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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: July 2011
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This image from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a region on the far side of the moon between the Compton and Belkovich craters. The colored region marks a high amount of the mineral thorium, which is thought to have been deposited by rare silicate volcanoes in the past. Image: NASA/GSFC/ASU/WUSTL, processing by B. Joliff
Rare volcanoes discovered on Moon's farside
(Jul 27, 2011)


Shielded from Earth-bound eyes, the far side of the Moon is home to a rare set of dormant volcanoes that changed the face of the lunar surface, a new study finds. Data and photos from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) reveal the presence of now-dead silicate volcanoes, not the more common basaltic volcanoes that litter the Moon's surface, researchers said.

Read more. Source: Scientific American

Scene from the TV series The Time Tunnel
Light speed results limit time travel options
(Jul 26, 2011)


Physicists have confirmed the ultimate speed limit for the packets of light called photons – making time travel less likely than thought. The speed of light in a vacuum is the Universe's ultimate speed limit, but experiments in recent years suggested that single photons might beat it. If they could, theory allows for the prospect of time travel.

Read more. Source: BBC

NGC 1929 and nebula
Vast superbubble in Large Magellanic Cloud
(Jul 25, 2011)


ESO's Very Large Telescope captured this striking view of the nebula around the star cluster NGC 1929 within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. A colossal example of what astronomers call a superbubble dominates this stellar nursery. It is being carved by the winds from bright young stars and the shockwaves from supernova explosions.

Read more. Source: European Southern Observatory

Tevatron
Possible new particle at Tevatron threatens Standard Model
(Jul 24, 2011)


Evidence is stacking up that a new particle, called the top gluon, may have been found at the Tevatron, Fermilab. This particle would serve as an exchange particle for some interactions between top quarks. If confirmed it would be an exciting discovery for two reasons: it would blow away the current Standard Model, and a bound state of a top and an antitop quark, held together by top gluons would be a version of the Higgs boson.

Read more. Source: Nature

ATLAS detector
Tantalizing hints of the Higgs at CERN collider
(Jul 23, 2011)


Intriguing fluctuations in data recorded by the Large Hadron Collider might possibly be the first signs of the long-sought-after Higgs boson. A surplus of unusual events has been observed by the giant ATLAS and CMS detectors corresponding to different particle masses – one at 250 GeV, the other between 130 and 150 GeV – with a probability that they are statistical quirks of one in several hundred.

Read more. Source: BBC

Gale Crater
Target selected for next Mars rover
(Jul 22, 2011)


The next rover to visit Mars, MSL-Curiosity, will touch down in a deep, 155km-wide crater called Gale Crater. It's hoped that the car-sized rover will land close to the crater's huge central mountain. Curiosity isn't equipped to search for life directly but will help determine whether past conditions on Mars were biologically friendly.

Read more. Source: BBC

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image on July 18, 2011. It was taken from a distance of about 6,500 miles (10,500 km) from Vesta. The smallest detail visible is about 1.2 miles (2.0 km). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Dawn beams back new image of Vesta
(Jul 22, 2011)


The Dawn spacecraft took this image during its current orbit of Vesta, traveling from the day side to the night side, from a distance of about 10,500 km (6,500 miles). The large structure near the south pole that showed up so prominently in previous images is visible in the center of the illuminated surface. The smallest detail visible is about 2.0 km (1.2 miles).

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Atlantis final landing
Atlantis returns home bringing the curtain down on the shuttle program
(Jul 21, 2011)


Atlantis touched down safely at Kennedy Space Center at 5:57 am EDT, thus drawing to a close a remarkable chapter in human space exploration. Bravo, the astronauts and ground staff who have taken part in the Shuttle program over the past 30 years.

Read more. Source: BBC

Hubble image of Pluto's four moons, including the newly-discovered P4
Fourth moon for Pluto
(Jul 20, 2011)


The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a fourth moon, temporarily called P4, circling around Pluto. P4 lies between the orbits of the Plutonian moons Nix and Hydra, and has a diameter estimated at 13 to 34 km (of 8 to 21 miles).

Read more. Source: BBC

Astronomers using the Herschel Space Observatory have discovered that a suspected ring at the center of our galaxy is warped for reasons they cannot explain. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mysterious warped ring at the center of our galaxy
(Jul 20, 2011)


New observations from the Herschel Space Observatory show a bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Only a few portions of the ring, which stretches across more than 600 light-years, were known before. Herschel's view reveals the entire ring for the first time, and a strange kink that has astronomers scratching their heads.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

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