on previous missions to the gas giant.
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2009, 06:06:53 am »


How a Cloud of Space Dust Could Wipe Out Life on Earth -  published online December 30, 2008

LINK - http://discovermagazine.com/2008/whole-universe/30-how-a-cloud-of-dust-could-wipe-out-life-on-earth



If this were some 1950s sci-fi thriller, the Doomsday Cloud would loom dark and ominous in the evening sky. Each night more stars would wink out along its edges. The cloud would sweep past Jupiter, swallowing it whole, and race on toward Earth. There would be an inky darkness at noon. And so on.

No, nothing is going to blot out the sun. But recent observations and numerical simulations suggest that eventually—in a few millennia, maybe—the solar system may plow into a cloud of gas and dust a thousand times denser than the space we travel through now. This interstellar fog could reduce the sun’s sphere of influence until most of the outer planets are sitting naked in space. Dust and gas will penetrate as far as Earth’s orbit and may begin eating away at the oxygen in our upper atmosphere. The solar wind, now greatly compressed, will no longer provide adequate protection from the high-speed electrons and ions ripping through space. These cosmic rays will tear into the atmosphere, to the detriment of the delicate molecules of life.
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2009, 06:02:57 am »

The Fight Over NASA’s Future -  Published: December 29, 2008

LINK - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/science/30spac.html?_r=2



NASA has named the rocket Ares I, as in the god of war — and its life has been a battle from the start. Ares I is part of a new system of spacecraft being designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to replace the nation’s aging space shuttles. The Ares I and its Orion capsule, along with a companion heavy-lift rocket known as the Ares V, are meant for travel to the Moon and beyond. Technical troubles have dogged the design process for the Ares I, the first of the rockets scheduled to be built, with attendant delays and growing costs. And in an age of always-on communication, instant messages and blogs, internal debate that once might have been part of a cloistered process has spilled into public view.
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« on: June 16, 2009, 05:46:37 am »


Anyone is welcome to post the latest astronomy news here.
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