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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: June 2012
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Titan's tides reveal hidden ocean that could host life Jun 29, 2012
First full universe simulation zooms in on dark matter Jun 28, 2012
Astronomers spot puzzling arc from hefty galaxy cluster Jun 27, 2012
What Milky Way's deadly smash-up will look like Jun 26, 2012
Sorry Einstein, the universe needs quantum uncertainty Jun 24, 2012
Astronomers discover planetary odd couple Jun 22, 2012
Beyond the Higgs Jun 22, 2012
Astronomers catch video of 'near-miss' asteroid Jun 22, 2012
Dark matter tracks could give earliest view of Universe Jun 21, 2012
Most quasars live on snacks, not large meals Jun 20, 2012
Shenzhou-9 docks with Tiangong-1 Jun 18, 2012
China launches space mission with first woman astronaut Jun 16, 2012
Data from Voyager 1 point to interstellar future Jun 15, 2012
Tropical lakes on Titan could expand options for life Jun 15, 2012
Low-metal stars may nurture many Earth-like worlds Jun 14, 2012
NASA's black-hole hunter rides into orbit Jun 14, 2012
Mars rover team aims for landing closer to prime science site Jun 13, 2012
European Extremely Large Telescope given go-ahead Jun 12, 2012
China to carry out manned space flight Jun 11, 2012
Neutrinos don't outpace light, but they do shape-shift Jun 9, 2012
WISE finds few brown dwarfs close to home Jun 9, 2012
Astronomers identify very distant (but not the most distant) galaxy Jun 8, 2012
Sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury dies Jun 7, 2012
Venus to put on Sun spectacular Jun 5, 2012
Mysterious radiation burst recorded in tree rings Jun 4, 2012
'No signal' from targeted ET hunt Jun 2, 2012
Hubble times Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy pile-up Jun 1, 2012


Titan
Titan's tides reveal hidden ocean that could host life
(Jun 29, 2012)


Alien hunters take note: a global water ocean potentially bigger than all those on Earth combined, is sloshing beneath Titan's icy crust. Combined with the cocktail of organic chemicals already known to exist on Titan, abundant water could make the moon prime real estate for life though more work must be done to determine the exact state of the ocean.

Read more. New Scientist

simulation of dark matter distribution
First full universe simulation zooms in on dark matter
(Jun 28, 2012)


Most of the universe is thought to be made up of mysterious dark matter. Now you can get a glimpse of what its structure might look like thanks to the first simulation that spans the whole observable universe. Created by Jean-Michel Alimi from the French National Centre for Scientific Research and colleagues from the DEUS consortium, the model covers 90 billion light years – the size of the universe that we are able to see – and follows 550 billion particles the mass of our Milky Way.

Read more. New Scientist

These images, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, show an arc of blue light behind an extremely massive cluster of galaxies residing 10 billion light-years away. Image credit: NASA/ESA/University of Florida, Gainsville/University of Missouri-Kansas City/UC Davis
Astronomers spot puzzling arc from hefty galaxy cluster
(Jun 27, 2012)


Astronomers using the Hubble Telescope have found a puzzling arc of light behind an extremely massive cluster of galaxies residing 10 billion light-years away. The galactic grouping, discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, was observed as it existed when the universe was roughly a quarter of its current age of 13.7 billion years. The giant arc is the stretched shape of a more distant galaxy whose light is distorted by the monster cluster's powerful gravity, an effect called gravitational lensing. The trouble is, the arc shouldn't exist.

Read more. NASA/JPL

Artwork of future collision between Andromeda and the Milky Way
What Milky Way's deadly smash-up will look like
(Jun 26, 2012)


There's a lot of drama in store for the Milky Way: in 2.3 billion year's time it will graze its neighboring galaxy Andromeda only to collide and merge with it in 5 billion years' time. Now you can preview the action in unprecedented detail thanks to a new simulation by Simon Portugies Zwart from Leiden University in the Netherlands and his team that can be paused to further explore the process.

Read more. New Scientist

Albert Einstein
Sorry Einstein, the universe needs quantum uncertainty
(Jun 24, 2012)


It doesn't look like quantum mechanics will ever be intuitive. Take away one of its weirdest components – the uncertainty principle – and you end up with a perpetual motion machine. The finding dashes the hopes of those searching for a less bizarre way to make sense of quantum theory, which has made many physicists uncomfortable, including Albert Einstein.

Read more. New Scientisist

This artist's conception shows Kepler-36c as it might look from the surface of neighboring Kepler-36b. Image credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Astronomers discover planetary odd couple
(Jun 22, 2012)


Astronomers have discovered a pair of neighboring planets with dissimilar densities orbiting very close to each other. The planets are too close to their star to be in the habitable zone, the region in a star system where liquid water might exist on the surface, but they have the closest orbits between two planets ever confirmed. The findings appear in the journal Science.

Read more. NASA/JPL

CERN particle collision
Beyond the Higgs
(Jun 22, 2012)


With the search for the Higgs boson, the last missing piece of the Standard Model of particle physics, apparently reaching its long-anticipated-and-finally-successful conclusion, anticipation of the next set of discoveries is growing. In particular, the focus is turning to what version of supersymmetry theory may prove correct.

Read more. Scientific American

2012 KT42
Astronomers catch video of 'near-miss' asteroid
(Jun 22, 2012)


A small asteroid called 2012 KT42 came within three Earth radii of striking the planet on 29 May, but slipped past. The event was the sixth-closest encounter of any recorded asteroid. In a video posted online on 19 June by researchers using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, the bright asteroid appears fixed, while background stars zip past (in fact, the asteroid is speeding along at 17 km/2).

Read more. Scientific American

Simulations of how the radio waves are distributed will confirm ideas about dark matter and early stars
Dark matter tracks could give earliest view of Universe
(Jun 21, 2012)


Researchers have come up with a way to glimpse the infant Universe by decoding the earliest ripples in its light. They say this can be achieved by capturing the specific radio wavelength of 21cm from the heavens. The trick is to tell the difference between 21cm waves from our galaxy and those from distant, ancient sources.

Read more. BBC

quasar
Most quasars live on snacks, not large meals
(Jun 20, 2012)


Black holes in the early universe needed a few snacks rather than one giant meal to fuel their quasars and help them grow, according to observations from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. Astronomers hace uncovered an underlying population of fainter quasars that thrive in normal-looking spiral galaxies. They are triggered by black holes snacking on such tasty treats as a batch of gas or the occasional small satellite galaxy.

Read more. NASA/Spitzer

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