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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: February 2009
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Obama backs Moon return in NASA budget Feb 27, 2009
Asteroid belt may bear scars of planets' migration Feb 26, 2009
Stargazers hope for glimpse of green comet Feb 25, 2009
Watching Venus glow in the dark Feb 25, 2009
Failure hits NASA's 'CO2 hunter' Feb 24, 2009
Milky Way still reeling from ancient smash Feb 23, 2009
Quark star may hold secret to early universe Feb 22, 2009
Unraveling the mystery of super-Earths Feb 22, 2009
High-energy portrait of approaching comet released Feb 21, 2009
Galaxy hunt draws massive traffic Feb 21, 2009
Found: Pieces of space rock once seen heading for Earth Feb 20, 2009
Fermi Telescope sees most extreme gamma-ray blast yet Feb 20, 2009
Natural antifreeze may keep Mars running with water Feb 19, 2009
Europa trumps Titan in bid for outer planet mission Feb 19, 2009
Skylon spaceplane gets cash boost Feb 19, 2009
First liquid water may have been spotted on Mars Feb 18, 2009
Kaputnik chaos could kill Hubble Feb 18, 2009
Race for 'God particle' heats up Feb 17, 2009
Alien life 'may exist among us' Feb 16, 2009
Mystery fireball captured on film Feb 16, 2009
Galaxy has 'billions of Earths' Feb 15, 2009
James Webb Space Telescope's 'spine' now being built Feb 14, 2009
The Moon reveals its weirder side Feb 13, 2009
Satellite collision creates copious space junk Feb 12, 2009
'Dark' comets may pose threat to Earth Feb 11, 2009
NASA's Swift, Fermi probe fireworks from a flaring gamma-ray star Feb 11, 2009
Hadron Collider relaunch delayed Feb 10, 2009
Asteroid bound for Earth! Warn your grandchildren Feb 9, 2009
'Silver sensation' seeks cold cosmos Feb 9, 2009
Test balloon breaks endurance record Feb 8, 2009
The world's top ten telescopes revealed Feb 7, 2009
Should Mars be treated like a wildlife preserve? Feb 6, 2009
Number of alien worlds quantified Feb 5, 2009
Powerful new technique to measure asteroids' sizes and shapes Feb 5, 2009
Giant star factory found in early galaxy Feb 5, 2009
Telescope sees smallest exoplanet Feb 4, 2009
Google Earth provides dizzying 3D views of Mars Feb 3, 2009
Black hole outflows From Centaurus A Feb 3, 2009
Major contract for Ariane rockets Feb 3, 2009
Black hole outflows from Centaurus A Feb 2, 2009


Moon base
Obama backs Moon return in NASA budget
(Feb 27, 2009)


NASA will stay on track to return humans to the Moon by 2020, according to an overview of President Obama's 2010 budget request released on Thursday. Recently, various groups have called for NASA to send astronauts to new destinations, such as asteroids. But the budget request backs a plan developed under the Bush administration to retire the space shuttle by 2010 and develop a system to return humans to the Moon by 2020.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

asteroid belt simulation
Asteroid belt may bear scars of planets' migration
(Feb 26, 2009)


Today's asteroid belt may have been shaped by a tumultuous period in the early solar system when Jupiter and Saturn moved out of their original orbits, a new simulation suggests. Ultimately the work could help refine a picture of how quickly the planets moved and where they got their start.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

comet Lulin
Stargazers hope for glimpse of green comet
(Feb 25, 2009)


It's green, about 300,000 miles wide and some 38 million miles away, and tonight a comet called Lulin could be visible to the naked eye. Discovered only a year ago, the comet gets its green color from a poisonous, cyanide-like gas in its atmosphere. It will appear close to Saturn in the sky during its first visit to the Earth's inner solar system.

Read more. Source: The Independent

Venus nightglow. Image: ESA
Watching Venus glow in the dark
(Feb 25, 2009)


ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has observed an eerie glow in the night-time atmosphere of Venus. This infrared light comes from nitric oxide and is showing scientists that the atmosphere of Earth's nearest neighbour is a temperamental place of high winds and turbulence.

Read more. Source: ESA

Orbiting Climate Observater. Image: NASA
Failure hits NASA's 'CO2 hunter'
(Feb 24, 2009)


NASA's first dedicated mission to measure carbon dioxide from space has failed following a rocket malfunction. Officials said the fairing – the part of the rocket which covers the satellite on top of the launcher – had not separated properly. Officials said the spacecraft crashed into the ocean near Antarctica.

Read more. Source: BBC

Milky Way Galaxy
Milky Way still reeling from ancient smash
(Feb 23, 2009)


Our galaxy may still be reeling from a massive collision with another galaxy 2 billion years ago. Some groups of stars near our solar system move with unusually high velocities compared with others in the galactic disc. Ivan Minchev of the University of Strasbourg, France, says their pattern and velocity can be explained if they were thrown by the shock of a past smash.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

SN 1987A. Image: P Challis and R Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics)/NASA/ESA/STScI/SPL)
Quark star may hold secret to early universe
(Feb 22, 2009)


A new kind of star may be lurking in the debris from a nearby supernova explosion. If confirmed, the "quark star" could offer fresh insights into the earliest moments of the universe.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

artist's concept of a terrestrial exoplanet. Image: NASA
Unraveling the mystery of super-Earths
(Feb 22, 2009)


Not long ago, the only planets astronomers could find orbiting other stars were massive, gaseous worlds that had more in common with Jupiter than our own small, rocky planet. As observation techniques have advanced, however, scientists have begun discovering a newer, smaller type of planet – the tantalizingly named "super Earth."

Read more. Source: NASA

image of comet Lulin, taken on 28 January, merges data from Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (blue and green) and X-Ray Telescope (red). The comet's tail extends off to the right, while a cloud of oxygen and hydrogen atoms extends far Sun-ward of the comet. Image: NASA/Swift/U of Leicester/DSS/STScI/ AURUA/Bodewits et al.
High-energy portrait of approaching comet released
(Feb 21, 2009)


A space telescope that usually studies the most powerful explosions in the universe has set its sights on an approaching comet. Swift's observations at ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths should help reveal the comet's composition and 3D structure. Comet Lulin, discovered in 2008, will make its closest pass near Earth on 24 February.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

galaxies. Image: University of Oxford
Galaxy hunt draws massive traffic
(Feb 21, 2009)


An online initiative which asks members of the public to classify galaxies recorded unprecedented traffic in its first 48 hours. The venture is a follow-up to the Galaxy Zoo project launched in 2007. Co-founder Dr Chris Lintott said the website had been getting 12 clicks per second in its first two days.

Read more. Source: BBC

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