Science Photo of the Week

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Will oldest known dust disk ever form planets?
HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS NEWS RELEASE


Astronomers were surprised to discover a 25-million-year-old
protoplanetary disk around a pair of red dwarf stars 350 light-years
away. Gravitational stirring by the binary star system (shown in
this artist's conception) may have prevented planet formation.
Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)


..do i really have to point out that this is an artists impression ?..well..yes I do...but I'm impressed at how the artist managed to get there, I mean, he could have taken a camera eh ?

Every rule has an exception. One rule in astronomy, supported by considerable evidence,
 states that dust disks around newborn stars disappear in a few million years. Most likely,
 they vanish because the material has collected into full-sized planets. Astronomers have
 discovered the first exception to this rule -- a 25-million-year-old dust disk that shows
no evidence of planet formation.

"Finding this disk is as unexpected as locating a 200-year-old person," said astronomer
Lee Hartmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), lead author on
the paper announcing the find.

The discovery raises the puzzling question of why this disk has not formed planets despite
its advanced age. Most protoplanetary disks last only a few million years, while the oldest
 previously known disks have ages of about 10 million years.

"We don't know why this disk has lasted so long, because we don't know what makes the
 planetary formation process start," said co-author Nuria Calvet of CfA.

The disk in question orbits a pair of red dwarf stars in the Stephenson 34 system,
 located approximately 350 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. Data from NASA's
Spitzer Space Telescope shows that its inner edge is located about 65 million miles from
the binary stars. The disk extends to a distance of at least 650 million miles. Additional
material may orbit farther out where temperatures are too low for Spitzer to detect it.

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHT NOW.COM








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Soon in Japan, it'll be raining ads

YOKOSUKA, Japan (AFP) - After being bombarded by commercials on the way to work and watching promotions pop up on the Internet, the Japanese consumer could soon be hit by advertisements where they least expect it: on their hands.
 
Researchers are working on "information rain", taking advertisements to the realm of mock meteorology.

A projector on a tall tripod shows images of raindrops hitting the ground and making ripples,
 in hopes that people will enter the "rainy" area and hold out their palms.


A camera tracks the entrants' movements and sends the data to connected computers.
Then the projector shoots out a round-shaped advertisement -- which can post words such
 as "SALE" -- right onto their hands.


.(AFP/File/Yoshikazu Tsuno) Yoko Ishii, a chief researcher of Japan's
 telecommunication giant NTT's Cyber Solution Laboratory shows round-shaped...


SOURCE: YAHOO NEWS



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« Last Edit: 25/07/2005 04:27:11 by neilep »
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Tenth planet found!
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

A team of astronomers systematically scanning the far reaches of the
 solar system has discovered a distant, icy world that is bigger
than Pluto but so far away the head of a pin held at arm's length
would blot out the sun. The discovery, if confirmed, would force
astronomers to re-write their textbooks and give school kids a 10th
planet to memorize once a governing body sanctions the still-secret
 name proposed by a trio of discoverers.






This artist's concept shows the planet catalogued as
2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun
can be seen in the distance. The new planet, which is yet to be
formally named, is at least as big as Pluto and about three times
farther away from the Sun than Pluto. It is very cold and dark. The planet was discovered by the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar
Observatory near San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2005. Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech


Currently known by the catalog number 2003UB313, the newly
discovered planet wheels about in an elliptical orbit tilted some 45
 degrees to the plane of the solar system's eight major planets,
taking 560 years to complete one trip around the sun.
 

At its most distant, the planet is a remote 97 times farther from
the sun than the Earth. At its closest, it passes inside the orbit
 of Pluto at a distance of some 36 astronomical units. It is
currently the most distant object known in the solar system, so far
 removed that its surface temperature is a frigid 30 degrees above absolute zero

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM




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Dinosaur Embryos Reveal 'Ridiculous' Proportions

The oldest fossilized dinosaur embryos ever found reveal how the
creatures grew from tiny hatchlings to become such giant land beasts.



 
The embryos, including one that was ready to hatch before being
frozen in time, had no teeth. That is further evidence that at least some dinosaurs must have tended their young, scientists said today.



The embryos are 190 million years, dating from the beginning of the
Jurassic Period.



"Most dinosaur embryos are from the Cretaceous period (146 to 65
millions years ago)," said biologist Robert Reisz of the University
of Toronto at Mississauga. "The work on the embryo, its
 identification, and the fact we can see the detailed anatomy of the
earliest known dinosaur embryo is extremely exciting."


'Ridiculous' proportions


The dinosaur is called Massospondylus. It was common in what is now
South Africa.





 Combo picture of a fossilised 190-million-year-old
unhatched dinosaur embryo (L) and an artist's impression (R),
provided by South Africa's Wits University in Johannesburg and
University of Toronto at Mississauga in Canada, July 29, 2005.

Unhatched dinosaur eggs dating back 190 million years carried fully
developed embryos that would have been born clumsy and helpless,
 scientists said on Thursday. Their finding, published in Friday's
issue of the journal Science, suggests even the earliest dinosaurs
tended carefully to their young. It also raises questions about how
the giant four-legged dinosaurs called sauropods evolved.
REUTERS/Handout Email Photo Print Photo




SOURCE: REUTERS VIA YAHOO NEWS

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Imagine if no one had ever really discovered all these dinosaurs but it was just one big conspiracy by a world government that is above any worl government. The fossils were all planted by secret agent dudes and discovered by unsuspecting archeoligists.

WOW YOU NEVER KNOW!

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Think about it! lolz
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MY NAME IS NOT REALLY SIMEONIE IT IS SIMON!!!

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Offline finchbeak

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quote:
Originally posted by simeonie

Imagine if no one had ever really discovered all these dinosaurs but it was just one big conspiracy by a world government that is above any worl government. The fossils were all planted by secret agent dudes and discovered by unsuspecting archeoligists.



Or if they were planted by God in order to trick us into committing the sin of critical thinking, as a shockingly large number of fundamentalist christians really do believe.[V]
 

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Scan Finds Mummy Between 4 and 6 Years Old
 By GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press Writer

 


SAN FRANCISCO - Researchers led by Stanford University and Silicon
Graphics Inc. have uncovered some of the mysteries surrounding a
2,000-year-old mummy without peeling back any of its bandages, or
even opening its gold-plated coffin.

 
Using a state-of-the-art CT scanner that rotated all the way around
the tiny mummified girl, San Jose-based Silicon Graphics Inc. took
60,000 images, and then created 3-D models that allowing scientists
to look at her resin-filled body cavities, her facial features, even
her baby teeth.


Among their conclusions: the girl was between 4 and 6 years old, and
must have been breast-fed until shortly before her death.
Researchers also discovered a painting of a sphinx on the mask covering her mummified face as they virtuallly peeled back layer
after layer of the resin-covered bandages.





In this photo released by Silicon Graphics, Inc., a high
resolution state-of-the-art CT scan of a 2,000 year-old girl mummy
in Stanford, Calif., taken Friday May 6, 2005, is shown. Silicon
 Graphics Inc. created 3-D models of the four to six -year-old
girl's tiny body that let scientists visualize her resin-filled body
cavities, her cause of death, even her baby teeth. (AP Photo/
courtesy of Silicon Graphics, Inc., Stanford University, and Volume
 Graphics GmbH)



SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS VIA YAHOO NEWS


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Spitzer telescope finds hidden, hungry black holes

NASA NEWS RELEASE


Most of the biggest black holes in the universe have been eating
cosmic meals behind closed doors - until now.

