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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: October 2007
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I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer
(Oct 7, 2007)

Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

Did an ancient impact bowl Pluto over?
(Oct 6, 2007)

Pluto and its large moon Charon may have been bowled over when they were struck by wayward space rocks in the past, a new study suggests. If so, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft may find evidence of these rolls when it arrives at the distant worlds in 2015.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

asteroid deflecting mirrors
Mirrors 'could deflect' asteroids
(Oct 6, 2007)

Flying mirrors could save earth from a catastrophic asteroid collision, researchers have claimed. Up to 5,000 mirrors would be used to focus a beam of sunlight on to the asteroid, melting the rock and altering its orbital path away from earth. The announcement came after a team at the University of Glasgow compared nine different methods of deflecting near earth objects asteroids and comets.

Read more. Source: BBC

Sunlike star
Sun's 'twin' an ideal hunting ground for alien life
(Oct 4, 2007)

Astronomers have found the most Sun-like star yet, and they say it is an ideal place to hunt for alien civilisations. The star, called HIP 56948, lies a little more than 200 light years from Earth. Its size, mass, temperature, and chemical makeup are all so similar to the Sun's that no measurable differences could be found in high-resolution observations made by the 2.7-metre telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Though colder than Earth, Titan is tropical in nature
(Oct 3, 2007)

If space travelers ever visit Saturn's largest moon, they will find a tropical world where temperatures plunge to minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit, methane rains from the sky and dunes of ice or tar cover the planet's most arid regions. These conditions reflect a cold mirror image of Earth's tropical and subtropical climates, according to scientists at the University of Chicago.

Read more. Source: U. of Chicago / Spaceflight Now

galactic core
Is a naked singularity lurking in our Galaxy
(Oct 2, 2007)

Could a naked singularity, the bare core of a black hole, be sitting at the centre of our galaxy? A new study shows how astronomers could detect such a brazen object – which is so dense it would shred the known laws of physics.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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