The Sculpture on the Moon.
"Scandals and conflicts obscured one of the most extraordinary achievements
of the Space Age."
"On 12th April 2011 it will be 50 years to the day
since Yuri Gagarin
climbed into his space ship and was launched into space. It took him just 108 minutes to orbit Earth and he returned as the World's very first space man. To mark this historic flight we have teamed up with the astronauts onboard the International Space Station to film a new view of what Yuri would have seen
as he travelled around the planet. Weaving these new views together with historic voice recordings from Yuri's flight and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the World
on this historic anniversary." [more inside]
Reprocess of Bubble Nebula Data. NGC 7635
, also called the Bubble Nebula, is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It's created by stellar winds from a superhot star 40 times the size of our sun which whip the cloud of gas around the star
into a bubble
Orbital skydives to follow inflatable heatshield success?
"NASA has announced a successful live test of a prototype inflatable heat shield
for re-entry to a planet's atmosphere. The blow-up shield could have important implications for future missions to Mars - and also, perhaps, for the nascent field of orbital spacesuit skydiving
Lost in Space: What really happened to Russia's missing cosmonauts? An incredible tale of space hacking, espionage and death in the lonely reaches of space.
"There are those who believe that somewhere in the vast blackness of space, about nine billion miles from the Sun, the first human is about to cross the boundary of our Solar System into interstellar space. His body, perfectly preserved, is frozen at –270 degrees C (–454ºF); his tiny capsule has been silently sailing away from the Earth at 18,000 mph (29,000km/h) for the last 45 years. He is the original lost cosmonaut, whose rocket went up and, instead of coming back down, just kept on going." [Via]
Where did Venus’s water go?
Water may have once been as abundant on Venus
as it is on Earth. New data from the Venus Express
suggests that the planet's lack of a magnetic field has allowed water in the atmosphere to be stripped apart
and carried into space by the solar wind
Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth.
"Like giant, cosmic chutes between the Earth and sun, magnetic portals open up every eight minutes or so to connect our planet with its host star
. Once the portals open, loads of high-energy particles can travel the 93 million miles (150 million km) through the conduit during its brief opening, space scientists say." [Via]
Mysterious New 'Dark Flow' Discovered in Space.
"As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren't vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered. Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon 'dark flow.'
The stuff that's pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude." [more inside]
"The next president of the United States of America will control a $150 billion annual research budget, 200,000 scientists, and 38 major research institutions and all their related labs. This president will shape human endeavors in space
, bioethics debates, and the energy landscape of the 21st century." With the coming election, the AAAS
has created a new website
and devoted a section of their journal Science
to the Democratic
candidates' positions on science
issues. But to help further clarify their positions
, some people are calling
for the candidates to have a presidential debate on science and technology
. [Via The Intersection and Wired Science.]
Who Speaks for Earth?
"After decades of searching, scientists have found no trace of extraterrestrial intelligence. Now, some of them hope to make contact by broadcasting messages to the stars. Are we prepared for an answer?"
The first images
from the Spitzer Space Telescope
, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility and renamed after astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
, were released on Thursday. Launched on August 25, it obtains images by detecting the infrared energy
radiated by objects in space, and it will drift behind the Earth
as the planet orbits the sun.
Public Survey for Input to the Planetary Decadal Survey.
The Planetary Society is seeking input from the public for NASA's planetary research priorities for the next 10 years. The deadline for taking the survey is January 31st.
Hitch a ride on a meteorite.
New evidence that bacteria could survive a trip between planets.
An asteroid large enough to wipe out a country that was discovered a month ago will pass less than twice the Moon's distance from the earth. Meanwhile the British have selected a site for their near Earth object information centre
. Hopefully they will have a direct line to Bruce Willis, just in case.