With its sharp infrared eyes, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (SST)
peered through walls of galactic dust to uncover what may be the
long-sought missing population of hungry black holes known as quasars






This false-color image from NASA's Spitzer Space
Telescope shows a distant galaxy (yellow) that houses a quasar, a
super-massive black hole circled by a ring, or torus, of gas and
dust. Spitzer's infrared eyes cut through the dust to find this
 hidden object, which appears to be a member of the long-sought
 population of missing quasars. The green and blue splotches are
 galaxies that do not hold quasars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/A.
 Martinez-Sansigre (Oxford University)


Quasars are super-massive black holes that are circled by a giant
ring of gas and dust. They live at the heart of distant galaxies and
 can annually consume up to the equivalent mass of one thousand
stars. As their black holes suck in material from their dusty rings,
 the material lights up brilliantly, making quasars the brightest
objects in the universe. This bright light comes in many forms,
 including X-rays, visible and infrared light.

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM




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First tourist trip to the moon eyed for 2008

NEW YORK (AFP) - A US company associated with the Russian Space
Agency hopes to send tourists to circle the moon, perhaps as soon as
2008. The ticket price: a cool 100 million dollars.
 






AFP-NASA/File - Wed Aug 10, 3:57 PM ET

Image taken by cameras on board the Cassini Orbiter spacecraft and
released by NASA shows the Earth's Moon. A US company associated
with the Russian Space Agency hopes to send tourists to circle the
moon, perhaps as soon as 2008.(AFP-NASA/File)

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS VIA YAHOO NEWS


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Atlas 5 launches Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

The first interplanetary Atlas 5 rocket launches August 12 at 7:43
a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 to propel NASA's Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter on its seven-month voyage to the Red Planet.

 


Photo: Patrick H. Corkery & Adam Mattivi/Lockheed Martin
 


Photo: Patrick H. Corkery & Adam Mattivi/Lockheed Martin
 



Photo: Patrick H. Corkery & Adam Mattivi/Lockheed Martin



Photo: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight Now




SOURCE: SPACFLIGHTNOW.com


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Hubble pinpoints doomed star that exploded
SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE NEWS RELEASE


Amidst the glitter of billions of stars in the majestic spiral galaxy called the Whirlpool
 (M51), a massive star abruptly ends its life in a brilliant flash of light. NASA's Hubble
Space Telescope snapped images of the exploding star, called supernova (SN) 2005cs, 12
days after its discovery. Astronomers then compared those photos with Hubble images of the
same region before the supernova blast to pinpoint the progenitor star (the star that exploded).
 

Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Li and A. Filippenko (University
 of California, Berkeley), S. Van Dyk (Spitzer Science Center,
Caltech), S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team
(STScI/AURA)
Download a larger image here


The color image at left shows a section of M51 taken in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera
for Surveys. The small green square marks the region where the progenitor star resides.
 The lower-right image shows a picture of SN 2005cs (the central bright object), taken
July 11, 2005, by Hubble. By comparing the lower-right image with the color image at left,
astronomers identified the supernova's progenitor star [marked by the arrow in the (pre-explosion)
upper-right image]. The star was found to be a red supergiant whose mass is about seven to 10 times
that of the Sun.

Every second, a star somewhere in the universe explodes as a supernova. Astronomers
 cannot see every supernova. Of the supernovas astronomers have seen, only six progenitor
stars have been identified. Since Hubble can easily resolve stars in nearby galaxies, such as
the Whirlpool, it allowed astronomers to track down the exploding star's identity in archival pictures.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM



« Last Edit: 03/11/2005 19:30:09 by neilep »
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Galactic survey reveals a new look for the Milky Way

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON NEWS RELEASE



With the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have conducted the most comprehensive
 structural analysis of our galaxy and have found tantalizing new evidence that the Milky Way is
much different from your ordinary spiral galaxy.







The Milky Way, it turns out, is no ordinary spiral
 galaxy. According to a massive new survey of stars at the heart of
the galaxy by Wisconsin astronomers the Milky Way has a definitive
bar feature -- some 27,000 light years in length -- that
distinguishes it from pedestrian spiral galaxies, as shown in this
artist's rendering. Illustration courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt
(SSC/Caltech)



The survey using the orbiting infrared telescope provides the fine details of a long central bar
 feature that distinguishes the Milky Way from more pedestrian spiral galaxies.


"This is the best evidence ever for this long central bar in our galaxy," says Ed Churchwell,
a UW-Madison professor of astronomy and a senior author of a paper describing the new work in an
upcoming edition of Astrophysical Journal Letters, a leading astronomy journal.


Using the orbiting infrared telescope, the group of astronomers surveyed some 30 million stars
 in the plane of the galaxy in an effort to build a detailed portrait of the inner regions
of the Milky Way. The task, according to Churchwell, is like trying to describe the boundaries of
a forest from a vantage point deep within the woods: "This is hard to do from within the galaxy."

Spitzer's capabilities, however, helped the astronomers cut through obscuring clouds of interstellar
 dust to gather infrared starlight from tens of millions of stars at the center of the galaxy.
The new survey gives the most detailed picture to date of the inner regions of the Milky Way.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM



« Last Edit: 03/11/2005 19:30:30 by neilep »
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Meteor dust could affect climate, study suggests


This November 2000 NASA image shows a meteor streaking
across the sky. A space boulder that disintegrated in a fiery
descent over Antarctica last year has sparked a theory that meteor
dust may play a hidden role in our climate system.(AFP/NASA/File)


PARIS (AFP) - A space boulder that disintegrated in a fiery descent over Antarctica last year has sparked
 a theory that meteor dust may play a hidden role in our climate system.

 
The rock, estimated at 1,000 tonnes, entered the upper atmosphere above Antarctica last September 3,
 becoming a fireball spotted by the infrared eyes of US defence satellites, a study published on
 Thursday says.

Friction with air molecules stripped away the rock, transforming it into a cloud of dust that
 trailed from 56 to 18 kilometers (35 to 11 miles) in altitude. The rock was consumed in the plunge.

Closer inspection of the lingering cloud, using instruments at an Antarctic ground station, suggests
its particles were as large as 20 microns (20 millionths of a metre) -- around a thousand
times bigger than previous estimates for the size of meteor debris.

The finding is significant, because large quantities of dust are dumped in Earth's atmosphere
 from tiny pieces of asteroid rubble or debris left by passing comets, although no-one
knows for sure how much is deposited.

Previous research has already shown that particles which are larger than one micron, spewed out
by volcanoes, can play a crucial role in affecting weather.

Their relatively large size helps them to reflect the Sun's rays, thus creating a local
 cooling effect, and also provides a nucleus for attracting atmospheric moisture
 -- they encourage clouds to form.

In addition, large particles tend to linger longest in the atmosphere, sometimes
taking months to reach the planet's surface.

Space dust is mostly deposited by rubble that is consumed in the fiery descent.
 To the human eye, the event is visible as a reddish-golden streak, a meteor, that may
also leave a smoke-like trail.


