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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: September 2010
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possible quark-gluon plasma event
Large Hadron Collider spies hints of infant universe
(Sep 22, 2010)


Researchers on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, have seen hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first nanoseconds. A signal thought to represent this quark-gluon plasma has been seen before, following collisions between ions much heavier than the protons that the LHC smashes together. Now the CMS detector has captured a similar signal.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Phobos
Massive blast 'created Mars moon'
(Sep 21, 2010)


Scientists say they have uncovered firm evidence that Mars's biggest moon, Phobos, is made from rocks blasted off the Martian surface in a catastrophic event. The origin of Mars's satellites Phobos and Deimos is a long-standing puzzle. It has been suggested that both moons could be asteroids that formed in the main asteroid belt and were then "captured" by Mars's gravity.

Read more. Source: BBC

Yang Liwei
China could make moon landing in 2025
(Sep 20, 2010)


China could put an astronaut on the moon in 2025 and launch probes to explore Mars and Venus within five years, according to the boss of a Chinese space program. Yang Liwei, China's first spaceman, confirmed this weekend that the country planned to set up its first orbital space station by around 2020, according to the People's Daily website.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

A suit port allows astronauts to be on the surface within a few minutes
NASA tests robot hardware for planet missions
(Sep 20, 2010)


NASA is testing the next generation of human spaceflight technology in the deserts of Arizona. The Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) program is designed to give advanced equipment a trial run, and to expose any issues before it is used in space. The dry, dusty, rocky land near the lip of the Grand Canyon provides a good simulation of other planets.

Read more. Source: BBC

LRO laser altimeter image of the Moon. Image: NASA/LRO/LOLA/GSFC/MIT/Brown
Crater map rekindles debate over Moon impacts
(Sep 17, 2010)


A new map of lunar craters by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is stoking a long-smouldering debate about whether the Moon was hit by a sudden barrage of impactors early in its life. At issue is whether there was a sudden spike of impacts 3.9 billion years ago, and if so, what caused it. The evidence for this "late heavy bombardment" comes from rocks collected by Apollo astronauts at several lunar sites, many of which appear to have been melted by impacts at around that time.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Crew Transportation System
Boeing plans to fly tourists to space
(Sep 16, 2010)


Boeing said Wednesday that it was entering the space tourism business, an announcement that could bolster the Obama administration's efforts to transform the National Aeronautics and Space Administration into an agency that focuses less on building rockets and more on nurturing a commercial space industry.

Read more. Source: New York Times

BP Piscium
Cannibal star consumes neighbor
(Sep 16, 2010)


A star that may have gobbled up its neighbor – a star or a giant planet – has been found with the help of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The find may shed light on the interaction between planets and stars. Astronomers write in the Astrophysical Journal Letters that BP Piscium, in the constellation of Pisces, is not a very young star as it appears to be.

Read more. Source: BBC

Stephen Hawking
M-theory: Doubts linger over godless multiverse
(Sep 15, 2010)


Stephen Hawking's new book The Grand Design sparked a furore over whether physics can be used to disprove the existence of God. But few have noted that the idea at the core of the book, M-theory, is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate – specifically over the very aspect of the theory that might scrap the need for a divine creator.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

asteroid collision
Asteroid impact may have gassed Earth
(Sep 14, 2010)


A burst of carbon monoxide triggered by an asteroid impact may have been a key factor in the mass extinction which saw off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The claim comes from Japanese scientists who have simulated the impact that created the massive crater at Chicxulub on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

Read more. Source: Nature

James Webb Space Telescope
Building Hubble's heir in deep space
(Sep 14, 2010)


>When the James Webb Space Telescope unfurls its mirror a million and a half kilometers out in space four years from now, it will be the culmination of nearly two decades of planning by John Mather. He talks about the challenges of building an heir to the stunningly successful Hubble Space Telescope.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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