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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: July 2008
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NASA confirms liquid lake on Saturn moon Jul 31, 2008
Barred spiral galaxies becoming more common Jul 30, 2008
Virgin Galactic rolls out SpaceShipTwo's 'mothership' Jul 29, 2008
Phoenix revises method to deliver icy sample Jul 28, 2008
Life from Venus blown to Earth? Jul 26, 2008
Planet and star in puzzling waltz Jul 26, 2008
Trench on Mars ready for next sampling by NASA lander Jul 25, 2008
Stellar nursery found around Milky Way's black hole Jul 24, 2008
Black holes dine on hot, gassy pancakes Jul 24, 2008
Manned spaceship design unveiled Jul 23, 2008
Spitzer reveals 'no organics' zone around Pinwheel Galaxy Jul 22, 2008
The star that everyone missed Jul 21, 2008
CERN lab goes 'colder than space' Jul 19, 2008
Deep Impact films Earth as an alien world Jul 18, 2008
Mars Express to rendezvous with Martian moon Jul 18, 2008
Mars Express to rendezvous with Martian moon Jul 17, 2008
Undersea volcanoes triggered marine extinction, says study Jul 17, 2008
Early galaxies had magnetic fields as strong as today's Jul 17, 2008
Phoenix Mars Lander to begin rasping frozen layer Jul 16, 2008
Brightest star in the Galaxy has new competition Jul 15, 2008
China could reach Moon before US Jul 15, 2008
Scientists plan to bring back rocks – and perhaps even life – from Mars Jul 14, 2008
Mystery star cluster has 3 different birthdays Jul 14, 2008
Exploding asteroid theory strengthened by new clues Jul 14, 2008
Rare "star-making machine" found in distant universe Jul 13, 2008
Hot super-Earths could host life after all Jul 12, 2008
Jupiter's third red spot torn apart by siblings Jul 11, 2008
Moon's interior 'did hold water' Jul 10, 2008
Lucky Hubble find raises star cluster mystery Jul 9, 2008
NASA reveals final shuttle dates Jul 8, 2008
Space experts prepare for Martian land grab Jul 7, 2008
Rosetta awakes from hibernation for asteroid encounter Jul 6, 2008
Fresh puzzle over dark energy supernovae Jul 5, 2008
Smallest planet shrinks in size Jul 4, 2008
Diamonds hint at 'earliest life' Jul 3, 2008
Voyager squashes view of solar system Jul 3, 2008
Hubble sees stars and a stripe in celestial fireworks Jul 2, 2008
Phoenix scrapes 'almost perfect' icy soil for analysis Jul 2, 2008


Artist's concept of a hydrocarbon lake on Titan
NASA confirms liquid lake on Saturn moon
(Jul 31, 2008)


NASA scientists have concluded that at least one of the large lakes observed on Saturn's moon Titan contains liquid hydrocarbons, and have positively identified the presence of ethane. This makes Titan the only body in our solar system beyond Earth known to have liquid on its surface.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Milky Way bar
Barred spiral galaxies becoming more common
(Jul 30, 2008)


Small spiral galaxies with bars at their centres are three times more common today than they were 7 billion years ago, a new study reveals. The research bolsters the idea that bars signal a galactic "coming of age".

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Virgina Galactic's mothership, Eve
Virgin Galactic rolls out SpaceShipTwo's 'mothership'
(Jul 29, 2008)


After years of working mostly in secret, Virgin Galactic has unveiled WhiteKnightTwo, a vehicle the company hopes will launch the beginning of commercial space tourism. The plane, named Eve for Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson's mother, was rolled out of a hanger in the Mojave Desert on Monday.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

The Robotic Arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander carrying a scoop of Martian soil
Phoenix revises method to deliver icy sample
(Jul 28, 2008)


NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's robotic arm will use a revised collection-and-delivery sequence overnight Sunday with the goal of depositing an icy soil sample in the lander's oven. "We are going to modify the process we ran on Sol 60 to acquire another icy sample and attempt to deliver it to TEGA," the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Artist's impression of Venus
Life from Venus blown to Earth?
(Jul 26, 2008)


Life on Venus could be blown to Earth by powerful winds, scientists claim. Previous research has considered the possibility of micro organisms existing in Venus's atmosphere despite extreme temperatures on its surface. But two scientists at the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology say microbes from Venus could actually be blown into the Earth's atmosphere by solar winds.

Read more. Source: BBC

hot Jupiter
Planet and star in puzzling waltz
(Jul 26, 2008)


A newly discovered planet seems to have a surprisingly powerful influence on its parent star, forcing the star to rotate at exactly the same rate as the planet orbits. The planet's day is also the same length, so the pair are fixed in a face-to-face whirl. The puzzle is how this planet, called COROT-Exo-4b, could have so dominated the vastly larger star, which is bigger than our Sun.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Snow White trench
Trench on Mars ready for next sampling by NASA lander
(Jul 25, 2008)


The Phoenix Mars Lander has groomed the bottom of a shallow trench to prepare for collecting a sample to be analyzed from a hard subsurface layer where the soil may contain frozen water. Images received Thursday morning confirmed that the lander's robotic arm had scraped the top of the hard layer clean during activities of Phoenix's 58th Martian day, or sol, corresponding to overnight Wednesday to Thursday.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Site of star formation
Stellar nursery found around Milky Way's black hole
(Jul 24, 2008)


The neighborhood around a black hole seems like no place to raise a star. Violent gravitational forces can rip gas clouds apart, making it hard for stars to condense. But astronomers have spotted evidence of very young stars in a ring of gas close to the heart of the Milky Way, where a massive black hole is thought to reside.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Image of an observed quasar (top left); light from the accretion disk around a black hole is contaminated by dust clouds (top right), but the addition of a polarizing filter conceals the clouds and reveals the accretion disk's true colors (bottom). Credit: M. Kishimoto/M. Schartmann
Black holes dine on hot, gassy pancakes
(Jul 24, 2008)


For the first time astronomers have seen discs of hot matter swirling onto huge black holes. It was accomplished by viewing them through a high-tech equivalent of polarised sunglasses – a trick that could reveal why the environs of a black hole can shine with the light of a trillion Suns.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist concept of a design for the Crew Space Transportation System. Image credit: Anatoly Zak
Manned spaceship design unveiled
(Jul 23, 2008)


The first official image of a Russian-European manned spacecraft has been unveiled. It is designed to replace the Soyuz vehicle currently in use by Russia and will allow Europe to participate directly in crew transportation. The reusable ship was conceived to carry four people towards the Moon, rivalling the US Ares/Orion system.

Read more. Source: BBC

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