SOURCE: AFP Via YAHOO NEWS
« Last Edit: 03/11/2005 19:30:55 by neilep »
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A Chinese dragon and a knotted galactic embrace
GEMINI OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE


The Gemini Observatory has released a pair of images that capture the dynamics of two very
different interactions in space. One is a cold, dark dust cloud that resembles an ethereal-looking
Chinese dragon. The other shows a distant duo of galaxies locked in a knot-like embrace that
could portend the long-term future of our own Milky Way galaxy.




NGC 6559 is part of a larger star-forming region in the southern
constellation Sagittarius. The dark structure that resembles a
Chinese dragon is caused by cool dust that absorbs background
radiation from hydrogen gas that glows in red light due to
ionization from nearby stars. This region lies less than one degree
away from the popular Lagoon Nebula (M8), and is located some 5,000
light-years away toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. At this
distance the length of the cloud (diagonally across the image) is
about 7 light-years. Credit: Gemini Observatory
Download larger image version here


The processes shown in these views occur on a tremendous range of size scales. NGC 6559 is a
relatively small, nearby dust cloud in our Milky Way galaxy that measures about seven light-years across,
while NGC 520 features two completely entwined galaxies that stretch across 150,000 light-years.
While both images hint at how dynamic and active these objects can be, their evolution occurs on
astronomical timescales. According to Ian Robson, Director of the UK's Astronomy Technology Center,
"If we could see either of these objects as an extreme time-lapse movie made over millions of years,
 the galaxy pair would dance in a graceful orbital embrace that is likely similar to the fate between
 our Milky Way and the great Andromeda Galaxy, while the dusty cloud would probably resemble waving
 smoke from an extinguished candle."







NGC 520 has a unique shape that is the result of two galaxies
colliding with each other. One galaxy's dust lane can be seen easily
 in the foreground and a distinct tail is visible at bottom center.
 These features are a result of the gravitational interactions that
have robbed both of the galaxies of their original shapes. Some
astronomers speculate that each member of the pair was originally
similar to the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy. This collision could
 be providing us a glimpse at what might happen to our own galaxy in
 about five billion years as the Andromeda Galaxy collides with our
 Milky Way. Credit: Gemini Observatory
Download larger image version here


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM



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Instant River Outside My House !





This is what happens when I finally cleared my loo blockage

When I came home earlier today this is what I found !..I had the
kids in the car with me and I of course just had to drive through it
[:D][:D]....I didn't need to but I wanted to.....Yea !! [:D]....my
neighbours were standing on the opposite side and were worried that
 it was going to reach their house....when I drove through it I made
a really big splash and soaked their driveway [:D][:D]....it was
embarassing because I had to turn around and go through it again to
get back to my house !!![:D][:D][:D]......for some reason they
weren't in their driveway when I came back !!!


SOURCE: ME !

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« Last Edit: 10/09/2005 03:45:46 by neilep »
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quote:
Originally posted by neilep

Instant River Outside My House !





This is what happens when I finally cleared my loo blockage

When I came home earlier today this is what I found !..I had the
kids in the car with me and I of course just had to drive through it
[:D][:D]....I didn't need to but I wanted to.....Yea !! [:D]....my
neighbours were standing on the opposite side and were worried that
 it was going to reach their house....when I drove through it I made
a really big splash and soaked their driveway [:D][:D]....it was
embarassing because I had to turn around and go through it again to
get back to my house !!![:D][:D][:D]......for some reason they
weren't in their driveway when I came back !!!


SOURCE: ME !

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!



CAT SAYS  " YOU WILL NOT USE ME TO SPONGE UP RIVER "


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Probe begins daring close encounter with asteroid
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW


A $100 million Japanese space explorer parked in the vicinity of an
enigmatic asteroid this week, allowing scientists to get a first
 glimpse of the mid-sized rock that will become the source of the
first samples of such an object to ever be returned to Earth.






WOOSH !!
An artist's concept shows the Hayabusa
nearing its asteroid target.
Credit: JAXA


After methodically tweaking its course - first by electrical ion
propulsion, then by conventional chemical thrusters - toward its
target over the past few months, the Hayabusa probe finally arrived
at its station keeping position some 12 miles from the asteroid
early Monday




Hmmmm !!...Looks like a cheesy Wotsit !!
 Images from
Hayabusa are revealing what the asteroid Itokawa looks like.
 Credit: JAXA


Hayabusa will deploy a tiny 1.3-pound rover known as MINERVA, which
will leap, hop, and jump across the surface in the extreme low-
gravity environment. MINERVA carries three stereo cameras for
pictures, and a suite of six thermometers to measure temperatures

Ahhhhhh !!..aint that cute !!


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM
 



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Treadmill Arrives for Alaska's Elephant



In this photo released by the Alaska Zoo, workers at the Alaska Zoo
in Anchorage, Alaska, install what is believed to be the world's
first elephant treadmill, Monday, Sept. 12, 2005. John Seawell,
elephant house project manager, says the conveyer belt reaches
speeds of up to eight miles-per-hour. Zoo officials hope to get
Maggie, the zoo's elephant, walking on the treadmill at least two
hours a day. Seawell says he and the other trainers have not worked
out how they will persuade the elephant to usethe treadmill.

(AP Photo/Courtesy of The Alaska Zoo, John Gomes)

SOURCE: AP Via YAHOO NEWS

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Blackhole with no home




Astronomers have observed what appears to be a quasar floating all by its lonesome in space. If confirmed, it would be the first instance of a quasar – and therefore a black hole – without a surrounding galaxy.

Quasars are extremely bright light emissions from super-massive black holes, caused when gas is drawn in by a hole’s enormous gravity. The process heats the gas to extreme temperatures, creating brilliance observable from Earth.

The new discovery raises questions about whether super-massive black holes could form before galaxies and whether a halo of dark matter around a black hole could spark a quasar.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile, an international team examined 20 quasars and found that quasar HE0450-2958 did not appear to have a galaxy surrounding it.



Massive collision
Magain's team did find a distorted galaxy nearby that was rapidly forming stars. They also saw a "blob" of gas floating nearby. This gas is probably feeding the black hole, enabling it to become a quasar, they believe.

The existence of these two unusual objects near the quasar could have been associated with a massive collision 100 million years ago. The black hole could have captured the blob of gas from the neighbouring galaxy as it was slowly passing by, resulting in the ignition of the quasar. But that fails to explain what happened to the quasar’s original host galaxy.

One of Magain's favoured explanations for the appearance of the lone quasar is that it may actually be surrounded by a halo of dark matter, invisible to telescopes.

