Earth from space banner

SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: October 2005
home > space & science news > space & science news: October 2005: 1 | 2 | 3

Major dust storm on Mars visible with backyard telescopes Oct 31, 2005
Space designs from ants and squirrels Oct 30, 2005
New image reveals Tadpole Galaxy's halo Oct 29, 2005
Big bangs theory blames lava fields for mass extinctions Oct 28, 2005
Vast array of tiny antennas could talk to spacecraft Oct 27, 2005
Elephants may pay homage to dead relatives Oct 26, 2005
When sleep's an alien experience Oct 26, 2005
Space elevators stuck on the first floor Oct 25, 2005
Doubt cast on Archimedes' killer mirrors Oct 24, 2005
Crash site of Mars probe 'disappears' Oct 24, 2005
Clear skies for Virgin spaceliner Oct 23, 2005
Cracks or cryovolcanoes make clouds on Titan Oct 21, 2005
Goodbye, Titan Oct 20, 2005
Plesiosaur bottom-feeding shown Oct 20, 2005
Ravenous black hole enjoys star-studded banquet Oct 19, 2005
Sweden discovers 'zombie worms' Oct 19, 2005
Weightless space travel may suppress immune system Oct 17, 2005
China spacecraft returns to Earth Oct 16, 2005
Bacterial genes could put plants on Mars Oct 16, 2005
Team widens search for 'Hobbits' Oct 14, 2005
China astronauts blast into space Oct 12, 2005
Japan tests supersonic jet model Oct 10, 2005
Titan's bright spot revealed by Cassini Oct 8, 2005
Europe ice mission lost in ocean Oct 8, 2005
Asteroid probe runs into trouble Oct 7, 2005
SpaceShipOne goes on show in US Oct 6, 2005
Physicists say universe evolution favored three and seven dimensions Oct 5, 2005
X-Prize man launches rocket race Oct 4, 2005
Unusual meteorite unlocks treasure trove of secrets Oct 4, 2005
Moon discovered orbiting solar system's 10th planet Oct 3, 2005
Cosmic expansion is not to blame for expanding waistlines Oct 2, 2005

Mars dust storm
Major dust storm on Mars visible with backyard telescopes
(Oct 31, 2005)

A major dust storm has just broken out on Mars and the event will be visible this weekend with good-sized backyard telescopes. The timing is incredible. Amateur skywatchers around the world are planning to gaze at Mars Saturday night because it will be closer to Earth than anytime until the year 2018. The dust storm was no more than a small bright dot Thursday yet it was large and obvious Friday, as seen in images taken by Clay Sherrod at the Arkansas Sky Observatories. NASA took note and is monitoring signals from its Mars rovers, one of which has detected signs of the storm.

Read more. Source:

eel fin
Space designs from ants and squirrels
(Oct 30, 2005)

Ideas that could further exploration in space are coming from a surprising source – animals such as ants, fish and squirrels. The future of space exploration could lie in biomimetics, where engineering meets biology. In effect, it steals nature's evolutionary tricks to create revolutionary applications. Engineers like Dr Alex Ellery, head of the Robotics Research Group at the University of Surrey, are trying to find out how natural systems might inspire human-made technology in space.

Read more. Source: BBC

Tadpole Galaxy
New image reveals Tadpole Galaxy's halo
(Oct 29, 2005)

A new image from the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Array Camera allows astronomers to see through the dust normally obscuring part of the Tadpole galaxy. The view reveals a ring of nascent stars surrounding the head of the galaxy like a halo. The galaxy recently collided with another, distorting its spiral arm and creating a long tadpole tail of gas and stars. The ring of new stars indicates the geometry of the collision the galaxies underwent – it was an almost head-on hit.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

lava flow
Big bangs theory blames lava fields for mass extinctions
(Oct 28, 2005)

Vast sheets of prehistoric lava that oozed across the land millions of years ago were probably caused by meteorites slamming into the Earth's crust, scientists say. The lava sheets, 10 of which have been discovered around the world, coincide with mass extinctions, suggesting the huge volumes of magma caused global changes in climate that made Earth inhospitable to all but the hardiest species. The largest lies in Siberia, is roughly the size of Thailand and dates back 252 million years. "We think lava poured on to Siberia for between 100,000 and one million years, leaving the surface covered with four million cubic kilometres of lava," said Linda Elkins-Tanton, a geologist at Brown University, Rhode Island.

