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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: January 2011
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Gazing afar for other earths, and other beings Jan 31, 2011
Crew of 520-day mock Mars mission nears mock landing Jan 31, 2011
Hubble telescope detects the oldest known galaxy Jan 28, 2011
'Life chemicals' may have formed around far-flung star Jan 26, 2011
Why space taxis might be safer than NASA's shuttle Jan 26, 2011
Dragonfish nebula conceals giant star cluster Jan 25, 2011
Quantum entanglement could stretch across time Jan 24, 2011
Japanese cargo rocket for ISS lifts off Jan 22, 2011
Telltale chemistry could betray ET Jan 21, 2011
Huge Delta rocket flies from Vandenberg, California Jan 21, 2011
Probe to survey comet dented by Deep Impact mission Jan 20, 2011
Half a million take a gander at space Jan 20, 2011
Hottest planet is hotter than some stars Jan 19, 2011
Cassini rocks Rhea rendezvous Jan 17, 2011
2011 'year of rockets' for Europe Jan 15, 2011
Solar flares on dwarf stars could threaten alien life Jan 14, 2011
>Milky Way's dark-matter satellite in stargazers' sights Jan 14, 2011
Galaxy clusters' ancient light shows young cosmic city Jan 14, 2011
Cosmology standard candle not so standard after all Jan 13, 2011
Space tourism jet work continues Jan 13, 2011
Sloan data yields biggest color night-sky image ever Jan 12, 2011
Planck telescope observes cosmic giants Jan 11, 2011
Antimatter caught streaming from thunderstorms on Earth Jan 11, 2011
Kepler discovers its first rocky planet Jan 10, 2011
No extra time for US particle lab Jan 10, 2011
Black holes first? Jan 10, 2011
Extreme Planet Makeover Jan 7, 2011
Mystery flares betray hidden force within Crab Nebula Jan 7, 2011
Cluster model shows how first cells could have divided Jan 7, 2011
Plasma jets key to enduring solar mystery Jan 7, 2011
Wreckage is from 'pristine star' Jan 5, 2011
Birth and death within Andromeda Jan 4, 2011
Reliance on indirect evidence fuels dark matter doubts Jan 2, 2011


Kepler
Gazing afar for other earths, and other beings
(Jan 31, 2011)


On Wednesday, astronomers working on the Kepler mission are scheduled to unveil a closely kept list of 400 stars that are their brightest and best bets so far for harboring planets, some of which could turn out to be the smallest and most Earth-like worlds discovered out there to date. They represent the first glimpse of riches to come in a quest that is as old as the imagination and as new as the iPad.

Read more. Source: New York Times

Mars520 mission
Crew of 520-day mock Mars mission nears mock landing
(Jan 31, 2011)


After nearly eight months' journey in a small, enclosed craft, the crew of the Mars500 mission is nearing the turning point of its voyage – arrival and disembarking at the Red Planet. They will spend 10 days there, exploring the surface in a series of excursions, before returning to their craft and beginning the lengthy trip home.

Read more. Source: Scientific American

oldest known galaxy
Hubble telescope detects the oldest known galaxy
(Jan 28, 2011)


The Hubble Space Telescope has detected what scientists believe may be the oldest galaxy ever observed. It is thought the galaxy is more than 13 billion years old and existed 480 million years after the Big Bang. A NASA team says this was a period when galaxy formation in the early Universe was going into "overdrive".

Read more. Source: BBC

molecules from space
'Life chemicals' may have formed around far-flung star
(Jan 26, 2011)


There is now even more evidence that life on Earth may have been seeded by material from asteroids or comets. Prior research has shown how amino acids – building blocks of life – could form elsewhere in the cosmos (see amino acids in space). These molecules can form in two versions, but life on Earth exclusively uses just one of them. Now an Astrophysical Journal Letters paper shows how conditions around a far-flung star could favor the formation of one type over another.

Read more. Source: BBC

Challenger explosion
Why space taxis might be safer than NASA's shuttle
(Jan 26, 2011)


A quarter of a century after NASA's space shuttle Challenger disintegrated on launch, killing all seven of its crew, the next generation of US astronauts faces a sea change. They could soon be traveling in space "taxis" operated and built by commercial firms instead of the shuttle, which retires later this year. But there are good reasons to think these will be safer than the shuttle.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Dragonfish Nebula
Dragonfish nebula conceals giant star cluster
(Jan 25, 2011)


In the depths of the Dragonfish Nebula may be the Milky Way's most massive cluster of young stars. Mubdi Rahman and Norman Murray, both of the University of Toronto, found the first hint of the cluster in 2010 in the form of a big cloud of ionized gas 30,000 light-years away. Now Rahman and his colleagues have identified a knot of 400 massive stars in the cloud's heart in images from the infrared 2 Micron All Sky Survey.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

entanglement across time graphic
Quantum entanglement could stretch across time
(Jan 24, 2011)


In the weird world of quantum physics, two linked particles can share a single fate, even when they’re miles apart. Now, two physicists have mathematically described how this spooky effect, called entanglement, could also bind particles across time. If their proposal can be tested, it could help process information in quantum computers and test physicists’ basic understanding of the universe.

Read more. Source: Wired

Kounotori 2
Japanese cargo rocket for ISS lifts off
(Jan 22, 2011)


A Japanese rocket with supplies for the International Space Station has lifted off from a remote island in southern Japan. The unmanned rocket is carrying nearly six tonnes of food, water, clothing and experimental equipment to the station's six-strong crew. Japan sent its first supply rocket to the space station in 2009.

Read more. Source: BBC

Surface of Mars. Image: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Telltale chemistry could betray ET
(Jan 21, 2011)


Alien life might be hard to find for the simple reason that it is fundamentally unlike Earth life. It might not use DNA, or contain protein. But whatever and wherever it is, its tendency to chemically alter its environment might just give it away.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Delta IV Heavy launches from Vandenburg
Huge Delta rocket flies from Vandenberg, California
(Jan 21, 2011)


The biggest rocket ever to launch from the US West Coast has lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The 72m-high Delta IV Heavy was carrying a classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). It has previously only operated from Florida, and the launch pad at the Californian base had to be upgraded to handle the giant vehicle.

Read more. Source: BBC

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