"It's a logical possibility – you could have a dark object made only of dark matter," says Abraham Loeb, an astronomer at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, who was not involved with the observations. "It could be that for some reason the black hole was created at the middle of such an object. But it’s very unlikely."
FULL ARTICLE
http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/dn7997-orphaned-quasar-seeks-galaxy-to-call-home.html
original article from
the Newscientistspace.com
« Last Edit: 19/09/2005 02:50:08 by ukmicky »

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Cassini radar shows dramatic shoreline on Titan

NASA/JPL NEWS RELEASE


Images returned during Cassini's recent flyby of Titan show
captivating evidence of what appears to be a large shoreline cutting
across the smoggy moon's southern hemisphere. Hints that this area
was once wet, or currently has liquid present, are evident




Radar image of Titan showing that the boundary of the
 bright (rough) region and the dark (smooth) region appears to be a
shoreline. Credit: NASA/JPL
Download larger image version here





This bright terrain is cut by channels that are variable in
width; they form both radial and branching networks. Such patterns are reminiscent
 of networks formed by rainfall on Earth. Credit:
 NASA/JPL
Download larger image version here


SOURCE:SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM




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Mysterious disk of blue stars found around a black hole

HUBBLE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY INFORMATION CENTRE RELEASE

Posted: September 20, 2005

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have
identified the source of a mysterious blue light surrounding a
supermassive black hole in our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy (M31).
 Though the light has puzzled astronomers for more than a decade,
the new discovery makes the story even more mysterious

http://

Photo Credit for image at left: ©2002, R. Gendler, Photo by Robert
Gendler; Credits for image at upper, right: NASA, ESA and T. Lauer
(NOAO/AURA/NSF); Credits for illustration at lower, right: NASA, ESA
 and A. Feild (STScI)

Download larger image version here
 
The blue light is coming from a disk of hot, young stars. These
 stars are whipping around the black hole in much the same way as
planets in our solar system are revolving around the Sun.
Astronomers are perplexed about how the pancake-shaped disk of stars
 could form so close to a giant black hole. In such a hostile
environment, the black hole's tidal forces should tear matter apart,
making it difficult for gas and dust to collapse and form stars. The
observations, astronomers say, may provide clues to the activities
in the cores of more distant galaxies.


By finding the disk of stars, astronomers also have collected what
they say is ironclad evidence for the existence of the monster black
hole. The evidence has helped astronomers rule out all alternative
theories for the dark mass in the Andromeda Galaxy's core, which
scientists have long suspected was a black hole.



Hubble Probes Strange Blue Light


Astronomer Ivan King of the University of Washington and colleagues
first spotted the strange blue light in 1995 with the Hubble Space
Telescope. He thought the light might have come from a single,
bright blue star or perhaps from a more exotic energetic process.
Three years later, Lauer and Sandra Faber of the University of
California at Santa Cruz used Hubble again to study the blue light.
Their observations indicated that the blue light was a cluster of
blue stars.


Now, new spectroscopic observations by Hubble's Space Telescope
Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) reveal that the blue light consists of
more than 400 stars that formed in a burst of activity about 200
million years ago. The stars are tightly packed in a disk that is
only a light-year across. The disk is nested inside an elliptical
ring of older, cooler, redder stars, which was seen in previous
Hubble observations.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM

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Washington Plans Exhibit for Baby Panda



The 10-week-old male giant panda cub at the Smithsonian's National
 Zoo sits in a container after he received his sixth health exam at
 the Washington Zoo, September 19, 2005. The cub, born on July 9,
 now weighs 9.57 pounds (4.3 kg) and is 22.51 inches long. The cub
 and his parents live at the zoo's Giant Panda Habitat

PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON - The National Zoo hopes to put its giant panda cub on
exhibit sometime in November.

 
The Panda House was closed shortly before first-time mother Mei
Xiang gave birth to the male cub on July 9. The public can still see
her mate, Tian Tian, in his yard, and Mei Xiang sometimes ventures
outside as well.


Zoo officials will set a date for reopening the exhibit after
keepers determine how Mei Xiang adjusts to the additional noise and
traffic, zoo spokeswoman Peper Long said in a story in Thursday's
 Washington Post.


Zoo officials plan to deal with the expected crush of visitors by
giving out timed admission tickets.


The cub will be named before it meets the public. Visitors to the
zoo's Web site have cast about 143,000 votes in a naming contest
that ends Sept. 30. Officials will announce the winning name Oct. 17.


The giant panda cub is the first at the zoo to survive more than a
few days. He now weighs about 10 pounds, measures nearly two feet
from head to tail and is beginning to crawl in circles but hasn't
started to walk.

SOURCE: REUTERS VIA YAHOO NEWS



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Scientists find mature galaxy eight times larger than Milky Way


Composite of visible-light (Hubble) and infraed (Spitzer)
images of the distant galaxy HUDF-JD2 in the Hubble Deep Ultra Field.
(AFP/NASA/ESA)



WASHINGTON (AFP) - US astronomers said they had found a vast, mature
 galaxy using     NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes.

They were particularly impressed by the fact stars seemed to have
been formed in the galaxy.

"This is truly a significant object," says Richard Ellis, of the
California Institute of Technology and a member of the discovery
team.


"Although we are looking back to when the universe was only six
percent of its present age, this galaxy has already built up a mass
 in stars eight times that of the Milky Way."

He said the fact such a galaxy had already completed its star
formation "implies a yet earlier period of intense activity."


"It's like crossing the ocean and meeting a lone seagull, a
forerunner of land ahead. There is now every reason to search beyond
 this object for the cosmic dawn when the first such systems
switched on," he said.

Though astronomers generally believe most galaxies were built up by
 mergers of smaller galaxies, the new discovery suggests that at
least a few galaxies formed quickly and wholly long ago. For such a
 large galaxy, this would have been a vastly explosive star birth
event.

SOURCE: AFP via YAHOO NEWS.




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Amazing pictures of Saturn's spongy moon Hyperion
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE





Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Download larger image version here


This stunning false-color view of Saturn's moon Hyperion reveals
crisp details across the strange, tumbling moon's surface.
Differences in color could represent differences in the composition
of surface materials. The view was obtained during Cassini's close
flyby on Sept. 26, 2005.


Hyperion has a notably reddish tint when viewed in natural color.
 The red color was toned down in this false-color view, and the
other hues were enhanced, in order to make more subtle color
variations across Hyperion's surface more apparent.


Images taken using infrared, green and ultraviolet spectral filters
were combined to create this view. The images were taken with the
Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera at a distance of
approximately 62,000 kilometers (38,500 miles) from Hyperion and at
a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 52 degrees. The image
scale is 362 meters (1,200 feet) per pixel.





Well big piccy
here

This high-resolution Cassini mosaic shows that Hyperion truly has a
surface different from any other in the Saturn system.




The mosaic is composed of five clear filter images taken during
Cassini's close flyby of Hyperion on Sept. 26, 2005. The spacecraft
 passed approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the moon's
surface. Hyperion is 266 kilometers (165 miles) in diameter.

Scientists are extremely curious to learn what the dark material is
that fills many craters on this oddball moon. Features within the
dark terrain, including a 200-meter-wide (650-foot) impact crater
surrounded by rays to the right of center and numerous bright-rimmed
craters, indicate that the dark material may be only tens of meters
(hundreds of feet) thick with brighter material beneath.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM






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New optics produce ultrasharp images of sunspot

NATIONAL SOLAR OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE
Posted: October 5, 2005

Advanced technologies now available at the National Science
Foundation's Dunn Solar Telescope at Sunspot, New Mexico, are
revealing striking details inside sunspots and hint at features
remaining to be discovered in solar activity.
 




High-resolution image of sunspot produced with the new
camera attached to the Dunn's adaptive optics system. Credit:
Friedrich Woeger, KIS, and Chris Berst and Mark Komsa, NSO/AURA/NSF


 
 
This image, spanning an area more than three times wider than Earth,
was made possible by the Dunn's recently completed AO76 advanced
adaptive optics image correction system and a new high-resolution
CCD camera.


The Dunn is the nation's premier high-resolution solar telescope.
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy operates
the Dunn as part of the National Solar Observatory under a
cooperative agreement with the NSF.
 

