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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: April 2011
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IC5146
Do strings of interstellar gas come from sonic booms?
(Apr 15, 2011)


The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed that clouds between stars contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Intriguingly, each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms throughout our Milky Way galaxy.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Yellowstone
Estimated size of Yellowstone volcanic plume goes up
(Apr 14, 2011)


A new study by geologists suggests that the volcanic plume lying beneath much of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming may be even bigger than previously thought. according to a new study by geologists. There have been three massive eruptions of the Yellowstone supervolcano – 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 640,000 years ago – two of which thickly blanketed much of North America with volcanic ash.

Read more. Source: BBC

Space Shuttle Discovery coming into land
Where the shuttles are heading
(Apr 13, 2011)


The final resting places of the space shuttles have been announced by NASA. The much-traveled spacecraft will be heading for California, Florida and suburban Washington. Discovery will go to the Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, Atlantic to Florida's Kennedy Space Center, and Endeavour to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The prototype Enterprise, which never flew in space, will head to the Intrepid Museum in New York City.

Read more. Source: BBC

Giant cluster of elliptical galaxies. Image credit: NASA, ESA, CRAL, LAM, STSc
NASA telescopes help discover surprisingly young galaxy
(Apr 12, 2011)


Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed 13.5 billion years ago, a mere 200 million years after the Big Bang. The finding addresses questions about when the first galaxies arose, and how the early universe evolved.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Angel Nebula
Exo-evolution: Aliens who hide, survive
(Apr 11, 2011)


Has ET evolved to be discreet? An evolutionary tendency for inconspicuous aliens would solve a nagging paradox – and also suggest that we Earthlings should think twice before advertizing our own existence.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

2010 SO16
WISE mission spots "horseshoe" asteroid
(Apr 10, 2011)


An asteroid recently discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) may be a bit of an oddball. Most near-Earth asteroids have eccentric, or egg-shaped, orbits that take the asteroids right through the inner solar system. The new object, designated 2010 SO16, is different. Its orbit is almost circular such that it cannot come close to any other planet in the solar system except Earth.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Kepler spacecraft
Strangely silent star system seen
(Apr 9, 2011)


A triple star system observed by the Kepler space telescope is attracting attention because it doesn't give rise to the booming "sounds" characteristic of other stars caused by convective movements of gas in the stellar interiors. Kepler can detect small changes in the amount of light sent out by a star which may be due to astroseismology. But the red giant HD181068A, which is orbited by two much smaller, red dwarf stars, is unusually quiet.

Read more. Source: BBC

Specular reflection from Titan detected by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) on NASA's Cassini spacecraft on July 8, 2009
Titan shaped by weather, not ice volcanoes
(Apr 8, 2011)


Have the surface and belly of Saturn's smog-shrouded moon, Titan, recently simmered like a chilly, bubbling cauldron with ice volcanoes, or has this distant moon gone cold? In a newly published analysis, a pair of NASA scientists analyzing data collected by the Cassini spacecraft suggest Titan may be much less geologically active than some scientists have thought.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Tevatron
Hints of a new particle that could revolutionize physics
(Apr 8, 2011)


The physics world was buzzing yesterday when it was revealed that a new, previously-unsuspected particle may have been discovered at the Tevatron accelator. The energy "bump" seen in the aftermath of collisions between protons and antiprotons has only a 0.1% probability of being a fluke. Physics will now be crunching numbers to see if the phenomenon is real and, if so, what it might mean.

Read more. Source: BBC

Pioneer 10 artwork
Pioneer anomaly not so mysterious?
(Apr 7, 2011)


Anyone hoping that the so-called Pioneer anomaly is due to some exotic effect in physics, such as an unknown aspect of gravitation, may be about to be disappointed. The latest analysis suggests the strange deviation in the paths of NASA's Pioneer 10 and 11 probes may be due to uneven radiation of their heat into space.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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