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NGC 4696: A Cosmic Question Mark

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Boston MA (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
Curling around itself like a question mark, the unusual looking galaxy NGC 4696 itself begs many questions. Why is it such a strange shape? What are the odd, capillary-like filaments that stretch out of it? And what is the role of a large black hole in explaining its decidedly odd appearance? This picture, taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, is not just a beautiful snapshot of N

NASA Video Shows Global Reach Of Pollution From Fires

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 13, 2010
Two movies were created using continuously updated data from the "Eyes on the Earth 3-D" feature on NASA's global climate change website They show three-day running averages of daily measurements of carbon monoxide present at an altitude of 5.5 kilometers (18,000) feet, along with its global transport. The data are from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spa

Fermi Detects Shocking Surprise From Supernova's Little Cousin

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. The discovery overturns the notion that novae explosions lack the power to emit such high-energy radiation. A nova is a sudden, short-lived brightening of an otherwise inconspicuous star. The outburst occurs when a white dwa

Asteroid Found In Gravitational Dead Zone

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
There are places in space where the gravitational tug between a planet and the Sun balance out, allowing other smaller bodies to remain stable. These places are called Lagrangian points. So-called Trojan asteroids have been found in some of these stable spots near Jupiter and Neptune. Trojans share their planet's orbit and help astronomers understand how the planets formed and how the sola

Raisin' Mountains On Saturn's Moon Titan

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 13, 2010
Saturn's moon Titan ripples with mountains, and scientists have been trying to figure out how they form. The best explanation, it turns out, is that Titan is shrinking as it cools, wrinkling up the moon's surface like a raisin. A new model developed by scientists working with radar data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows that differing densities in the outermost layers of Titan ca

Supernova's Spin On Life

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
A mysterious bias in the way the building blocks of proteins twist could be due to supernovae, researchers now suggest. If correct, this could be evidence that the molecules of life weren't created on Earth, but came from elsewhere in the cosmos. Organic molecules are often chiral, meaning they come in two versions that are mirror images of each other, much as right and left hands appear i

India Launches Satellite-Based Navigation System

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
New Delhi, India (PTI) Aug 13, 2010
India Tuesday launched a satellite-based navigation system to aid air traffic in the region and joined a select club of nations which have similar capabilities. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel launched the Global Position System Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (gagan) based on a constellation of 24 satellites positioned in six earth-centred orbital planes. gagan will provide seam

SEAKR Has Been Awarded The Iridium NEXT Communication Processor

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Centennial CO (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
SEAKR Engineering has announced that Thales Alenia Space (TAS), the Iridium NEXT prime contractor, has awarded the communication processor for the Iridium NEXT constellation to SEAKR Engineering. The Iridium NEXT constellation will ultimately replace the existing Iridium constellation providing enhanced mobile satellite communication services worldwide, with the first Iridium NEXT satellit

Colorado Space Grant Consortium And LockMart To Develop CubeSat

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Denver CO (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
Students from the Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC) have teamed with Lockheed Martin to develop a miniature satellite, known as ALL-STAR, which stands for Agile Low-cost Laboratory for Space Technology Acceleration and Research. The ALL-STAR program, designed to inspire and develop America's future technological workforce, will provide students hands on experience in applying science

Cassini Hunting Enceladus 'Tigers' With Night Vision

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 13, 2010
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be hunting for heat signatures at the "tiger stripes" in the dim south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Friday, Aug. 13. The closest approach will bring the spacecraft to within about 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles) of the surface of Enceladus. The tiger stripes - which are actually giant fissures that spew jets of water vapor and organic particles h

Citizen Scientists Discover Rotating Pulsar

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
Idle computers are the astronomers' playground: Three citizen scientists--an American couple and a German--have discovered a new radio pulsar hidden in data gathered by the Arecibo Observatory. This is the first deep-space discovery by Einstein@Home, which uses donated time from the home and office computers of 250,000 volunteers from 192 different countries. This is the first genuine astr

LockMart First Advanced EHF Satellite Encapsulated

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
The first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite was encapsulated into the fairing in preparation for a mid-August liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Designed and built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., the AEHF will deliver survivable, protected, secure links to U.S. national leaders, air, lan

Send In The Clouds

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 13, 2010
Gaze up at a cloud-filled sky, and you may spot the white, fluffy shape of a dragon, fish or elephant. Looking at the same sky, Graeme Stephens sees a different vision - a possible future for Earth's climate. Stephens, a professor at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, is principal investigator of NASA's CloudSat mission, launched in 2006 to improve our understanding of the role clou

Light-Duty Day For Crew After Wednesday's Spacewalk

Ds, 14/08/2010 - 18:10
Houston TX (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
After the completion of a successful seven-hour, 26-minute spacewalk Wednesday, the Expedition 24 crew members aboard the International Space Station enjoyed some off-duty time, conducted some routine maintenance and participated in a debrief with spacewalk specialists Thursday. During Wednesday's spacewalk, Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson removed the failed ammonia

China Orbits New Remote-Sensing Satellite

Dv, 13/08/2010 - 03:10
Beijing, China (RIA Novosti) Aug 12, 2010
China put into orbit on Tuesday another remote sensing satellite, China's Xinhua news agency reported. The Yaogan X was launched aboard a Long March 4C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. According to Xinhua, the satellite will be used primarily for scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring. We

Star Wars Meets UPS As Robonaut Packed For Space

Dv, 13/08/2010 - 03:10
Houston TX (SPX) Aug 12, 2010
Getting into space isn't necessarily easy for astronauts, and it's not much easier for a robotic astronaut, either. Cocooned inside an aluminum frame and foam blocks cut out to its shape, Robonaut 2, or R2, is heading to the International Space Station inside the Permanent Multipurpose Module in space shuttle Discovery's payload bay as part of the STS-133 mission. Once in place inside the

Giant Ultraviolet Rings Found In Resurrected Galaxies

Dv, 13/08/2010 - 03:10
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 12, 2010
Astronomers have found mysterious, giant loops of ultraviolet light in aged, massive galaxies, which seem to have a second lease on life. Somehow these "over-the-hill galaxies" have been infused with fresh gas to form new stars that power these truly gargantuan rings, some of which could encircle several Milky Way galaxies. The discovery of these rings implies that bloated galaxies presume

INTEGRAL Completes The Deepest All-Sky Survey In Hard X-Rays

Dv, 13/08/2010 - 03:10
Paris, France (ESA) Aug 12, 2010
A newly developed image analysis technique has significantly improved the sensitivity limits reached by the IBIS imager on board INTEGRAL, resulting in the deepest survey ever compiled of the entire sky in the energy range between 17 and 60 keV. Pushing the instrument towards its very limits, the novel method discloses a vast number of previously undetected faint sources, galactic and extr

Island Universe In Coma Cluster

Dv, 13/08/2010 - 03:10
Boston MA (SPX) Aug 12, 2010
A long-exposure Hubble Space Telescope image shows a majestic face-on spiral galaxy located deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, which lies 320 million light-years away in the northern constellation Coma Berenices. The galaxy, known as NGC 4911, contains rich lanes of dust and gas near its center. These are silhouetted against glowing newborn star clusters and iridescent pink clouds o

Second Spacewalk To Replace Coolant Pump Complete

Dv, 13/08/2010 - 03:10
Houston TX (SPX) Aug 12, 2010
Expedition 24 Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson have completed the second of three spacewalks to remove the failed ammonia coolant Pump Module on the S1 truss of the International Space Station that failed July 31. Their spacewalk ended at 3:53 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Wheelock successfully closed the quick disconnect valve for the final fluid connector for the failed ammo