This ultrasharp image of sunspot AR 10805 shows several objects of
current scientific interest. G-band bright points, which indicate
 the presence of small-scale magnetic flux tubes, are seen near the
sunspot and between several granules (columns of hot gas circulating
upward).


source:spaceflightnow.com




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« Last Edit: 12/10/2005 10:00:22 by Andrew K Fletcher »
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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It takes three to decipher one mystery object

HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS NEWS RELEASE

In an exercise that demonstrates the power of a multiwavelength
investigation using diverse facilities, astronomers at the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have deciphered the true
nature of a mysterious object hiding inside a dark cosmic cloud.
They found that the cloud, once thought to be featureless, contains
 a baby star, or possibly a failed star known as a "brown dwarf,"
that is still forming within its dusty cocoon.







At top left is the optical image of L1014, with
contours of 1.2 mm dust emission, and the field-of-view of the
Spitzer images indicated by the box. The position of young brown
dwarf or protostar (dubbed L1014-IRS) is indicated. At top right is
a 3-color image using the Spitzer data, color-coded by wavelength.
At bottom left is the 8-micron-only image, at bottom middle is a
near-infrared image from the MMT revealing a scattered light nebula
typically seen around young stellar objects, thought to be due to a
cavity evacuated by an outflow. At bottom right is the confirmation
that L1014-IRS drives a bipolar outflow, seen with the Submillimeter
Array. The outflow velocities associate the infrared source with
starless core L1014 at a distance of 200 parsecs, thus confirming
its low luminosity and mass. Credit: Tyler Bourke & Tracy Huard
(CfA)


 
 
Observations indicate that the mystery object has a mass about 25
times that of Jupiter, which would place it squarely in the realm of
brown dwarfs. However, its mass may eventually grow large enough to
qualify it as a small star. The object also is cool and faint,
shining with less than 1/20 the sun's luminosity.

The combined capabilities of Spitzer, the SMA and the MMT were
essential for finding and examining this object. Those facilities
undoubtedly will prove useful in studying similar very dim, very
young objects - objects so young that they are still growing.
 


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM


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Light seen from possibly first objects in universe

NASA-GODDARD NEWS RELEASE


Scientists using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope say they have
detected light that may be from the earliest objects in the
universe. If confirmed, the observation provides a glimpse of an era
 more than 13 billion years ago when, after the fading embers of the
theorized Big Bang gave way to millions of years of pervasive
darkness, the universe came alive.







The top panel is an image from NASA's Spitzer Space
Telescope of stars and galaxies in the constellation Draco, covering
 about 50 by 100 million light-years (6 to 12 arcminutes). This is
an infrared image showing wavelengths of 3.6 microns, below what the
human eye can detect. The bottom panel is the resulting image after
all the stars, galaxies and artifacts were masked out. The remaining
background has been enhanced to reveal a glow that is not attributed
 to galaxies or stars. This might be the glow of the first stars in
the universe. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/A. Kashlinsky (GSFC)
Download larger image version here


This light could be from the very first stars or perhaps from hot
gas falling into the first black holes. The science team, based at
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., describes the
observation as seeing the glow of a distant city at night from an
airplane. The light is too distant and feeble to resolve individual
objects.


"We think we are seeing the collective light from millions of the
first objects to form in the universe," said Dr. Alexander
Kashlinsky, Science Systems and Applications scientist and lead
author on the Nature article that appears in the Nov. 3 issue. "The
objects disappeared eons ago, yet their light is still traveling
across the universe."


SOURCE:SPACEFLIGHTNOw.COM





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NASA Telescope Gets Image of Young Stars

This undated infrared image captured by NASA's Spitzer Space
Telescope, released by NASA on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, shows
colossal pillars of cool gas and dust that provide scientists with
an intimate look at the star-forming process. The image reflects a
region in space known as W5, in the constellation Cassiopeia 7,000
light years away, which is dominated by a single massive star. (AP
 Photo/NASA, JPL, CalTech)




SOURCE: Associated Press via Yahoo News



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EXHIBIT FEATURES HUMAN SPECIMANS



A healthy human lung, left, and a smokers lung injected with a
polymer preservative are on display during a press preview
of 'Bodies...The Exhibition,' Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005 in New York.
The exhibit which feature 22 whole body specimens, as well as more
 than 260 additional organs and body specimens opens at the South
Street Seaport Nov. 19, 2005. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)




A human brain, left, and a cross section of a human brain which
 suffered a massive stroke, injected with a polymer preservative



 A full body human specimen injected with a polymer preservative.



Dr. Roy Glover, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at
the University of Michigan and Chief Medical Advisor
for 'Bodies...The Exhibition,' explains the facial tissues on a
human specimen injected with a polymer preservative during a press
preview of the exhibiT.

source: Associated Press vis Yahoo News


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Giant ape lived alongside humans



Much bigger piccy here

Hamilton, ON– A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and
weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a
 geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.


Using a high-precision absolute-dating method (techniques involving
electron spin resonance and uranium series), Jack Rink, associate professor of geography and earth sciences at McMaster, has
determined that Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that
ever lived, roamed southeast Asia for nearly a million years before
the species died out 100,000 years ago. This was known as the
Pleistocene period, by which time humans had already existed for a
million years.

Research into Gigantopithecus blackii began in 1935, when the Dutch
paleontologist G.H. von Koenigswald discovered a yellowish molar
among the "dragon bones" for sale in a Hong Kong pharmacy.
Traditional Chinese medicine maintains that dragon bones, basically
fossil bones and teeth, possess curative powers when the fossils are
ground into a fine powder, and ingested.


For nearly 80 years, Gigantopithecus blackii has intrigued
scientists, who have pieced together a description using nothing
more than a handful of teeth and a set of jawbones.


SOURCE: UKMICKYS FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM [:)]AND EUREKALERT.ORG


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Hi guys! This is my first post! I thought these pictures were crrraaaazy! I knew praying mantis eat insects and sometimes each other...but humming birds????




From http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com

-Cierra

« Last Edit: 30/11/2005 21:07:49 by Cierra »
"if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate"

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Those Praying mantis photos above are amazing !!!

Herschel sees the Sun
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE



Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Download larger image version here



Impact-battered Mimas steps in front of Saturn's rings, showing off
its giant 130-kilometer (80-mile) wide crater Herschel.


The illuminated terrain seen here is on the moon's leading
hemisphere. North on Mimas is up and rotated 20 degrees to the left.
 Mimas is 397 kilometers (247 miles) across.


The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini narrow-
angle camera at a distance of approximately 711,000 kilometers
(442,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase,
 angle of 112 degrees. The image scale is 4 kilometers (3 miles) per
pixel.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM



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On approach to Dione
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE




Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Download larger image versionhere



Cassini captured Saturn's moon Dione -- a brilliant, cratered
iceball -- in front of its shadow-draped planet in this picture
 taken during a recent rendezvous by the NASA spacecraft.


The terrain seen here becomes notably darker toward the west, and is
crosscut by the bright, fresh canyons that form wispy markings on
Dione's trailing hemisphere. Dione is 1,126 kilometers (700 miles)
across.


The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini wide-angle
camera at a distance of approximately 24,500 kilometers (15,200
miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of
22 degrees. The image scale is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) per
pixel.