Read more. Source: Guardian

artist's conception of Pioneer 10 among the stars
Vast array of tiny antennas could talk to spacecraft
(Oct 27, 2005)

The same technology found in Bluetooth headset or wireless LAN could be used to build a cheap, powerful transmitter for communicating with deep space probes. It could even illuminate planets and asteroids for radar astronomy. The proposal is to build an array of millions of small antennas printed on circuit boards, just like the antennas in consumer electronics such as wireless headsets and GPS receivers. By controlling the phase of all of the antennas individually, a computer will be able to aim a powerful beam of radiation at a target, with no moving parts required.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

elephants inspecting skulls
Elephants may pay homage to dead relatives
(Oct 26, 2005)

Elephants may pay homage to the bones of dead relatives in their home ranges, a study of the creatures’ responses to skulls and ivory suggests. Humans apart, only a few animals show any interest in their own dead. Chimpanzees show prolonged and complex behaviours towards a dead social partner – but abandon them once the carcass starts decomposing. But lions, for example, might sniff or lick a dead member of its own species before proceeding to devour the body. African elephants have been observed to become highly agitated when they come across the bodies of their own, and they have been seen to pay great attention to the skull and ivory of long-dead elephants. However, this interest had not been tested experimentally.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

alien abduction
When sleep's an alien experience
(Oct 26, 2005)

Strange encounters of the alien kind have more to do with sleep disorders than little green men with a penchant for kidnapping, according to a study. A survey of people who believed they had had contact with aliens showed they were much more likely to experience sleep paralysis, a state where people are temporarily stuck between sleep and wakefulness and unable to move. "When a person is in that state, they can see things and hear things and be convinced they're real," said Chris French, head of Anomalistic Psychology Research at Goldsmith's College, London. He added that often people will see bright lights and menacing figures and given the choice between truth and madness, many decide the experience was real.

Read more. Source: Guardian

space elevator
Space elevators stuck on the first floor
(Oct 25, 2005)

A NASA competition designed to lay the groundwork for futuristic space elevators has ended with no one scooping the two $50,000 top prizes. But officials say the contest is just the first step in developing the technologies needed to use robots to lift objects into space on long, thin super-strong tethers. Ten teams competed in the challenge, which was held over the weekend at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, US. The event was split into two competitions to test either robot climbing or tether strength. Seven teams entered the "Beam Power Challenge", where participants built robots that scaled as far as possible up a 61-metre cable.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Archimedes and his supposed giant mirror
Doubt cast on Archimedes' killer mirrors
(Oct 24, 2005)

A re-enactment of the ancient siege of Syracuse suggests that Archimedes, the Greek mathematician, was better at working out why boats float than dreaming up weapons of war to make them sink. According to sketchy historical accounts, Archimedes torched a fleet of invading Roman ships by harnessing the power of the sun as they sought to capture the Sicilian city in 213 BC. Using large mirrors made of bronze or glass, the mathematician and erstwhile military adviser to King Hiero focused the sun's rays on the ships and, according to ancient writings, reduced them to cinders. On Saturday, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona set off for San Francisco bay to test if Archimedes' death ray could have been anything but a myth.

Read more. Source: Guardian

suspected MPL crash site
Crash site of Mars probe 'disappears'
(Oct 24, 2005)

A sharp image of a suspected crash site for the Mars Polar Lander has turned out to contain only natural features of the Martian landscape. NASA’s Mars Polar Lander was lost during its entry through the Red Planet’s atmosphere in December 1999. An investigation determined that the lander’s legs had deployed before touching down, which may have sent a false signal that the craft had landed, causing the engines to shut down prematurely. The lander may then have plummeted 40 metres to the surface. For two months after the accident, the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft tried to spot its remains. Researchers looked for a bright parachute within a kilometre of a darkened area that would indicate dirt kicked up by an engine blast.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

1 | 2 | 3


You are here:

> Space & Science news
> October 2005:
1 | 2 | 3

Other news sections

Latest science news
Archeo news
Eco news
Health news
Living world news
Paleo news
Strange news
Tech news

Also on this site:

Encyclopedia of Science

Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living

News archive