Archive for the ‘The Cosmos’ Category

Newly Discovered Galaxy Creates 4000 New Stars Per Year

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Astronomers have uncovered an extreme stellar machine — a galaxy in the very remote universe pumping out stars at a surprising rate of up to 4,000 per year. In comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy turns out an average of just 10 stars per year.

The discovery, made possible by several telescopes including NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, goes against the most common theory of galaxy formation. According to the theory, called the Hierarchical Model, galaxies slowly bulk up their stars over time by absorbing tiny pieces of galaxies — and not in one big burst as observed in the newfound “Baby Boom” galaxy.

–>Link

Ancient collision with huge asteriod could explain strange shape of Mars

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

A prime theory to explain how this global asymmetry came about is that a huge impact blasted away much of the northern hemisphere’s crust. The prime suspect in the hunt for clues to such a collision had been an extensive structure in the northern hemisphere, thought to have formed about 4.4 billion years ago. 

–>Link to article

Moon Water Found, Raises Questions About Origin Theory

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Water found in moon matter counters the long-held belief that Earth’s satellite is bone dry, researchers announced today.

Geologists used new technology to coax water molecules from volcanic glasses brought back decades ago by two Apollo missions.

The researchers believe the water was ejected along with magma when “fire fountains” erupted more than three billion years ago from the moon’s surface.

The finding raises new questions about the long-standing “giant impact” theory, which holds that the moon was formed more than a billion years prior to that when a Mars-sized body slammed into Earth and sent debris into orbit.

–> Link to article

Dozens of fascinating documentaries about our Universe

Monday, July 7th, 2008

YouTube user ‘Malkane’ has uploaded no less than 40 scientific educational series and programs about space exploration and our Universe.

Titles include:

  • Alien Galaxies
  • Alien Planets
  • Apollo 11 - The Untold Story
  • Are We Alone in the Universe?
  • Bye Bye Planet Pluto
  • Cosmic Holes
  • Destination Mars
  • Edge of the Universe
  • End of Earth
  • Evolution
  • Exploring Space - The Quest For Life
  • Flow of Time
  • Is It Real? Life on Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Life and Death of a Star
  • Magnetic Storm
  • Mars The Red Planet
  • Most Dangerous Place in the Universe
  • Most of our Universe is Missing
  • Origins
  • Revealing Mars
  • Saturn: Lord of the Rings
  • Search For Alien Planets
  • Search for E.T.
  • Secrets of the Sun
  • Space
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Stephen Hawkings - Universe
  • Supermassive Black Holes
  • The Death Star
  • The Elegant Universe
  • The Expanding Universe
  • The Inner Planets
  • The Moon
  • The Outer Planets
  • The Planets
  • The Six Billion Dollar Experiment
  • Titan - A Place Like Home?
  • Welcome to Mars
  • What We Still Don’t Know

Many hours of TV worth watching.
–> Link

Phoenix Mars Lander Confirms Frozen Water

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Scientists relishing confirmation of water ice near the surface beside NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander anticipate even bigger discoveries from the robotic mission in the weeks ahead.

The key new evidence is that chunks of bright material exposed by digging on June 15 and still present on June 16 had vaporized by June 19. “This tells us we’ve got water ice within reach of the arm, which means we can continue this investigation with the tools we brought with us,” said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station, lead scientist for Phoenix’s Surface Stereo Imager camera. He said the disappearing chunks could not have been carbon-dioxide ice at the local temperatures because that material would not have been stable for even one day as a solid.

–> Link

Messenger Makes New Discoveries at Mercury

Monday, July 7th, 2008


Scientists have argued about the origins of Mercury’s smooth plains and the source of its magnetic field for more than 30 years. Now, analyses of data from the January 2008 flyby of the planet by the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft have shown that volcanoes were involved in plains formation and suggest that its magnetic field is actively produced in the planet’s core.

Scientists additionally took their first look at the chemical composition of the planet’s surface. The tiny craft probed the composition of Mercury’s thin atmosphere, sampled charged particles (ions) near the planet, and demonstrated new links between both sets of observations and materials on Mercury’s surface.

–> Link to NASA article

–> Link to Science Magazine special issue

Earth’s Cries Recorded in Space

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Earth emits an ear-piercing series of chirps and whistles that could be heard by any aliens who might be listening, astronomers have discovered.

Scientists have known about the radiation since the 1970s. It is created high above the planet, where charged particles from the solar wind collide with Earth’s magnetic field. It is related to the phenomenon that generates the colorful aurora, or Northern Lights.

–> Link to article

–> Link to video

First images of solar system’s invisible frontier

Sunday, July 6th, 2008


NASA’s sun-focused STEREO spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year, allowing University of California, Berkeley, scientists to map for the first time the energized particles in the region where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium. Mapping the region by means of neutral, or uncharged, atoms instead of light “heralds a new kind of astronomy using neutral atoms,” said Robert Lin, UC Berkeley professor of physics and lead for the suprathermal electron sensor aboard STEREO. “You can’t get a global picture of this region, one of the last unexplored regions of the heliosphere, any other way because it is too tenuous to be seen by normal optical telescopes.”

–> Link

Nikon Universcale: A demonstration of the scale of the Universe

Friday, July 4th, 2008

universcale

We are able to view all entities, from the microworld to the universe, from a single perspective. By setting them up against a scale, we are able to compare and understand things which cannot be physically compared. 

Today, using the electron microscope and astronomical telescope, we can see the objects which we have not been aware of its existence before. Are you able to fathom, or even roughly grasp, these sizes?

See our Universcale and experience the sizes of various objects.

Requires Flash Player 6 or higher, JavaScript:
–> Link

Orbiter: A realistic space flight simulator

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Orbiter screenshot

Orbiter is a free flight simulator that goes beyond the confines of Earth’s atmosphere. Launch the Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center to deploy a satellite, rendezvous with the International Space Station or take the futuristic Delta-glider for a tour through the solar system - the choice is yours.
The emphasis is firmly on realism, and the learning curve can be steep. Be prepared to invest some time and effort to brush up on your orbital mechanics background.

Sorry, only available for Windows :-/

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk
–> Link


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