SOURCE: spaceflightnow.com



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Sharp vision reveals intimacy of stars
EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE

Using the newly installed AMBER instrument on ESO's Very Large
Telescope Interferometer, which combines the light from two or three
8.2-m Unit Telescopes thereby amounting to observe with a telescope
of 40 to 90 metres in diameter, two international teams of
astronomers observed with unprecedented detail the environment of
two stars. One is a young, still-forming star and the new results
provide useful information on the conditions leading to the creation
of planets. The other is on the contrary a star entering the latest
stages of its life. The astronomers found, in both cases, evidence
for a surrounding disc.






It is amazing to see the amount of details the astronomers could
achieve while observing an object located more than 800 light-years
away and hidden by a large amount of gas and dust. They found the
object to be surrounded by a proto-planetary disc extending to about
 the size of our Solar System, but truncated in his inner part until
about half the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Moreover, the
scientists found the object to be surrounded by an outflowing wind,
the velocity of which increased by a factor 9, from about 70 km/s
near the disc to 600 km/s in the polar regions.

saucy sexy sauces: whipped cream and maple syrup !

sorry...wrong type of source !!...SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM




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Chandra proves black hole influence is far reaching
CHANDRA X-RAY CENTER NEWS RELEASE


Scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered
evidence of energetic plumes - particles that extend 300,000 light
years into a massive cluster of galaxies. The plumes are due to
explosive venting from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole,
 and they provide dramatic new evidence of the influence a black
hole can have over intergalactic distances.
 

 


An accumulation of 270 hours of Chandra observations
of the central regions of the Perseus galaxy cluster reveals
 evidence of the turmoil that has wracked the cluster for hundreds
 of millions of years. One of the most massive objects in the
 universe, the cluster contains thousands of galaxies immersed in a
 vast cloud of multimillion degree gas with the mass equivalent of
trillions of suns. Credit: NASA/CXC/IoA/A.Fabian et al.

"In relative terms, it is as if a heat source the size of a
fingernail affects the behavior of a region the size of Earth," said
Andrew Fabian of Cambridge University, U.K. Fabian is lead author of
a report on this research that will appear in an upcoming issue of
 the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Fabian's group discovered the plumes by studying data from 280 hours
(more than 1 million seconds) of Chandra observations of the Perseus
 cluster, the longest X-ray observation ever taken of a galaxy
cluster. The cluster contains thousands of galaxies immersed in a
vast cloud of multi-million degree gas with the mass equivalent of trillions of suns.


The plumes showed up in the X-ray data as low pressure regions in
the hot gas extending outward from the giant galaxy in the center of
the cluster. The low gas pressure measured in the plumes is likely
the result of the displacement of the gas by bubbles of unseen high-
energy particles.


The bubbles appear to be generated by high-speed jets blasting away
from the vicinity of the giant galaxy's supermassive black hole.
Individual bubbles seen in the inner regions expand and merge to
create vast plumes at larger distances.


"The plumes show that the black hole has been venting for at least
 100 million years, and probably much longer," said co-author Jeremy
 Sanders also of Cambridge University.





SOURCE:SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM
 






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Chandra picture shows hot supernova remains
CHANDRA PHOTO RELEASE



Credit: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Hughes et al.

 
 
This false-color Chandra image of a supernova remnant shows X-rays
produced by high-energy particles (blue) and multimillion degree gas
(red/green). In 1006 AD, what was thought to be a "new star"
suddenly appeared in the sky and over the course of a few days
became brighter than the planet Venus.


The supernova of 1006, or SN 1006, may have been the brightest
supernova on record.


We now know that SN 1006 heralded not the appearance of a new star,
 but the cataclysmic death of an old one located about 7,000 light
years from Earth. It was likely a white dwarf star that had been
pulling matter off an orbiting companion star. When the white dwarf
mass exceeded the stability limit (known as the Chandrasekhar
limit), it exploded.


The supernova ejected material at millions of miles per hour,
generating a forward shock wave that raced ahead of the ejecta.
Particles accelerated to extremely high energies by this shock wave
produce the bright blue filaments seen in the upper left and lower
right of the image. Why the bright filaments occur only in the
observed locations and do not encircle the remnant is not
understood. One possibility is that they are due to the orientation
of the interstellar magnetic field which may be roughly
perpendicular to the filaments.


High pressure behind the forward shock wave pushes back on the
supernova ejecta, causing a reverse shock that heats the ejecta to
millions of degrees. The fluffy red features seen throughout the
interior of the remnant are from gas heated by the reverse shock.
The X-ray spectrum of this gas indicates that it is enriched in
oxygen and other elements synthesized by nuclear reactions during
the stellar explosion.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM




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Fascinating pics and info. Well done!
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

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Near-complete Titanosaurus discovered in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Argentine paleontologists have discovered the
largely intact skeleton of a young titanosaurus that lived 71
 million years ago.



AFP/File Photo:  An Amargasaurus dinosaur, the largest
herbivore to live, discovered in Argentina, seen here in Melbourne,...



"What's extraordinary about this is that the remains were
articulated, as if the animal had fallen or lain down and remained
that way. There were no signs that it was preyed on," local media
reported geologist and paleontologist Bernardo Gonzalez Riga as saying.
Scientists discovered the remains of a foot "with all its toes and
claws in an exceptional state of preservation," as well as the
complete rear bones, tail, "and part of the pelvis," Gonzalez said.

Such finds are rare, said Gonzalez, adding that there are only one
or two titanosauruses in the world with complete feet.
Gonzalez is a professor at Cuyo University, one of two universities
with teams that excavated the remains.
"This now adds to that and brings new data of regional national and
international relevance," he said.
The remains were discovered while German petroleum company
Wintershall Energy was prospecting for oil in Nuequen province,
where many paleontological discoveries have been made.


An initial examination of the remains suggest a small young
titanousaurus about 10 meters (yards) long that weighed about 12
 tons. The giant herbivores, which grew up to 35 meters long, lived
during the late Cretaceous period (83-65 million years ago).
While the skeleton is almost complete from ribs to tale, there is no
sign of the head and neck, which were likely washed away over the
millennia, said Gonzalez.
The fossils were taken to the Lago Barreales Palentological Center
in Neuquen for analysis, the report said.

SOURCE: AFP VIA YAHOO NEWS


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Nasa team sees explosion on Moon  
 

Nasa scientists have witnessed a rare explosion on the Moon, caused
by a "meteoroid" slamming into it.
The blast was equal in energy to about 70kg of TNT and was seen near
the edge of Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains).

The object that hit the Moon was probably part of a shower
of "taurids" which peppered Earth in late October and early
November.

Understanding lunar impacts could help protect astronauts when Nasa
sends humans back to the Moon.

Meteoroids are small rocky or metallic objects in orbit around the
Sun, or another star. One of the astronomers who observed the impact
estimates that it gouged a crater 3m wide and 0.4m deep.

Rob Suggs of Nasa's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, US,
 was testing a new 10-in telescope and video camera they assembled
to monitor the moon for space strikes
 



Artists impression...though why the explosion should look
like a bunch of tossed daffodils is another mystery !![:)]



Here is 2.2mb of meteoriod lunar hitting moon joy !!

http://www.nasa.gov/mov/139981main_impact.mov

Source: An orgy of sources between NASA and BBC

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This is down to DRBEAVERS link in his thread about HIV

Study Reveals How Virus Harpoons Your Cells
By Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 04 January 2006


A three-dimensional model of the HIV virus. Image Courtesy 3DScience.com

Researchers have deciphered the structure of a harpoon-like protein
some viruses use to enter cells and begin infection.


