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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: February 2010
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Comet sample may help constrain early evolution of the Solar System Feb 27, 2010
World's most sensitive neutrino experiment begins Feb 26, 2010
Star fattens planet and then devours it Feb 25, 2010
Cassini finds plethora of plumes and hotspots at Enceladus Feb 24, 2010
Cosmic-ray theory unravels Feb 23, 2010
Space shuttle Endeavour lands in Florida Feb 22, 2010
Behold the violent history of Saturn's white whale moon Feb 22, 2010
Kepler spacecraft may be able to spot elusive Oort Cloud objects Feb 21, 2010
Space shuttle heads back to Earth Feb 20, 2010
Jurassic space: Telescopes probe ancient galaxies near us Feb 19, 2010
Chandra reveals origin of key cosmic explosions Feb 18, 2010
Get set for a possible glimpse of an asteroid Feb 17, 2010
ISS crew in third spacewalk to fit new Tranquility Node Feb 17, 2010
Hot and heavy matter runs a 4 trillion degree fever Feb 17, 2010
Cassini shoots new close-ups of Death Star-like moon Feb 17, 2010
Unraveling black hole spin Feb 16, 2010
Space rock contains organic molecular feast Feb 15, 2010
International Space Station gets new observation deck Feb 15, 2010
Voyager celebrates 20-year-old valentine to Solar System Feb 14, 2010
Ancient galaxies packed more raw material for stellar formation Feb 13, 2010
Cassini set to do retinal scan of Saturnian eyeball Feb 12, 2010
Study hints at dark matter action Feb 12, 2010
Solar Dynamics Observatory lifts off Feb 12, 2010
Bouncing sands explain Mars' rippled surface Feb 11, 2010
Sat-nav devices face big errors as solar activity rises Feb 10, 2010
Solar observatory set for launch Feb 10, 2010
The stars behind the curtain Feb 9, 2010
CERN gears up its computers for more atom smashing Feb 9, 2010
Cassini detection adds to Enceladus liquid water story Feb 8, 2010
Shuttle Endeavour launches from Florida Feb 8, 2010
Found: Hawking's initials written into the universe Feb 8, 2010
Shuttle Endeavour delayed in night flight to ISS Feb 7, 2010
Could life exist on Jupiter moon? Feb 5, 2010
Hubble spots Pluto blushing in space Feb 5, 2010
NASA extends Cassini's tour of Saturn Feb 5, 2010
Exoplanet gas spotted from Earth Feb 4, 2010
Suspected asteroid collision leaves trailing debris Feb 3, 2010
China leads way in race to return to Moon Feb 3, 2010
Large Hadron Collider to jump to maximum energy Feb 3, 2010
Obama cancels Moon return project Feb 1, 2010


Comet Wild 2
Comet sample may help constrain early evolution of the Solar System
(Feb 27, 2010)


A new analysis of a particle from Comet Wild 2 indicates that the mote formed close to the Sun and then migrated outward to be captured by the comet millions of years after the Solar System began taking shape. The new finding reinforces the theory that comets originating in the Kuiper belt, the distant field of icy debris where Pluto orbits and beyond, contain fragments that formed somewhat later than the Solar System's primordial grains, and much closer to the Sun.

Read more. Source: Scientific American

The first T2K neutrino event seen in the Super-Kamiokande. Each dot is a photomultiplier tube that has detected light. Image: T2K experiment
World's most sensitive neutrino experiment begins
(Feb 26, 2010)


An intrepid subatomic particle has traveled through the bedrock of Japan and triggered a detector on the other side of the country, heralding a new attempt to probe the mystery of neutrino oscillations. The result could take us closer to understandingthe universe full of matter. In the T2K experiment, an intense beam of neutrinos is being generated in a particle accelerator north of Tokyo, and aimed at the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector 300 km away.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's impression of WASP-12b. Image credit: ESA/C. Carreau
Star fattens planet and then devours it
(Feb 25, 2010)


A Jupiter-like exoplanet is being fattened up by its star, which looks set to devour it. Discovered in 2008, WASP-12b is a gas giant that is 1.4 times as massive as Jupiter, but is puffed up to about 1.8 times Jupiter's size. It orbits the host star in 26 hours.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Mosaic image combining high-resolution data from the imaging science subsystem and composite infrared spectrometer aboard Cassini, showing pockets of heat along a fracture in the south polar region of Enceladus. Image credit: NASA/JPL/GSFC/SWRI/SSI
Cassini finds plethora of plumes and hotspots at Enceladus
(Feb 24, 2010)


Newly released images from last November's swoop over Saturn's moon Enceladus by the Cassini probe reveal a forest of new jets spraying from prominent fractures crossing the south polar region and yield the most detailed temperature map to date of one fracture. The new images from the imaging science subsystem and the composite infrared spectrometer teams also include the best 3-D image ever obtained of a "tiger stripe," a fissure that sprays icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

M87 jet
Cosmic-ray theory unravels
(Feb 23, 2010)


Astronomers using a giant array of detectors in Argentina had thought three years ago they were close to solving the mystery of the Universe's highest energy cosmic rays. But the same researchers have now had to backpedal in the face of new observations that threaten their earlier conclusions about the origins and composition of these intense particles.

Read more. Source: Nature

Endeavour touches down
Space shuttle Endeavour lands in Florida
(Feb 22, 2010)


The space shuttle Endeavour has landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, following its latest visit to the International Space Station (ISS). The two-week mission saw the virtual completion of the ISS. The six-member crew of Endeavour installed the Tranquility Node, a spacious addition that includes the "cupola" observation deck.

Read more. Source: BBC

Prometheus 3-D image
Behold the violent history of Saturn's white whale moon
(Feb 22, 2010)


Like the battered white whale Moby Dick taunting Captain Ahab, Saturn's moon Prometheus surges toward the viewer in a 3-D image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The image exposes the irregular shape and circular surface scars on Prometheus, pointing to a violent history. These craters are probably the remnants from impacts long ago.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Kepler
Kepler spacecraft may be able to spot elusive Oort Cloud objects
(Feb 21, 2010)


Kepler's strength lies in its unique sensitivity to Earth-like planets – small, terrestrial worlds in temperate orbits that allow liquid water to persist. That same sensitivity, according to a new study, might allow Kepler to identify objects in the Oort Cloud – the massive sea of comets widely believed to fill the outer reaches of the solar system but never directly observed.

Read more. Source: Scientific American

International Space Station
Space shuttle heads back to Earth
(Feb 20, 2010)


The space shuttle Endeavour has undocked from the International Space Station and is headed back to Earth. The latest mission saw the successful installation of the Tranquility Node, a spacious addition that includes the "cupola" seven-window observation deck. The commissioning of Tranquility marks the last major component of the space station.

Read more. Source: BBC

Hickson Compact Group 31. Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Gallagher (The University of Western Ontario), and J. English (University of Manitoba)
Jurassic space: Telescopes probe ancient galaxies near us
(Feb 19, 2010)


Astronomers have found the astronomical equivalent of prehistoric life in our intergalactic backyard: a group of small, ancient galaxies that has waited 10 billion years to come together. These "late bloomers" are on their way to building a large elliptical galaxy. Such encounters between dwarf galaxies are normally seen billions of light-years away and therefore occurred billions of years ago. But these galaxies, members of Hickson Compact Group 31, are relatively nearby, only 166 million light-years away.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

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