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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: April 2010
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Laser 'tractor beams' to tidy up space junk Apr 30, 2010
Common Mars rock can preserve microfossils after all Apr 29, 2010
Asteroid coated with ice suggests ingredients for life came from space Apr 28, 2010
NASA's android astronaut assistant prepares for launch Apr 28, 2010
Location chosen for European Extremely Large Telescope Apr 27, 2010
ESA's Planck telescope finds value in 'reject' data Apr 26, 2010
Decaying beauty spied for first time by LHC Apr 26, 2010
Stephen Hawking warns over making contact with aliens Apr 25, 2010
Suspected burning meteor falls on Israeli beach Apr 25, 2010
Warped stars feed black holes to fatten them up Apr 24, 2010
X-37B military spaceplane launches from Cape Canaveral Apr 23, 2010
Hubble's new instant classic Apr 23, 2010
'This planet tastes funny,' according to Spitzer Apr 22, 2010
Solar Dynamics Observatory returns first images Apr 21, 2010
Self-starter: Life got going all on its own Apr 21, 2010
Space shuttle Discovery lands on Earth Apr 20, 2010
Famous Martian meteorite younger than thought Apr 20, 2010
Space shuttle may face rain delay Apr 19, 2010
Wisconsin fireball caught on tape Apr 17, 2010
When black holes go rogue, they kill galaxies Apr 16, 2010
Obama sets Mars goal for America Apr 16, 2010
Mysterious radio waves emitted from nearby galaxy Apr 15, 2010
Small, ground-based telescope images three exoplanets Apr 15, 2010
First blood to ATLAS at the Large Hadron Collider Apr 15, 2010
Backward planets may have flipped into place Apr 14, 2010
Stellar 'pollution' may be remains of watery planets Apr 13, 2010
Magnetic poles may once have been at equator Apr 13, 2010
World's deepest undersea vents discovered in Caribbean Apr 12, 2010
Small companion to brown dwarf challenges simple definition Apr 11, 2010
'Dark sun' is one of our nearest neighbors Apr 9, 2010
Volcanic double-whammy says Venus still spews Apr 9, 2010
Time waits for no quasar – even though it should Apr 9, 2010
'First image' of star's eclipse captured by scientists Apr 8, 2010
Launch success for ESA's Cryosat-2 ice mission Apr 8, 2010
Asteroid to fly by within Moon's orbit Thursday Apr 8, 2010
Hiding out behind the Milky Way Apr 8, 2010
Element 'ununseptium' to fill periodic table gap Apr 7, 2010
Is densest Kuiper belt object a wayward asteroid? Apr 7, 2010
CryoSat-2 installed in launch silo Apr 6, 2010
Space shuttle Discovery blasts off from Florida Apr 5, 2010
Cassini doubleheader: Flying by Titan and Dione Apr 5, 2010
Hostile volcanic lake teems with life Apr 5, 2010
Countdown on for shuttle launch Apr 3, 2010
Signs of giant comet impacts found in cores Apr 2, 2010
Fly us to the Moon ... south pole to be precise Apr 1, 2010


tractor beam in Star Trek
Laser 'tractor beams' to tidy up space junk
(Apr 30, 2010)


With Earth's orbit cluttered with dead satellites, discarded rocket boosters and other space junk, ways to prevent the accumulation of such debris are desperately needed. How about using a tractor beam to steer future junk aside, says space-flight engineer John Sinko of Nagoya University, Japan. Sinko's idea is based on an experimental type of spacecraft engine called a laser thruster.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Sulfate minerals in Mars's Gale Crater. Image: NASA/ JPL/Arizona State University
Common Mars rock can preserve microfossils after all
(Apr 29, 2010)


Life on Mars, if it ever existed, may be easier to find than previously thought. New research on terrestrial rocks suggests that a type of rock common on Mars can preserve fossilized microbial life, rather than erasing evidence of it as previously thought. Sulfates, which form in the presence of liquid water, have been found in great abundance on Mars, including at the landing site of NASA's Opportunity rover.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Asteroid 24 Themis and two small fragments resulting from an impact more than 1bn years ago. Scientists were surprised to find ice and organic chemicals on the asteroid's surface. Artist's impression: Gabriel Pérez/Servicio MultiMedia
Asteroid coated with ice suggests ingredients for life came from space
(Apr 28, 2010)


Astronomers have detected a coating of ice and organic chemicals on one of the largest asteroids in the solar system. The space rock, called 24 Themis, is roughly the size of Sicily and orbits the sun in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, more than 300 million kilometers from Earth.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

R2. Image source: NASA
NASA's android astronaut assistant prepares for launch
(Apr 28, 2010)


NASA is preparing to send its first humanoid robot into space. Robonaut first twitched to life in September 1999 and, after a decade of tests, the 140-kilogram R2 model will finally be launched to the International Space Station on the space shuttle Discovery's last mission in September.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

E-ELT
Location chosen for European Extremely Large Telescope
(Apr 27, 2010)


Europe has chosen the place it wants to build the world's biggest telescope. The observatory will be constructed on Cerro Armazones, a 3,000m-high mountain in Chile's Atacama Desert. The E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) will have a primary mirror 42m in diameter – about five times the width of today's best telescopes.

Read more. Source: BBC

Gas and dust in Orion
ESA's Planck telescope finds value in 'reject' data
(Apr 26, 2010)


The gaseous and dusty fabric of our galaxy is illuminated in new images captured by Europe's Planck telescope. The pictures reveal features of the Milky Way that are unseen by most other space observatories, say scientists. Remarkably, these images are just byproducts for Planck, which must filter out much of the light it detects to get at its primary target.

Read more. Source: BBC

Large Hadron Collider
Decaying beauty spied for first time by LHC
(Apr 26, 2010)


A rare, fleeting "beauty" particle has been spotted in the first run of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC started work on 30 March, and one of its four large detectors detected evidence of a beauty quark – also, less poetically, known as a bottom quark – on 5 April. LHC will look at many such decays in order to shed light on what happened to the antimatter that should have been created alongside the matter that makes up our universe.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking warns over making contact with aliens
(Apr 25, 2010)


Aliens almost certainly exist but humans should avoid making contact, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned. In a series for the Discovery Channel the renowned astrophysicist said it was "perfectly rational" to assume intelligent life exists elsewhere. But he warned that aliens might simply raid Earth for resources, then move on.

Read more. Source: BBC

Lifeguard pointing to suspected meteorite which fell on an Israeli beach
Suspected burning meteor falls on Israeli beach
(Apr 25, 2010)


An unidentified object thought to be a small meteor fell from the sky on one of Bat Yam's beaches, just south of Tel Aviv, Israel. No injuries were reported, but witnesses said the object fell very close to the lifeguard booth and caused a small fire.

Read more. Source: Ynetnews

Andromeda Galaxy
Warped stars feed black holes to fatten them up
(Apr 24, 2010)


It has long been a mystery how enough matter can reach these supermassibe black holes to swell them to such large sizes. Now it seems the answer could be connected to a starry disc at the heart of the Andromeda galaxy. Although they may be hard to see, such discs may be common.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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