The protein is known as fusion (F) protein and is found on the outer
surface of parainfluenza virus 5, a so-called "enveloped" virus that
fuses its membrane with the membrane of its host cell before
infection.

Once the membranes are fused, the virus dumps its genetic content
into the healthy human cell's interior, hijacking the cell's
replication machinery to clone itself.


Enveloped viruses are responsible for a wide variety of human
diseases, including mumps, measles, HIV, SARS and Ebola. The finding
could help researchers develop drugs that prevent infection by
 blocking viral entry into cells.

The researchers crystallized the F protein and used x-ray
crystallography to determine its three-dimensional structure. Doing
 so revealed a hydrophobic (meaning water-repellant) tip that allows
the viral harpoon to latch on more securely to the cell membrane,
which is also hydrophobic. It also provided researchers with more
insight into the dramatic structural change that the F protein
undergoes while performing its task
When not in use, the F protein looks like a mushroom and its
hydrophobic tip is folded into a compact form, safely hidden inside
the cap. When the virus comes into contact with a target cell, the
cap unfurls and the hydrophobic tip is hurled like a harpoon into
the cell's outer membrane.

The F protein then brings the virus and the cell together so their
two membranes can merge. It does this by collapsing back on itself
like a metal rod bent so that its ends meet.


"The collapse of the protein acts like a hairpin that snaps together
and brings the two membranes together to make them fuse," said
Theodore Jardetzky, a structural biologist from Northwestern
University and the study's principle investigator.


The research, led by Hsien-Sheng Yin of Northwestern University, is
detailed in the Jan. 5 issue of the journal Nature.


SOURCE: DRBEAVER & www.livescience.com


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Looking down the mouth of an interstellar cavern
GEMINI OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE


A storm of billowing clouds blown by the winds from massive stars,
and set aglow by their light, is the focus of a striking image
released by Gemini Observatory.






Gemini Legacy Image of superbubble complex N44 as imaged with GMOS
on the Gemini South Telescope in Chile.  Composite color image by
Traivs Rector, University of Alaska Anchorage
Download larger image version here ...it's worth it..it's a fantastic piccy !
 


Known as the N44 superbubble complex, this cloudy tempest is
dominated by a vast bubble about 325 by 250 light-years across. A
cluster of massive stars inside the cavern has cleared away gas to
form a distinctive mouth-shaped hollow shell. While astronomers do
not agree on exactly how this bubble has evolved for up to the past
10 million years, they do know that the central cluster of massive
 stars is responsible for the cloud's unusual appearance. It is
likely that the explosive death of one or more of the cluster's most
massive and short-lived stars played a key role in the formation of
the large bubble.


One of the mysteries surrounding this object points to the role that
supernova explosions (marking the destruction of the most massive of
the central cluster's stars) could have played in sculpting the
cloud. Philip Massey of Lowell Observatory, who studied this region
along with Oey, adds "When we look at the speed of the gases in this
cloud we find inconsistencies in the size of the bubble and the
expected velocities of the winds from the central cluster of massive
stars. Supernovae, the ages of the central stars, or the orientation
 and shape of the cloud might explain this, but the bottom line is
that there's still lots of exciting science to be done here and
these new images will undoubtedly help."

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM



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This kitten was born with only one eye and no nose. Named Cy—short for Cyclopes—it’s shown here in a photo provided by its owner in Redmond, Oregon, on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005.
The kitten, a ragdoll breed, died after living for one day. It was one of two in the litter, and its sibling was born normal and healthy.

photo from http://www.livescience.com
Credit: AP Photo/Traci Allen

« Last Edit: 10/01/2006 20:30:48 by DoctorBeaver »
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

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ESA and ANU make space propulsion breakthrough
 
11 January 2006
The European Space Agency and the Australian National University
have successfully tested a new design of spacecraft ion engine that
 dramatically improves performance over present thrusters and marks
a major step forward in space propulsion capability.

 
Ion engines are a form of electric propulsion and work by
accelerating a beam of positively charged particles (or ions) away
from the spacecraft using an electric field. ESA is currently using
electric propulsion on its Moon mission, SMART-1. The new engine is
over ten times more fuel efficient than the one used on SMART-
1. “Using a similar amount of propellant as SMART-1, with the right
power supply, a future spacecraft using our new engine design
wouldn’t just reach the Moon, it would be able to leave the Solar
System entirely,” says Dr Roger Walker of ESA’s Advanced Concepts
Team, Research Fellow in Advanced Propulsion and Technical Manager
of the project.




DS4G thruster firing during tests in the ESTEC Electric Propulsion facility (CORONA vacuum chamber)

Credits: ESA


DS4G thruster firing during tests in the ESTEC Electric Propulsion facility (CORONA vacuum chamber)

Credits: ESA


DS4G thruster firing during tests in the ESTEC Electric Propulsion facility (CORONA vacuum chamber)

Credits: ESA

SOURCE: ESA NEWS



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News - heic0601: Hubble panoramic view of Orion Nebula reveals thousands of stars


Bigger one here...it's worth it !

11-Jan-2006: In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever
produced, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is offering an
unprecedented look at the Orion Nebula. This turbulent star-
formation region is one of astronomy’s most dramatic and photogenic
celestial objects.



The crisp image reveals a tapestry of star formation, from the dense
 pillars of gas and dust that may be the homes of fledgling stars to
 the hot, young, massive stars that have emerged from their gas-and-
dust cocoons and are shaping the nebula with their powerful
ultraviolet light.


The new picture reveals large-scale structures never seen before,
according to C. Robert O'Dell of Vanderbilt University in Nashville,
 USA "Only with the Hubble Space Telescope can we begin to
understand them," O’Dell said.


In a mosaic containing a billion pixels, Hubble’s Advanced Camera
for Surveys (ACS) uncovered 3,000 stars of various sizes. Some of
them have never been spied in visible light. Some are merely 1/100
the brightness of stars seen previously in the nebula.


Among the stars Hubble spotted are possible young brown dwarfs, the
 first time these objects have been seen in the Orion Nebula in
visible light. Brown dwarfs are so-called "failed stars." These cool
objects are too small to be ordinary stars because they cannot
sustain nuclear fusion in their cores the way our Sun does.


The Hubble Space Telescope also spied for the first time a small
population of possible binary brown dwarfs – two brown dwarfs
orbiting each other. Comparing the characteristics of newborn stars
and brown dwarfs in their natal environment provides unique
information about how they form.

Source: ESA

EXTRA !..thought I'd chuck these extra links to big pictures here (about 2mb each) cos they're bloody bootiful !

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/large/heic0601h.jpg

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/large/heic0601g.jpg

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/large/heic0601e.jpg

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/large/heic0601d.jpg

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/large/heic0601c.jpg





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Scientists Discover World's Smallest Fish










BANGKOK, Thailand - Scientists say they have discovered the world's
 smallest known fish in threatened swampland in Indonesia.


The fish, a member of the carp family, has a translucent body and a
 head unprotected by a skeleton.


Mature females grow to less than a third of an inch long. The males
have enlarged pelvic fins and muscles that may be used in
reproduction, researchers wrote in a report published Wednesday by
the Royal Society in London.


"This is one of the strangest fish that I've seen in my whole
career,' said Ralf Britz, a zoologist at the Natural History Museum
in London. "It's tiny, it lives in acid and it has these bizarre
grasping fins. I hope we'll have time to find out more about them
before their habitat disappears completely."


