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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: October 2010
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Did life begin with a bolt from the deep blue? Oct 30, 2010
Buckyballs abound in space Oct 29, 2010
Hints of lightweight dark matter particle found in space Oct 29, 2010
Earth-sized worlds much more common than giant planets Oct 28, 2010
Massive neutron star is exactly that Oct 28, 2010
US lab clears Higgs hunt hurdle Oct 27, 2010
Asteroid ocean strike 'could strip away ozone layer' Oct 26, 2010
NASA to lead global asteroid response Oct 25, 2010
Spaceport America runway dedication Oct 24, 2010
Galaxies get real when the dark side warms up Oct 23, 2010
Moon's water is useful resource, says NASA Oct 22, 2010
Galaxy is most distant object yet Oct 21, 2010
Astronomers find weird, warm spot on an exoplanet Oct 20, 2010
Kitchen sink experiment simulates exotic white holes Oct 19, 2010
Grisly death forecast for planet found spiraling into star Oct 17, 2010
Giant star goes supernova – and is smothered by its own dust Oct 15, 2010
First life-friendly exoplanet may not exist Oct 14, 2010
Asteroid collision makes quite a picture Oct 14, 2010
Tiny tubes point to ancient life Oct 13, 2010
Ocean asteroid hits will create huge ozone holes Oct 13, 2010
Small asteroid to pass within Earth-Moon system Tuesday Oct 12, 2010
Virgin Galactic achieve first solo glide flight Oct 11, 2010
Evidence of water in megacanyon on Mars Oct 9, 2010
Black widow pulsar is fattest collapsed star yet Oct 8, 2010
Giant moon collision 'may have formed Saturn's rings' Oct 6, 2010
Europa's hidden ice chemistry Oct 6, 2010
Asteroid Lutetia has thick blanket of debris Oct 5, 2010
Virgin Galactic slows satellite launcher plans Oct 4, 2010
China launches Moon mission Oct 2, 2010
US congress clears private space taxis for lift-off Oct 1, 2010

hydrothermal vent
Did life begin with a bolt from the deep blue?
(Oct 30, 2010)

Life may really have been created by a spark, one that came as a bolt from the deep blue. Hydrothermal vents on the deep ocean floor are believed by many to be the cradle for early life. Now a team led by Ryuhei Nakamura at the University of Tokyo in Japan have uncovered evidence that such vents can generate electrical currents.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Conceptual artwork of buckyballs in space. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle/SSC/Caltech
Buckyballs abound in space
(Oct 29, 2010)

Fullerenes, spherical cages composed of 60 carbon atoms, have been found beyond the Milky Way for the first time, suggesting they are quite common in space. The molecules may have delivered extraterrestrial organic compounds to the early Earth, helping to give life its start.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Cannibalistic dark matter particles may be creating gamma rays at the center of the Milky Way. Image: NASA/DOE/International LAT Team
Hints of lightweight dark matter particle found in space
(Oct 29, 2010)

Hints of a lightweight dark matter particle have been found in the gamma-ray glow at the Milky Way's heart. The particle's apparent mass lines up with tentative signals of dark matter in two direct-detection experiments on Earth, but other researchers caution that conventional sources – such as pulsars – may be responsible for the gamma-ray light instead.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's impression of an Earthlike planet
Earth-sized worlds much more common than giant planets
(Oct 28, 2010)

Nearly one in four stars like the Sun could have Earth-sized planets, according to a new estimate published in the journal Science. A US team has found that on average small, so-called rocky planets are much more common in orbit close to their star than giant planets planets similar in size to Jupiter. This estimate is based on observations from nearby stars taken by the the twin 10-metre Keck telescopes in Hawaii. These show that 22 of the stars had detectable planets.

Read more. Source: BBC

Radio pulses from a neutron star suggest exotic particles are absent from its core. Image: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
Massive neutron star is exactly that
(Oct 28, 2010)

Neutron stars are living up to their name. Measurements of radio waves emanating from the most massive pulsating star yet discovered suggest that it is, indeed, made up of neutrons, rather than exotic particles, as some theories propose.

Read more. Source: Nature

US lab clears Higgs hunt hurdle
(Oct 27, 2010)

An expert panel has recommended extending the lifetime of a US particle smasher by three years. This will allow the Tevatron accelerator in Illinois to continue its hunt for the elusive Higgs boson particle. The panel proposes the facility continues operating until 2014, pitching it against the Large Hadron Collider in the race to find the Higgs.

Read more. Source: BBC

asteroid impact
Asteroid ocean strike 'could strip away ozone layer'
(Oct 26, 2010)

A medium-sized asteroid plunging into the ocean would destroy much of the ozone layer, it was claimed today. The impact from a space rock 500 meters to one kilometer in diameter would send vast amounts of water into the atmosphere, according to US expert Elisabetta Pierazzo. Seawater chemicals such as chloride and bromide would strip away significant amounts of ozone, which provides a shield against harmful sun rays.

Read more. Source: The Independent

asteroid approaching Earth
NASA to lead global asteroid response
(Oct 25, 2010)

NASA will play a leading part in protecting the United States and the world from the threat of a dangerous asteroid strike, according to letters sent by John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), to Congressional committee leaders on Friday.

Read more. Source: Nature

Spaceport America runway
Spaceport America runway dedication
(Oct 24, 2010)

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority today dedicated the nearly two-mile long runway at Spaceport America, in a major step toward launching commercial customers into space. Governor Bill Richardson, Richard Branson and about 30 Virgin Galactic future astronauts attended the event along with guests from around the world and watched a flyover and landing by Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo, in a captive carry with SpaceShipTwo.

Read more. Source: Virgin Galactic

Computer simulation of cosmic density variations
Galaxies get real when the dark side warms up
(Oct 23, 2010)

"Cold, dark matter" has a certain ring to it, but new simulations of our corner of the cosmos suggest that dark matter – the stuff that is thought to underlie the universe – might be warm, with relatively fast-moving and lightweight particles.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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