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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: September 2009
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Space radiation hits record high Sep 30, 2009
Mercury looms large as probe closes in for final flyby Sep 30, 2009
Target crater changed for Moon crash Sep 29, 2009
Rocket racers lose their 'launch pad' Sep 29, 2009
LHC gets warning system upgrade Sep 28, 2009
No home in the galactic outer suburbs Sep 27, 2009
NASA spacecraft sees ice on Mars exposed by meteor impacts Sep 25, 2009
How far could you travel in a spaceship? Sep 24, 2009
Spitzer spots clump of swirling planetary material Sep 24, 2009
Satellite to begin gravity quest Sep 24, 2009
Widespread water may cling to Moon's surface Sep 24, 2009
Found: 62 meteor showers new to science Sep 23, 2009
Cassini reveals new ring quirks, shadows during Saturn equinox Sep 22, 2009
Artificial cloud created at the edge of space Sep 21, 2009
Wind, not water, may explain Red Planet's hue Sep 20, 2009
Moon is coldest place in the solar system Sep 19, 2009
Station grabs Japanese freighter Sep 18, 2009
Planck telescope's first glimpses Sep 17, 2009
First rocky planet found outside solar system Sep 17, 2009
Ear to the Universe starts listening Sep 17, 2009
Too much radiation for astronauts to make it to Mars Sep 16, 2009
Could we create quantum creatures in the lab? Sep 16, 2009
Lightning storm on Saturn is longest in solar system Sep 16, 2009
Jupiter had brief encounter with icy companion Sep 15, 2009
Crunch time for Russia Mars probe Sep 14, 2009
Target crater revealed for LCROSS lunar south pole impacts Sep 14, 2009
US space shuttle returns to Earth Sep 12, 2009
Physicists propose 'Schrödinger's virus' experiment Sep 11, 2009
Mighty Mouse takes off – thanks to magnets Sep 11, 2009
Japan's space freighter in orbit Sep 10, 2009
Upgraded Hubble telescope spies cosmic 'dragon' Sep 10, 2009
Black holes are the ultimate particle smashers Sep 9, 2009
Underfunding shackles NASA vision Sep 9, 2009
Egyptian temples followed heavenly plans Sep 8, 2009
Earth-sized planets are just right for life Sep 7, 2009
Astronauts make final spacewalk Sep 6, 2009
XMM-Newton uncovers a celestial Rosetta stone Sep 5, 2009
'Overwhelming' evidence for monopoles Sep 4, 2009
Galaxy's 'cannibalism' revealed Sep 3, 2009
Spaceship passes critical review Sep 2, 2009
British plan to tackle asteroids Sep 1, 2009


heliosphere
Space radiation hits record high
(Sep 30, 2009)


Like a wounded Starship Enterprise, our solar system's natural shields are faltering, letting in a flood of cosmic rays. The sun's recent listlessness is resulting in record-high radiation levels that pose a hazard to both human and robotic space missions.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Mercury as seen by MESSENGER on a previous flyby
Mercury looms large as probe closes in for final flyby
(Sep 30, 2009)


NASA's Messenger spacecraft is set to make its third and final flyby of Mercury on Tuesday. If all goes well, the maneuver will use Mercury's gravity to slow the probe down enough to go into orbit around the planet in 2011. Until Messenger's first flyby of Mercury last year, the only spacecraft to view the diminutive planet up close was NASA's Mariner 10.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Cabeus and surrounding region
Target crater changed for Moon crash
(Sep 29, 2009)


Scientists have picked a new target for the planned 9 October crash of a NASA spacecraft into a crater near the Moon's south pole. The Lunar Crater Remote Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will now plough into Cabeus, a 100-kilometer-wide crater, in the hopes of kicking up some ice along with the rock and dust of the lunar soil.

Read more. Source: Nature

rocket race
Rocket racers lose their 'launch pad'
(Sep 29, 2009)


Rocket racing is proving to be rather slow out of the blocks. The organization behind the plan to race rocket-powered planes (the Rocket Racing League) has lost its lease on land at its intended headquarters in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and officials say the first races, originally set to take place in 2007, will not begin until at least 2011.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Large Hadron Collider
LHC gets warning system upgrade
(Sep 28, 2009)


Engineers hope an early warning system being installed at the Large Hadron Collider could prevent incidents of the kind which shut the machine last year. The helium leak last September, which resulted from a "faulty splice" between magnets, has delayed the start of science operations by more than a year. Officials aim to re-start the collider, known as the LHC, in mid-November.

Read more. Source: BBC

Artwork of Milky Way Galaxy
No home in the galactic outer suburbs
(Sep 27, 2009)


Talk about location, location, location. If the Sun had been born near the edge of the galaxy, chances are neither the Earth nor life would have arisen. That's the implication of the first search for planet-forming disks on the Milky Way's outskirts.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Ice inside a freshly excavated crater on Mars
NASA spacecraft sees ice on Mars exposed by meteor impacts
(Sep 25, 2009)


NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The spacecraft's observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet. Scientists controlling instruments on the orbiter found bright ice exposed at five Martian sites with new craters that range in depth from approximately half a meter to 2.5 meters.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Starship Voyager at warp speed
How far could you travel in a spaceship?
(Sep 24, 2009)


How far could an astronaut travel in a lifetime? Billions of light years, it turns out. But they ought to be careful when to apply the brakes on the return trip. Accelerating at around 9 meters per second per second – which would feel roughly like a comfortable 1 g – a craft could get 99 per cent of the way to the expansion "horizon".

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's impression of planet-forming material
Spitzer spots clump of swirling planetary material
(Sep 24, 2009)


Astronomers have witnessed odd behavior around a young star called LRLL 31. Something, perhaps another star or a planet, appears to be pushing a clump of planet-forming material around. The observations, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, offer a rare look into the early stages of planet formation.

Read more. Source: NASA/Spitzer

Artist's impression of GOCE in orbit
Satellite to begin gravity quest
(Sep 24, 2009)


A European spacecraft will begin its quest this week to make the most detailed global map of the Earth's gravity field. The arrow-shaped GOCE satellite can sense tiny variations in the planet's tug as it sweeps around the world at the very low altitude of just 255km. The map will help scientists understand better how the oceans move.

Read more. Source: BBC

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