The fish are found in an acidic peat swamp on the Indonesian island
of Sumatra. Indonesian peat swamps are under threat from fires lit
by plantation owners and farmers as well as unchecked development
and farming. Researchers say several populations of the tiny fish,
Paedocypris progenetica, have already been lost, according to the
Natural History Museum.


The previous record for world's smallest fish, according to the
Natural History Museum, was held by a species of Indo-Pacific goby
one-tenth of a millimeter longer.


"You don't wake up in the morning and think, 'Today we will find the
smallest fish in the world,'" Swiss fish expert Maurice Kottelat,
who helped discover the fish, said in a telephone interview from his
home in Switzerland.


According to researchers, the little fish live in dark, tea-colored
water at least 100 times more acidic than rainwater. Such acidic
swamps was once thought to harbor few animals, but recent research
has revealed that they are highly diverse and home to many unique
species.


SOURCE: YAHOO



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Scientists in Taiwan say they have bred three pigs that "glow in the dark".

They claim that while other researchers have bred partly fluorescent pigs, theirs are the only pigs in the world which are green through and through.

The pigs are transgenic, created by adding genetic material from jellyfish into a normal pig embryo.

The researchers hope the pigs will boost the island's stem cell research, as well as helping with the study of human disease.

The scientists, from National Taiwan University's Department of Animal Science and Technology, say that although the pigs glow, they are otherwise no different from any others.

Taiwan is not claiming a world first. Others have bred partially fluorescent pigs before; but the researchers insist the three pigs they have produced are better. They are the only ones that are green from the inside out. Even their heart and internal organs are green, the researchers say.

To create them, DNA from jellyfish was added to about 265 pig embryos which were implanted in eight different sows. Four of the female pigs became pregnant and three male piglets were born three months ago.

Green generation

In daylight, the researchers say the pigs' eyes, teeth and trotters look green. Their skin has a greenish tinge.

In the dark, shine a blue light on them and they glow torch-light bright.

The scientists will use the transgenic pigs to study human disease. Because the pig's genetic material encodes a protein that shows up as green, it is easy to spot.

So if, for instance, some of its stem cells are injected into another animal, scientists can track how they develop without the need for a biopsy or invasive test.

But creating them has not been easy. Many of the altered embryos failed to develop.

The researchers say they hope the new, green pigs will mate with ordinary female pigs to create a new generation - much greater numbers of transgenic pigs for use in research.



"Defender of the Sea"

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Autonomous underwater vehicle maps ancient Greek shipwreck
After lying hidden for centuries off the coast of Greece, a sunken
4th century B.C. merchant ship and its cargo have been surveyed by
an international team using a robotic underwater vehicle. The team
accomplished in two days what it would take divers years to do. The
project, the first in a new collaboration between US and Greek
researchers, demonstrates the potential of new technology and
imaging capabilities to rapidly advance marine archaeology




This image shows a sample of the data collected by the SeaBed
autonomous underwater vehicle as it swam over the Chios shipwreck in
July 2005. The 3-D color mesh represents a topographic map of the
sea floor, created using data collected by multibeam sonar. The
brown strip shows the area captured in digital images, which were
used to create the photomosaic of the wreck.Image © / Chios 2005
Shipwreck Survey -- WHOI, Hellenic Ministry of Culture: Ephorate of
Underwater Antiquities, Hellenic Center for Marine Research




This photomosaic strip of a section of the Chios
shipwreck site is composed of 14 individual images. The autonomous
 underwater vehicle collected this data in just 42 seconds. Most of
the wreck's visible remains consist of ceramic storage jars (called
amphoras) made on the island of Chios. Archaeologists surmise that
 wine composed the bulk cargo carried aboard the wrecked vessel.
Small, fish, starfish and sponges can also be seen. Image © / Chios
2005 Shipwreck Survey -- WHOI, Hellenic Ministry of Culture:
Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, Hellenic Center for Marine
Research





Detail from photomosaic strip showing ancient ceramic storage jars
at the Chios shipwreck site. Image © / Chios 2005 Shipwreck Survey --
 WHOI, Hellenic Ministry of Culture: Ephorate of Underwater
Antiquities, Hellenic Center for Marine Research


SOURCE: Eurekaalert.org






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System found where planets may orbit backward
NATIONAL RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE

Posted: February 14, 2006

Astronomers studying a disk of material circling a still-forming
 star inside our Galaxy have found a tantalizing result -- the inner
 part of the disk is orbiting the protostar in the opposite
direction from the outer part of the disk.
 




A huge star-forming region is rotating globally in the
direction shown by the white arrow. This large region can give birth
 to multiple stellar systems. Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF



"This is the first time anyone has seen anything like this, and it
means that the process of forming planets from such disks is more
complex than we previously expected," said Anthony Remijan, of the
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who with his colleague Jan M.
 Hollis, of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, used the National
Science Foundation's Very Large Array radio telescope to make the
discovery.


"The solar system that likely will be formed around this star will
include planets orbiting in different directions, unlike our own
solar system in which all the planets orbit the Sun in the same
direction," Hollis explained.


Stars and planets, scientists believe, are formed when giant clouds
of gas and dust collapse. As the cloud collapses, a flattened,
rotating disk of material develops around the young star. This disk
provides the material from which planets form. The disk and the
resulting planets rotate in the same direction as the original
cloud, with the rotation speed increasing closer to the center, much
as a spinning figure skater spins faster when they draw their arms
inward.



If all the material in the star and disk come from the same
prestellar cloud, they all will rotate in the same direction. That
is the case with our own solar system, in which the planets all
orbit the Sun in the same direction as the Sun itself rotates on its
axis.


In the case of a young star some 500 light-years from Earth in the
direction of the constellation Ophiuchus, Remijan and Hollis found
the inner and outer parts of the disk rotating in opposite
directions.


"We think this system may have gotten material from two clouds
instead of one, and the two were rotating in opposite directions,"
Remijan said. There is sufficient material to form planets from both
parts of the disk, he added. The object is in a large, star-forming
region where chaotic motions and eddies in the gas and dust result
in smaller cloudlets that can rotate in different directions.


In the solar system that probably will form around this young star,
the innermost planets will orbit in one direction and the outer
planets will orbit in the opposite direction.


The scientists studied the star-forming clouds by analyzing radio
waves emitted at specific, known frequencies by molecules within the
clouds. Because the molecules emit radio waves at specific
frequencies, shifts in those frequencies caused by motions (called
Doppler Shift) can be measured, revealing the direction in which the
gas is moving relative to Earth.


The newest VLA observations of the region showed the motion of
silicon monoxide (SiO) molecules, which emit radio waves at about 43
GigaHertz (GHz). When the astronomers compared their new VLA
measurements of the motion of SiO molecules close to the young star
with earlier measurements of other molecules farther away from the
protostar, they realized the two were orbiting the star in opposite
directions.


Though this is the first time such a phenomenon has been seen in a
disk around a young star, "Similar structures and dynamics commonly
occur on small and large scales throughout the Universe. Thus, it is
not surprising to find counter-rotation in a protostellar disk since
the phenomenon has been previously reported in the disks of
 galaxies," Hollis said.


The astronomers' report on their results will appear in the April 1
edition of the Astrophysical Journal.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the
National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by
Associated Universities, Inc.


SOURCE:SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM
 


Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
Men are the same as women, just inside out !