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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: November 2009
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Titan's hydrocarbon lakes
Icy moon's lakes brim with hearty soup for life
(Nov 23, 2009)


Saturn's frigid moon Titan may be friendlier to life than previously thought. New calculations suggest Titan's hydrocarbon lakes are loaded with acetylene, a chemical some scientists say could serve as food for cold-resistant organisms.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

LHC tunnel
Large Hadron Collider progress delights researchers
(Nov 23, 2009)


Researchers working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) say they are delighted with the progress made since the machine restarted on Friday. One official said the collider had done more in a few hours than it did in five days of operations last year. The LHC is being used to smash together beams of protons in a bid to shed light on the nature of the Universe.

Read more. Source: BBC

Smith's Cloud approaching the Milky Way
Dark galaxy crashing into the Milky Way
(Nov 22, 2009)


The Milky Way's neighborhood may be teeming with invisible galaxies, one of which appears to be crashing into our own. In 2008, a cloud of hydrogen with a mass then estimated at about 1 million suns was found to be colliding with our galaxy. Now it appears the object, called Smith's Cloud, is massive enough to be a galaxy itself.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Atlas detector
Large Hadron Collider restarts after 14 months
(Nov 21, 2009)


The Large Hadron Collider experiment has re-started after a 14-month hiatus while the machine was being repaired. Engineers have made two stable proton beams circulate in opposite directions around the machine, which is in a tunnel beneath the French-Swiss border. The team may try to increase the 6bn ($10bn) collider's energy to record-breaking levels this weekend.

Read more. Source: BBC

LCROSS impact
Water found in lunar impact likely came from comets
(Nov 20, 2009)


The mystery of where the Moon's water came from may soon be solved. Evidence from NASA's LCROSS mission suggests much of it was delivered by comets rather than forming on the surface through an interaction with the solar wind.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

spacetime ripplies graphic
Ripples in space divide classical and quantum worlds
(Nov 19, 2009)


Why can't we be in two places at the same time? The simple answer is that it's because large objects appear not to be subject to the same wacky laws of quantum mechanics that rule subatomic particles. But why not – and how big does something have to be for quantum physics no longer to apply? Ripples in spacetime could hold the answer.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Victoria Crater
How to explore Mars and have fun
(Nov 19, 2009)


The US space agency needs your help to explore Mars. A NASA website called "Be A Martian" allows users to play games while at the same time sorting through hundreds of thousands of images of the Red Planet. The number of pictures returned by spacecraft since the 1960s is now so big that scientists cannot hope to study them all by themselves.

Read more. Source: BBC

ATLAS
LHC nears restart after repairs
(Nov 18, 2009)


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could restart as early as this weekend after more than a year of repairs. But officials have avoided giving an exact date for sending beams of protons around the 27km (17 mile) circular tunnel which houses the collider. The LHC was first switched on in 2008, but had to be shut down when a faulty electrical connection caused one tonne of helium to leak into the tunnel.

Read more. Source: BBC

ALMA antennas
ALMA antennas collect first data
(Nov 18, 2009)


A team working on the ALMA observatory in Chile have made their first measurements from the telescope's site, located 5,000m up in the Andes. Astronomers and engineers took their first "interferometric" measurements of radio signals – so-called "fringes" – of an astronomical source. This is an important technical step for the ALMA project.

Read more. Source: BBC

Earth
Keeping the young Earth cosy
(Nov 17, 2009)


Nitrogen now stored in the planetary crust and mantle may have prevented the early Earth from freezing, scientists suggest. The study lends weight to the idea that on geological timescales atmospheric pressure helps to regulate climate and habitability of Earth-like planets.

Read more. Source: Nature

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