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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: July 2009
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NASA panel may propose 'deep space' crewed missions Jul 31, 2009
UK spaceplane aiming to go to a new level Jul 31, 2009
Sharpest views of Betelgeuse reveal how supergiants lose mass Jul 30, 2009
Mysterious bright spot found on Venus Jul 30, 2009
NASA to provide web updates on objects approaching Earth Jul 30, 2009
Galaxies going green Jul 29, 2009
Comets, not asteroids, to blame for moon's scarred face Jul 28, 2009
Saturnian moon shows evidence of ammonia Jul 28, 2009
Transparent metal hints at nature of planets' cores Jul 27, 2009
Europe's Mars rover slips to 2018 Jul 26, 2009
Hubble pictures Jupiter's 'scar' Jul 25, 2009
Giant 'soap bubble' found floating in space Jul 24, 2009
Ion engine could one day power 39-day trips to Mars Jul 23, 2009
Space cone to acquire expert data Jul 23, 2009
Asia watches long solar eclipse Jul 22, 2009
LHC suffers more leaks, and delays Jul 22, 2009
Space probe to sport 'transforming' hardware Jul 22, 2009
Jupiter sports new 'bruise' from impact Jul 21, 2009
Why raindrops come in many sizes Jul 21, 2009
String theory hints at explanation for superconductivity Jul 21, 2009
Clingy Martian dust guilty as charged Jul 20, 2009
2010: A new space odyssey beckons Jul 19, 2009
Spy probe images Apollo landing sites Jul 18, 2009
Pluto's kin may have invaded asteroid belt Jul 17, 2009
Space shuttle finally blasts off Jul 16, 2009
Probe hints at past Venus ocean Jul 15, 2009
SpaceX launches first commercial satellite to orbit Jul 15, 2009
Martian 'egg cups' could trace past climate Jul 14, 2009
Endeavour launch postponed again Jul 13, 2009
Herschel shows breadth of vision Jul 11, 2009
Universe's first stars may have been twins Jul 10, 2009
Ancient supernova is oldest and most distant found Jul 9, 2009
Exoplanet pairs may be masquerading as singles Jul 8, 2009
Interplanetary internet gets permanent home in space Jul 7, 2009
NASA's Fermi telescope probes dozens of pulsars Jul 6, 2009
Cosmic 'whips' may have left their mark Jul 5, 2009
Coolest spacecraft ever in orbit around L2 Jul 4, 2009
NASA Phoenix results point to Martian climate cycles Jul 3, 2009
Moon probe returns first images Jul 3, 2009
Ariane lofts biggest 'space bird' Jul 2, 2009
X-rays are smoking gun for middle-weight black holes Jul 1, 2009
Light goes out on solar mission Jul 1, 2009


Astronauts could travel to an asteroid inside the Orion crew capsule that NASA is developing for moon missions, according to a previous NASA study. Illustration: NASA/JAXA
NASA panel may propose 'deep space' crewed missions
(Jul 31, 2009)


A committee reviewing NASA's goals has outlined a scheme to send astronauts on progressively longer space trips – including dockings with asteroids and flybys of Venus – to prepare for an eventual landing on Mars. The White House set up the committee, chaired by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, to review NASA's plans for human spaceflight, which are currently focused on returning astronauts to the moon by 2020.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Skylon
UK spaceplane aiming to go to a new level
(Jul 31, 2009)


If there is one British space project that has the capacity to inspire at the moment then surely it is Skylon. This is the spaceplane concept that would take off from a conventional aircraft runway, carry over 12 tonnes to orbit and then return to land on the same runway.

Read more. Source: BBC

Betelgeuse
Sharpest views of Betelgeuse reveal how supergiants lose mass
(Jul 30, 2009)


Using different state-of-the-art techniques on ESO's Very Large Telescope, two independent teams of astronomers have obtained the sharpest ever views of the supergiant star Betelgeuse. They show that the star has a vast plume of gas almost as large as our Solar System and a gigantic bubble boiling on its surface. These discoveries provide important clues to help explain how these mammoths shed material at such a tremendous rate.

Read more. Source: European Southern Observatory

White spot on Venus
Mysterious bright spot found on Venus
(Jul 30, 2009)


A strange spot emerged on Venus last week, and astronomers are not sure what caused it. They hope future observations will reveal whether volcanic activity, turbulence in the planet's atmosphere, or charged particles from the sun are to blame.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Asteroid Watch
NASA to provide web updates on objects approaching Earth
(Jul 30, 2009)


NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is introducing a new Web site that will provide a centralized resource for information on near-Earth objects – those asteroids and comets that can approach Earth. The "Asteroid Watch" site also contains links for the interested public to sign up for NASA's new asteroid widget and Twitter account.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

So-called Green Peas galaxies. Image: Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Galaxies going green
(Jul 29, 2009)


For galaxies, it's not easy being green. Most of them appear blue or red from Earth. Indeed, after combing through an online image bank of 1 million galaxies, volunteers for the Galaxy Zoo project have found a mere 250 galaxies with an unusual, greenish color. These compact bodies, dubbed the Green Peas, are only about one-tenth the size of the Milky Way.

Read more. Source: Science News

Moon
Comets, not asteroids, to blame for moon's scarred face
(Jul 28, 2009)


Icy comets – not rocky asteroids – launched a dramatic assault on the Earth and Moon around 3.85 billion years ago, a new study of ancient rocks in Greenland suggests. The work suggests much of Earth's water could have been brought to the planet by comets.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Enceladus
Saturnian moon shows evidence of ammonia
(Jul 28, 2009)


Data collected during two close flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2008 add more fuel to the fire about the Saturnian ice world containing sub-surface liquid water. "When Cassini flew through the plume erupting from Enceladus on October 8 of last year, our spectrometer was able to sniff out many complex chemicals, including organic ones, in the vapor and icy particles," said Hunter Waite, the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer Lead Scientist. "One of the chemicals definitively identified was ammonia."

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Mr. Scott ordering up some transparent aluminum in Star Trek IV
Transparent metal hints at nature of planets' cores
(Jul 27, 2009)


Transparent aluminum, a sci-fi material brought to 20th century Earth by the crew of The Enterprise in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, turns out to exist after all – if you see in X-rays. To create this exotic state of matter, researchers at the FLASH facility in Hamburg, Germany, took a thin piece of aluminum foil and blasted it with an X-ray laser that can generate about 10 million gigawatts of power per square centimeter.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

ExoMars
Europe's Mars rover slips to 2018
(Jul 26, 2009)


Europe's flagship robotic rover mission to Mars now looks certain to leave Earth in 2018, two years later than recently proposed, the BBC understands. The ExoMars vehicle is intended to search the Red Planet for signs of past or present life. The delay is the third for the mission originally planned to launch in 2011.

Read more. Source: BBC

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