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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: January 2010
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The coolest of orbs Jan 30, 2010
Laser fusion test results raise energy hopes Jan 29, 2010
'Farthest' star-mass black hole Jan 28, 2010
Aliens can't hear us, says astronomer Jan 27, 2010
ESO 137-001: Two tails to tell Jan 27, 2010
NASA accepts Spirit Mars rover 'stuck for good' Jan 26, 2010
Groovy hills rising from Titan's surface Jan 26, 2010
Aliens visiting Earth will be just like humans, scientist claims Jan 25, 2010
The first of many asteroid finds for WISE Jan 24, 2010
Panel calls for global 'asteroid defence agency' Jan 23, 2010
Hunt for Earth-like worlds looks in the mirror Jan 23, 2010
Hidden asteroids are stalking the Earth Jan 22, 2010
On the trail of a cosmic cat Jan 22, 2010
January listening period ends with no word from Phoenix Mars Lander Jan 22, 2010
Public invited to pick pixels on Mars Jan 21, 2010
Approaching Earth makes asteroids go pale Jan 21, 2010
Asteroid collision may have created comet-like object Jan 20, 2010
EADS Astrium develops space power concept Jan 20, 2010
Tooling up ExoMars Jan 19, 2010
Deep discount on space shuttles Jan 18, 2010
Hubble catches end of star-making party in nearby dwarf galaxy Jan 18, 2010
Paired stars may bear multiple litters of alien worlds Jan 16, 2010
Pulsar watchers race for gravity waves Jan 16, 2010
Herschel space telescope restored to full health Jan 16, 2010
Resumed Mars orbiter observations yield stunning views Jan 15, 2010
Unprecedented detail seen on the surface of Betelgeuse Jan 14, 2010
Very Large Telescope captures first direct spectrum of an exoplanet Jan 14, 2010
Supernova winds blow galaxies into shape Jan 14, 2010
Cassini data show Enceladus in motion Jan 13, 2010
NASA checks for 'unlikely' survival of Mars lander Jan 12, 2010
Three Martian meteorites triple evidence for Mars life Jan 12, 2010
Missing matter mystery in small galaxies Jan 11, 2010
Centuries-old star mystery coming to a close Jan 9, 2010
Quivering ions pass quantum test Jan 9, 2010
Super-Earth 'began as gas giant' Jan 8, 2010
Dark matter 'beach ball' unveiled Jan 7, 2010
Exotic stars may mimic big bang Jan 6, 2010
Kepler's first five exoplanets Jan 5, 2010
Mars' ancient lake beds spied by NASA probe Jan 4, 2010
New-found galaxies may be farthest back in time and space yet Jan 4, 2010
Moon hole might be suitable for colony Jan 1, 2010
'Lifeless' prion proteins are 'capable of evolution' Jan 1, 2010

This artist's concept shows a pair of cool brown dwarfs. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The coolest of orbs
(Jan 30, 2010)

An international team of astronomers using several telescopes has discovered what appears to be the coolest star-like body known, a brown dwarf called SDSS1416+13B. The dim ball of gas has a temperature of roughly 200°C (400°F). NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope helped nail down the temperature of the object by observing at a particular range of light called mid-infrared.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

National Ignition Center
Laser fusion test results raise energy hopes
(Jan 29, 2010)

A major hurdle to producing fusion energy using lasers has been swept aside, results in a new report show. The controlled fusion of atoms – creating conditions like those in our Sun – has long been touted as a possible revolutionary energy source. However, there have been doubts about the use of powerful lasers for fusion energy because the "plasma" they create could interrupt the fusion.

Read more. Source: BBC

artist's impression of the black hole (left) in NGC 300
'Farthest' star-mass black hole
(Jan 28, 2010)

Astronomers have spied a star-sized black hole much further away than any such object previously known. It has a mass 20 times that of our Sun and is sited six million light-years away in the galaxy NGC 300. The discovery was made using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) facility on Mount Paranal in Chile.

Read more. Source: BBC

Aliens can't hear us, says astronomer
(Jan 27, 2010)

Human beings are making it harder for extraterrestials to pick up conversations and make contact, the world's leading expert on the search for alien life warned yesterday. At a special meeting on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), the US astronomer Frank Drake – who has been seeking radio signals from alien civilizations for almost 50 years – told scientists that earthlings were making it less likely they would be heard in space.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

ESO 137-001 and its two tails. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UVa/M. Sun, et al; H-alpha/Optical: SOAR (UVa/NOAO/UNC/CNPq-Brazil)/M.Sun et al.
ESO 137-001: Two tails to tell
(Jan 27, 2010)

Two spectacular tails of X-ray emission have been seen trailing behind a galaxy using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The X-ray tails were created when cool gas from ESO 137-001 (with a temperature of about ten degrees above absolute zero) was stripped by hot gas (about 100 million degrees) as it travels towards the center of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627.

Read more. Source: NASA/Chandra

Mars Exploration Rover
NASA accepts Spirit Mars rover 'stuck for good'
(Jan 26, 2010)

NASA has conceded defeat in its battle to free the Spirit rover from its Martian sand trap. The vehicle became stuck in soft soil back in May last year and all the efforts to extricate it have failed. NASA says Spirit, which landed on the Red Planet just over six years ago, will now live out its remaining days as a static science station.

Read more. Source: BBC

In this synthetic aperture radar image obtained by Cassini, two generally similar features, upper center and lower right, appear to be low mountains with grooves running roughly in the up-down direction. Image credit: NASA/JPL
Groovy hills rising from Titan's surface
(Jan 26, 2010)

Hills with a wrinkly radial pattern stand out in a new radar image of Titan captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Dec. 28, 2009. The grooved mounds in the picture, which are located in a northern hemisphere region known as Belet, are about 80 km wide and about 60 meters high. The shapes of these landscape features have not been seen on Titan before, though they bear similarity to spidery features known as coronae on Venus.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

alien head
Aliens visiting Earth will be just like humans, scientist claims
(Jan 25, 2010)

Governments should prepare for the worst if aliens visit Earth because beings from outer space are likely to be just like humans, a leading scientist is claiming. Extraterrestrials might not only resemble us but have our foibles, such as greed, violence and a tendency to exploit others' resources, says Simon Conway Morris, professor of evolutionary paleobiology at Cambridge University.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

The red dot at the center of this image is the first near-Earth asteroid discovered by WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
The first of many asteroid finds for WISE
(Jan 24, 2010)

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light. The near-Earth object, designated 2010 AB78, was discovered by WISE Jan. 12.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Asteroid colliding with Earth
Panel calls for global 'asteroid defence agency'
(Jan 23, 2010)

The world should organize its defences now in case an asteroid is found on a collision course with Earth, says a group of US scientists. There are huge numbers of asteroids that come close to Earth's orbit, called near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Millions of them are large enough to do serious damage in an impact, including the asteroid Apophis, which has a small chance of hitting Earth in 2036.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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