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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: July 2011
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Clues to a new cometary threat? Jul 31, 2011
Jupiter probe scheduled for launch on August 5 Jul 30, 2011
Latest image of Vesta shows its a really groovy place Jul 29, 2011
Inspiration for future spacecraft from science fiction Jul 28, 2011
First-ever images of gas flowing toward a black hole Jul 28, 2011
Jupiter-bound spacecraft mated to its rocket Jul 28, 2011
Earth's first Trojan found Jul 27, 2011
First private spacecraft set to dock with ISS this year Jul 27, 2011
Next target for human space exploration: an asteroid Jul 27, 2011
Bizarre dwarf planet wrapped in ice blanket Jul 27, 2011
Rare volcanoes discovered on Moon's farside Jul 27, 2011
Light speed results limit time travel options Jul 26, 2011
Vast superbubble in Large Magellanic Cloud Jul 25, 2011
Possible new particle at Tevatron threatens Standard Model Jul 24, 2011
Tantalizing hints of the Higgs at CERN collider Jul 23, 2011
Target selected for next Mars rover Jul 22, 2011
Dawn beams back new image of Vesta Jul 22, 2011
Atlantis returns home bringing the curtain down on the shuttle program Jul 21, 2011
Fourth moon for Pluto Jul 20, 2011
Mysterious warped ring at the center of our galaxy Jul 20, 2011
Opportunity rover tops 20 miles of driving on Mars Jul 20, 2011
Biggest radio telescope in space reaches orbit Jul 20, 2011
First image of Vesta from orbit Jul 19, 2011
Atlas 5 may be uprated to carry astronauts Jul 19, 2011
Dawn goes into orbit around Vesta Jul 17, 2011
Comet Hartley 2 leaves a bumpy trail Jul 15, 2011
Spacecraft set to orbit asteroid Vesta Jul 14, 2011
Astronauts complete last spacewalk of the Shuttle era Jul 13, 2011
'Last dinosaur' fossil supports Doomsday asteroid theory Jul 13, 2011
Space robot to practice refueling satellites Jul 12, 2011
Atlantis docked with ISS Jul 11, 2011
Neptune slowly giving up its secrets Jul 9, 2011
Herschel helps solve mystery of cosmic dust origins Jul 9, 2011
Atlantis launches successfully. Final Shuttle mission underway Jul 8, 2011
Was the universe born spinning? Jul 8, 2011
End of Shuttle program threatens local economy Jul 8, 2011
Space agency fights to save space observatory Jul 8, 2011
Saturn storm in sight and sound Jul 7, 2011
Final shuttle crew arrives in Florida Jul 5, 2011
Dramatic view of moon crater with link to dinosaurs Jul 4, 2011
Antimatter mystery solved at Tevatron? Jul 2, 2011


This February eta Draconid was filmed by Peter Jenniskens with one of the low-light-level video cameras of the Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) station in Mountain View, California, at 07:59:24 UT on Feb. 4, 2011.
Clues to a new cometary threat?
(Jul 31, 2011)


A surprise meteor shower spotted in February was likely caused by cosmic "bread crumbs" dropped by an undiscovered comet that could potentially pose a threat to Earth, astronomers announced. The meteoroids that streaked through Earth's atmosphere for a few hours on Feb. 4 represent a previously unknown meteor shower. The "shooting stars" arrived from the direction of the star Eta Draconis, so the shower is called the February Eta Draconids, or FEDs for short. One of them is shown in the image here.

Read more. Source: Space.com

Juno spacecraft in orbit at Jupiter
Jupiter probe scheduled for launch on August 5
(Jul 30, 2011)


NASA's next mission to Jupiter, known as Juno, is on the launch pad and ready for blast off next Friday all being well. It's scheduled to reach its target in July 2016 after a trip that will make one close pass of the Earth to get a gravity assist. Once in orbit around Jupiter, Juno will investigate the giant planet's atmosphere and magnetic field for a year before plunging to its doom in Jupiter's dense clouds.

Read more. Source: NASA/Juno

Image of Vesta's northern hemisphere taken from about 3,200 miles (5,200 km) away by Dawn. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Latest image of Vesta shows its a really groovy place
(Jul 29, 2011)


Dawn took this image over Vesta's northern hemisphere after the spacecraft completed its first passage over the dark side of the giant asteroid. It is northern hemisphere winter on Vesta now, so its north pole is in deep shadow. The Dawn science team is working to determine the significance of the distinct features in this image, which include large grooves or ridges extending for great distances around Vesta.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Discovery 1 spacecraft from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Inspiration for future spacecraft from science fiction
(Jul 28, 2011)


As the next generation of spaceships is being conceived, should shuttle designers take their inspiration from sci-fi illustrators? From Star Wars back to 2001: A Space Odyssey and even as far back as Victorian illustrations for the stories of Jules Verne and HG Wells, the way spacecraft should look has been an important issue. But the fanciful reputation of sci-fi novels and films aside, the illustration of spacecraft might actually have a realistic place in the design of future vessels.

Read more. Source: BBC

NGC 3115
First-ever images of gas flowing toward a black hole
(Jul 28, 2011)


The galaxy NGC 3115 is shown here in a composite image of data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT). Using the Chandra image, the flow of hot gas toward the supermassive black hole in the center of this galaxy has been imaged. This is the first time that clear evidence for such a flow has been observed in any black hole.

Read more. Source: NASA/Chandra

Rendering of Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter
Jupiter-bound spacecraft mated to its rocket
(Jul 28, 2011)


NASA's Juno spacecraft completed its last significant terrestrial journey yesterday, July 27, with a 15-mile (25-km) trip from Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., to its launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The solar-powered, Jupiter-bound spacecraft was secured into place on top of its rocket at 10:42 a.m. EDT. Juno will arrive at Jupiter in July 2016 and orbit its poles 33 times to learn more about the gas giant's interior, atmosphere, and aurora.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

2010TK7
Earth's first Trojan found
(Jul 27, 2011)


Astronomers have discovered Earth's first Trojan asteroid. The 300-meter-wide rock moves in the same orbit as Earth at one of the Lagrangian points. Martin Connors at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada, used NASA's WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) satellite and ground-based telescopes to identify the asteroid, named 2010TK7.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

SpaceX Dragon docked at the International Space Station
First private spacecraft set to dock with ISS this year
(Jul 27, 2011)


NASA and SpaceX have "technically" agreed the California-based firm's first date with the International Space Station. The SpaceX Dragon capsule will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 30 November then rendezvous and dock with the ISS on December 7, nearly one year after its first test flight.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's concept of a crewed mission to an asteroid
Next target for human space exploration: an asteroid
(Jul 27, 2011)


With the space shuttle now history, NASA's next great mission is so audacious, the agency's best minds are wrestling with how to pull it off: Send astronauts to an asteroid in less than 15 years. The challenges are innumerable. Some old-timers are grousing about it, saying going back to the Moon makes more sense. But many NASA brains are thrilled to have such an improbable assignment.

Read more. Source: USA Today

Artist's rendering of Haumea and its two satellites (Hi'iaka and Namaka).
Credit: SINC/José Antonio Peñas
Bizarre dwarf planet wrapped in ice blanket
(Jul 27, 2011)


Radioactivity and gravity may be why the strange football-shaped dwarf planet known as Haumea and its moons are unexpectedly sheathed in crystalline ice, shining in space, researchers suggest. Haumea, named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, orbits the Sun beyond the path of Neptune, with two moons in orbit around.

Read more. Source: Space.com

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