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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: August 2010
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Venus crater debate heats up Aug 31, 2010
AMS particle detector lands at Kennedy Space Center Aug 30, 2010
Black holes + dark matter = light Aug 29, 2010
Double meteorite strike 'caused dinosaur extinction' Aug 28, 2010
Tracing the big picture of Mars' atmosphere Aug 28, 2010
Kepler spies Saturn-sized worlds Aug 27, 2010
Human cannonball astronaut: My rocket is my clothes Aug 27, 2010
Supercomputer clue to black holes Aug 26, 2010
Worlds collide in double star systems Aug 25, 2010
Rich exoplanet system discovered Aug 24, 2010
Solar system slips back in time Aug 24, 2010
Old faithful Tevatron collider leads race to Higgs Aug 23, 2010
Alien hunters 'should look for artificial intelligence' Aug 23, 2010
Computer blow to Europe's GOCE gravity satellite Aug 22, 2010
Closing in on the inflaton, mother of the universe Aug 20, 2010
Fate of Universe revealed by galactic lens Aug 19, 2010
Hayabusa 2 will seek the origins of life in space Aug 19, 2010
Black hole mystery solved by magnetic star discovery Aug 18, 2010
Space station crew replace pump on third spacewalk Aug 17, 2010
Jupiter swallowed a super-Earth Aug 15, 2010
Sun's 'quiet period' explained Aug 14, 2010
Gamma rays from nova explosion surprise astronomers Aug 14, 2010
Giant ultraviolet rings found in resurrected galaxies Aug 14, 2010
Neptune 'dead zones' hold more rocks than asteroid belt Aug 13, 2010
Home computers discover rare star Aug 13, 2010
Arctic rocks may contain oldest remnants of Earth Aug 12, 2010
NASA mulls sending part of space station to an asteroid Aug 11, 2010
Recreate life to understand how life began Aug 10, 2010
Space station repairs 'only partial success' Aug 9, 2010
NASA's Great Observatories witness a galactic spectacle Aug 7, 2010
Moon 'too dry to have life', say scientists Aug 6, 2010
Mercury rising: Volcanism, magnetic storms, and a complex exosphere on the innermost planet Aug 5, 2010
Exploding star 'viewed in 3D' Aug 4, 2010
The Sun sends a charged cloud hurtling our way Aug 3, 2010
Is a cosmic chameleon driving galaxies apart? Aug 3, 2010
Cooling system fault hits International Space Station Aug 2, 2010
What's the best way to eject astronauts during lift-off? Aug 1, 2010


Venus as mapped by Magellan
Venus crater debate heats up
(Aug 31, 2010)


A tortured, volcanic wasteland, baked by a runaway greenhouse effect, the surface of Venus has clearly had an unpleasant history. But just how unpleasant has become the subject of renewed debate among planetary scientists trying to understand the planet's enigmatic topography.

Read more. Source: Nature

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer being loaded on to the Galaxy transporter at Geneva airport
AMS particle detector lands at Kennedy Space Center
(Aug 30, 2010)


The most expensive science experiment devised for the International Space Station has arrived in Florida to make it ready for launch. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) will be attached to the outside of the orbiting platform to conduct a survey of cosmic rays. Scientists hope the research will reveal new insights into the origin of the Universe and what it is made of.

Read more. Source: BBC

Centaurus A seen in X-rays. Image source: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Karovska et al
Black holes + dark matter = light
(Aug 29, 2010)


Two of the darkest things in the universe may be making light – or at least, radiation. When jets spat out by a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy collide with dark matter, they could produce gamma rays detectable from Earth – possible evidence of the elusive dark stuff.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's impression of the Chicxulub impact
Double meteorite strike 'caused dinosaur extinction'
(Aug 28, 2010)


The dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by at least two meteorite impacts, rather than a single strike, a new study suggests. Previously, scientists had identified a huge impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico as the event that spelled doom for the dinosaurs. Now evidence for a second impact in the Ukraine has been uncovered.

Read more. Source: BBC

Mars
Tracing the big picture of Mars' atmosphere
(Aug 28, 2010)


One of the instruments on a 2016 mission to orbit Mars will provide daily maps of global, pole-to-pole, vertical distributions of the temperature, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere. The joint European-American mission, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, will seek faint gaseous clues about possible life on Mars. This instrument, called the ExoMars Climate Sounder, will supply crucial context with its daily profiling of the atmosphere's changing structure.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist;s impression of Saturn-sized exoplanets
Kepler spies Saturn-sized worlds
(Aug 27, 2010)


The US space agency's Kepler planet-hunter has spied a star that has two Saturn-sized objects circling it. Astronomers say they cannot be sure just yet but there may be a third, more Earth-sized planet present as well. Follow-up studies were now trying to confirm this suspicion, Matthew Holman and colleagues told Science magazine.

Read more. Source: BBC

Tycho Brahe 1 capsule
Human cannonball astronaut: My rocket is my clothes
(Aug 27, 2010)


In the next few weeks, Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson plan to launch the first ever standing-room-only spacecraft. Their Tycho Brahe 1 rocket is a cylindrical capsule that snugly fits around a standing person, with a clear plexiglass dome so that the astronaut can see out.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Computer simulation of galaxies merging. Image source: OSU
Supercomputer clue to black holes
(Aug 26, 2010)


The colossal black holes at the centers of galaxies probably formed shortly after the Big Bang, a study suggests. Some of these behemoths are billions of times more massive than our Sun. Supercomputer simulations indicate the conditions for the birth and growth of these giants could have been set in play by the merger of galaxies when the cosmos was just a few hundred million years old.

Read more. Source: BBC

Artist's concept of planets around a binary star
Worlds collide in double star systems
(Aug 25, 2010)


Astronomers have uncovered evidence for massive planetary collisions around binary stars. Binary systems comprise two stars that orbit closely around one another. The erratic behaviour of these twin suns can fling orbiting planets into devastating head-on collisions.

Read more. Source: BBC

HD 10180
Rich exoplanet system discovered
(Aug 24, 2010)


Astronomers have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets that orbit a star called HD 10180, which is much like our own Sun. The star is 127 light years away, in the southern constellation of Hydrus. The researchers used the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to monitor light emitted from the system and identify and characterise the planets.

Read more. Source: BBC

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