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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: May 2008
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Phoenix Lander robotic arm camera sees possible ice May 31, 2008
Inflatable robots could explore Mars May 31, 2008
Japanese hopes ride on Discovery May 31, 2008
Phoenix Mars Lander puts arm and other tools to work May 30, 2008
Cassini flies by Titan, readies for extended tour May 30, 2008
Strange ring found circling dead star May 29, 2008
Milky Way's mass is drastically reduced May 29, 2008
Mars lander prepares to move arm May 28, 2008
Experts discuss how to find another Earth May 28, 2008
Mars scientists ponder polygon mystery May 27, 2008
Early images reveal frosts on Pluto May 27, 2008
Camera on Mars orbiter snaps Phoenix during landing May 27, 2008
Phoenix spacecraft reports good health after Mars landing May 26, 2008
Mars probe set for risky landing May 25, 2008
Do other star systems need protection from Earth life? May 24, 2008
Dark energy 'imaged' in best detail yet May 24, 2008
Mars rover finds Yellowstone-like hot spring deposits May 24, 2008
Third red spot erupts on Jupiter May 23, 2008
Sun's properties not 'fine-tuned' for life May 23, 2008
Sound 'cause of shadow spectacle' May 23, 2008
NASA's Swift catches a star going 'kaboom!' May 22, 2008
Storm winds blow in Jupiter's Little Red Spot May 22, 2008
Hubble survey finds missing matter May 21, 2008
Pipsqueak star unleashes monster flare May 20, 2008
How information escapes from a black hole May 19, 2008
Cosmic dust gives water a helping hand May 18, 2008
NASA satellite finds interior of Mars is colder May 16, 2008
A molecular thermometer for the distant universe May 16, 2008
Discovery of most recent supernova in our Galaxy May 15, 2008
Jupiter moon's poles 'wandered' far and wide May 15, 2008
Phoenix mission ready for Mars landing May 14, 2008
Doubt cast on source of universe's mightiest particles May 14, 2008
WorldWide Telescope brings space exploration to Earth May 13, 2008
Volunteers asked to help find dead spacecraft on Mars May 13, 2008
XMM-Newton discovers part of missing matter in the universe May 13, 2008
Iron 'snow' may explain Mercury's magnetic field May 12, 2008
Astronomers begin search for 'vanishing' stars May 10, 2008
Magnetic rocks may reveal Martian life May 9, 2008
Saturn does the wave in upper atmosphere May 8, 2008
NASA Kepler mission offers opportunity to send names into space May 7, 2008
Plasma-powered flying saucer May 7, 2008
Phoenix landing area viewed by MRO May 7, 2008
Did Earth once have multiple moons? May 6, 2008
Titan's smoggy sand grains May 5, 2008
Earth 'noise' could attract alien invaders May 3, 2008
Hubble flight slips by 4-5 weeks May 2, 2008
Jupiter's shadow sculpts its rings May 1, 2008


As seen in the top center of this image from Phoenix, the exhaust from the descent engine has blown soil off to reveal either rock or ice, which has not yet been determined. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Calech/University of Arizona
Phoenix Lander robotic arm camera sees possible ice
(May 31, 2008)


Scientists have discovered what may be ice that was exposed when soil was blown away as NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed on Mars last Sunday, May 25. The possible ice appears in an image the robotic arm camera took underneath the lander, near a footpad.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

inflatable robot on the surface of Mars
Inflatable robots could explore Mars
(May 31, 2008)


An army of inflatable, spherical robots might one day roll around on the Martian surface. Engineers who have designed the lightweight probes say they could economically explore vast regions of other planets.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

The crew of STS-124
Japanese hopes ride on Discovery
(May 31, 2008)


The Discovery orbiter is set for launch from the Kennedy Space Center on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The shuttle and its crew of seven will deliver the main section of Japan's science lab known as Kibo, or "Hope". Discovery's flight is the third orbiter mission of 2008 and the first to fly the "in-line" external fuel tank.

Read more. Source: BBC

Phoenix's robotic arm visible against the Martian landscape, with the scoop appearing as a large dark shape just below the horizon and above the lander's deck. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Phoenix Mars Lander puts arm and other tools to work
(May 30, 2008)


NASA's Mars lander is returning more detailed images from the Martian surface and is now preparing its instruments for science operations. Phoenix transmitted a 360-degree panorama of its frigid Martian world, freed its nearly 8-foot robotic arm, tested a laser instrument for studying dust and clouds, and transmitted its second weather report on Wednesday evening.

Read more. Source: NASA/Univ. of Arizona

A network of river channels is located atop Xanadu, the continent-sized region on Saturn's moon Titan. This radar image was captured by the Cassini Radar Mapper on April 30, 2006. Credit: NASA
Cassini flies by Titan, readies for extended tour
(May 30, 2008)


On May 28, the Cassini spacecraft successfully completed a flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, the last flyby of the original four-year tour, but Cassini's exploration of Saturn will continue for two more years. This flyby included imagery of Xanadu and inbound altimetry over the area imaged during the previous flyby.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

SGR 1900+14
Strange ring found circling dead star
(May 29, 2008)


NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a bizarre ring of material around the magnetic remains of a star that blasted to smithereens. The stellar corpse, called SGR 1900+14, belongs to a class of objects known as magnetars. These are the cores of massive stars that blew up in supernova explosions, but unlike other dead stars, they slowly pulsate with X-rays and have tremendously strong magnetic fields.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Milky Way
Milky Way's mass is drastically reduced
(May 29, 2008)


Our galaxy is only half as massive as previously thought, new measurements suggest. The finding has yet to be confirmed, but it fits in with recent studies hinting that the Milky Way has a weaker gravitational hold on nearby dwarf galaxies than previously believed.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

artist's impression of Phoenix with robot arm extended
Mars lander prepares to move arm
(May 28, 2008)


Mission scientists are eager to move Phoenix's robotic arm, for that arm will deliver samples of icy terrain to their instruments made to study this unexplored Martian environment. The team sent commands for moving the arm on Tuesday morning, May 27, to NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for relay to Phoenix. However, the orbiter did not relay those commands to the lander, so arm movement and other activities are now planned for Wednesday. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter is available for relaying communications between Earth and Phoenix.

Read more. Source: NASA/Univ. of Arizona

Earthlike exoplanet
Experts discuss how to find another Earth
(May 28, 2008)


Hundreds of planets have been discovered outside of our solar system, but conspicuously absent from the list are ones that resemble Earth. On May 29 and 30, astronomers and scientists from all around the world will gather in Pasadena to discuss how we might find another Earth, and how we might detect possible life on it.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

polygon on Mars
Mars scientists ponder polygon mystery
(May 27, 2008)


Scientists working with images from the Mars Phoenix mission are baffled by an unexpected difference between what they thought they would see and what Phoenix is now showing them. The difference suggests that the northern plains of Mars may be a more complicated and active environment than previously imagined.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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